Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bill Pease, The Preacher Bladesmith

Before turning their hobby into a full-time profession, most of the great knifemakers pursued other trades. Whether that is a carpenter, mechanic, lawyer, architect, chemist engineer or dentist. This was neither a handicap to their success nor a brake on their production. Moreover, when they became full time, either by choice or upon retirement, which is often at a relatively young age in the USA, there is no visible sign of this change. One of the greatest American knifemakers is no dentist, lawyer or even engineer, but a preacher.

This unique fact is too original not to be underlined, and it is no secret for anyone, since at each Knife Show organized by the Guild a religious service is held on Sunday morning. It is none other than Rev. William Pease who officiates, after which he takes off his preacher’s clothes to sit behind a table on which are displayed a number of knives.

He has been a full-time knifemaker since 1978. He has always made knives and started to earn his living from it in 1969. You can recognize Pease knives from miles away. The mechanisms are perfect and the shapes and proportions could not be more harmonious. The button for the folding knives is often placed on the side and the handles are for the most part made from big horn sheep, from the mouflon that live in the Rockies.

For liner lock (linear switchblades) models, the miters are in blue-hued anodized titanium, as are the plates for maximum lightness. Preacher Pease’s knives have already become a legend.

Here is a link to Bill Pease’s web site:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Warren Osborne – The Texan with Simple Tastes.

When you live in Waxahachie, a small Texan town of 15,000 souls, traffic jams and tall buildings hold little attraction. As near as Dallas may be, one rarely goes there. Every Bladesmith injects a little or a lot of his culture and way of life into his work. Warren Osborne has been exercising his profession full time since 1980, deciding to concentrate only on folding knives that have strong Texan influences. Producing knives for an essentially local clientele and at unbelievably low prices, he decided to see what was happening in town and, pushing himself a little. He didn’t choose the smallest one: he went to New York where the annual Art Knife Show was taking place.

The welcome that awaited him must surly have surprised the cowboy in his Texan clothes: all the models on his table were sold in just a few hours. What was the reason for such success? Perfect finishing, original design, and very attractive prices. The meeting of Stetson and skyscraper enabled him to situate himself in relation to the market in general, although his modesty held him back a little. This experience gave him the opportunity to grow, to create other models and to go further in the precision of the mechanisms, his choice of styles and diversity of materials. He has naturally brought his prices up in line with his competitors, but needing little to lead a simple life, he now produces less.

An enthusiast of Japanese blades, he dreams of going to the Land of the Rising Sun to watch at work one of these legendary bladesmiths who has become a living national treasure.

Yes, this man is just like his knives: simple, but possessing the essential.

More information on Warren Osborne can be found here: