Well hello everyone. This is our first topic of the month discussion. We felt that it will be a good way to get members involved in an active discussion on different topics concerning the art of knifemaking. Our first topic will be knife design.
By design I am thinking what makes the knife look right. Or when you are at a show, what elements about a knife make you or a customer want to pick that knife up and get a better look at it. Is it the blade shape? or the handle shape? The overall look? Etc. I will give a few thoughts on the matter and then we will see what you all have to say. For me the knife is not just a blade mated to the handle. The whole package must be taken into account. I keep hearing about flow and it is mentioned in the judging standards for JS and MS. All the parts of the knife must come together to form a pleasing look. I have been known to take a handle completely off a mostly finished knife because it just did not look right, something did not work to my eye. I prefer nice curves to sharp angles. How many sharp angles do you see in nature? For example if you make a four inch drop point hunter, do you want the handle coming straight back from the guard. Or, would a slight handle drop to go along with the dropped point look better. You would have a slight curve from the point to the back of the handle. I think this is more pleasing to the eye.
I am a great believer in drawing pads. Sketch out the idea you have for the knife with dimensions before you start on the knife. This gives you a good drawing to refer to. After you have the blade done, trace the outline on your pad, and then try sketching out different handles and guards for that blade and see what looks right. Ask for a second opinion, like your wife or husband. My wife is my best critic and my sounding board. Another option is look at books of custom knives and historical knives. This will give you lots of ideas. Go to the shows and hammer ins and look at the knives there. You can see so many different styles in one area, another great reference. What knives catch your eye and then think about why they catch your eye. What made you go WOW! that knife is really great.
Well this is just a start. So lets get some discussion going and see where it leads.