Growing up in Northern Ontario , spending time in the bush was a natural. And that is what we did as teenagers - camping, fishing, hunting and just plain hanging out (truth is, North Bay didn't have a mall - we had to go somewhere).
Of course, carrying a knife was just natural, and was used for everything, from skinning small game for dinner, to trout for lunch, to plain old whittling and throwing at trees. I can even remember carrying sheath knives to school - try that today!!!
About 1990 I met a knifemaker, and discovered the Canadian Knifemakers Guild annual show, where the real world of knifemaking became evident.
By about 2000 I decided this was something I just had to try - so I bought a grinder, and began.
Subsequent visits to the CKG shows gave ma a chance to meet and talk to other craftsmen, and I quickly learned that the members were all very generous with tips and suggestions on how to improve. It wasn't long before I was really hooked! In 2004 I was accepted into the CKG, and attended my first show, where I was thrilled to find people admired (and puchased) my knives.
Now there is little that I enjoy more than heading down to the shop to tinker and try new blade designs.
Many of the knives I make are custom ordered, often to the customers design and specifications for materials. I also love working with leather, and have made several sheaths for people who have a special knife that wants a better place to live.
I don't produce a lot of knives in any one year, but try to find time to attend 1 or 2 shows annually, to meet outdoorsmen (and women) and also the other makers, to catch up on new techniques, materials and designs.
Now I am back in North Bay. And if you're ever in North Bay, or just passing through to hunt or fish further north, give a call if you have a minute or two to stop by for coffee.
Near Espanola, Ont.