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BertMor
05-26-2011, 07:32 AM
I was talking to my sister about some projects I have in mind, and I casually stated that knives are my passion.

She asked me why? I at first went blank then wrote her back:



You ask hard questions.... I of course gravitate to all things cooking. And a knife is the main tool of a chef. It becomes a personal statement, it becomes a part of your hand. They can be incredibly beautiful, in craftmanship and design.

If I think about it more, I might come up with a more intelligent answer.

So, share with all of us why are knives your passion?

l r harner
05-26-2011, 07:53 AM
cause i woudl hate to be working a "real" job in an office or something :)

BertMor
05-26-2011, 07:57 AM
cause i woudl hate to be working a "real" job in an office or something :)

Funny you say that Butch, I also mentioned that to her in a different part of the conversation....I don't think I could go back to an office, I would be bored silly. I would probably wind up searching web for knives and not get any work done!

oivind_dahle
05-26-2011, 09:00 AM
I like kitchen knives and have no passion about other knives.
The true beauty of the knife is beyon what you can see in a knife, it got a history like no other.
What I truly like is to see the passion, the skill and the craftmanship and time that is put into a handmade knife.
I really love knives with storries to tell, and some are really cool.
When we eat we can talk about the food, the wine, the glasses and of course the knives.
And you dont have to go custom to tell a story: Maestro Wu knives is a cool example :)

Knowing the history of knives (jknives are really cool) you know you hold a little piece of history in your hand :)

(and next year Im going for a Maestro Wu knife, just because it tells an awesome story :)

Marko Tsourkan
05-26-2011, 09:41 AM
Why do people like performance cars? Think of all those people who watch cars zooming by at 200mph+ and derive enjoyment from it. I like performance cars, but don't care for the sport. :)

In my case, I have always been a knife nut, but an user, not a collector. I can get by with 2-3 knives and not feel deprived. :)

An obsession could be a good thing, if you channel the energy into a right direction. My current obsession is performance knives that will outperform Japanese in most aspects - edge retention, edge stability, and be at least on par with sharpness. And this won't be a hypothetical assertion - the knives will have undergo extensive testing (including third party testing), and using in a pro environment. I am sure, many here (Dave included) are on the same quest, so we have a lot of fun stuff ahead of us.

That is passion for me. I enjoy using knives and would love to own a few knives from top US makers, but I have no passion for collecting. :(

M

echerub
05-26-2011, 09:43 AM
I had to think about this one in order to clarify it for myself. For me, it's because (a) I enjoy good food, (b) enjoy the performance of good knives, (c) strive to keep improving the food that I make, and (d) appreciate others who strive to do the best and make the best that they can.

Although I am still learning in a great many ways, I strive to do the best that I can and be better each time. I like to associate myself with those who do likewise. I think that is a big part of why I choose the knives that I do.

rockbox
05-26-2011, 09:46 AM
I have a thing for all tools and kitchen knives are tools i can use everyday.

Lefty
05-26-2011, 10:05 AM
My passion for knives was evident when I was a 8 year old wielding my dad's Snap-On knives and various other folders. I still remember my first pocket knife and wishing I had more excuses to use it. I would whittle all afternoon while listening to Tigers games on the radio, on weekends (for some reason at the time, the jays didn't broadcast in my area).
As I got a bit older, I got heavily into sports and kind of pretended my passion for knives wasn't there. I'm sure part of this had to do with people's unreasonable fear/dislike for knives.
While in University, I worked at a butcher shop and a restaurant to make some extra spending money and I realized how much I missed using a decent knife. My love of food and cooking has been a huge part of my life since about the age of 17 and as a direct result (paired with being paid to use a knife) my real passion for knives came out!
I have always loved quality, well made products, no matter what their use, so my ascent to higher end knives was a very natural one.
To me, great food deserves to be prepared with great tools. Great tools deserve to be beautiful...and besides, my wife knows that if I have knives I love, I'll spend the majority of my free time prepping and cooking meals. It's a lot easier to have a passion when your spouse is ok with it, so she's definitely partly to blame, along with my Mom, Thom Brogan, Rick and Pierre! :)

AnxiousCowboy
05-26-2011, 10:11 AM
A good knife and technique affect my final product

Avishar
05-26-2011, 11:32 AM
Cooking is my passion, and knives are the tools used to express that passion; just as the artist uses his paintbrush, or the photographer uses his camera. Take away my pots and pans and I'll still find some way to cook; take away my knives and I'm pretty much useless. I've been reciting this every time I close my eyes and hit the add to cart or send funds button, and repeating it when I see my bank statement shortly thereafter.

ajhuff
05-26-2011, 11:37 AM
Combination of a love for food and a love for metal.

-AJ

markk
05-26-2011, 01:16 PM
I like to cook, I am a home cook, and I like to have good tools. Kitchen knives are tools (toys) that I can use (play with) every day when I prepare meals.

Also I enjoy sharpening knives, always did even when I was a kid with a pocket knife.

9mmbhp
05-26-2011, 07:13 PM
So, share with all of us why are knives your passion?

I've recently received John Thorne's collection of essays entitled "Pot on the Fire" and the very first essay describes his relationship with his knife and pot (http://www.foodfunandfacts.com/potonfirereview.html).

Several passages in the essay resonate for me in the context of your question:


Each cook finds the tools that pull their temperament and their kitchen work into some sort of synchrony. I have always been an anxious and impatient person, and this was especially so when I was young. That sharp carbon-steel knife allowed me to grasp anxiety by the handle and point it away from me.

I think this is the root of my life-long fascination with sharp things: at its simplest level it derives from developing the skills and ability to control something dangerous.

He also says:


No matter how many times you've done it before, picking up a razor-sharp knife puts the nerves on alert, and practice teaches you to extend them to the blade's tip, so that you feel rather than cut your way around

and there's a lot hiding in this.

As a user and developer of software "tools" I know how important it is for a tool to be well-designed such that it feels right. Not just that it fits the hand comfortably and naturally but how it feels when you're using it; does it function as it is supposed to and can you make it do what you want it to do. Does it work with you or against you. How much effort must be applied to make it do what you want. How much and what kind of feedback do you get. When everything feels just right the tool becomes a part of you, an extension of your will and it can just disappear in the sense that you don't have think about it, you're just able to use it intuitively and subconsciously.

To me, this relationship is the thesis of Thorne's essay: it is a very personal, private thing between a cook (craftsman) and his tools. Some care about this and some don't. We knife knuts care very much because we understand that with the right tool that which was tedious drudgery is now fun and something to look forward to with much anticipation. The end result, eating the meal, is no longer the only goal. Enjoying the preparation, exercising and appreciating the tools used, becomes a large part of it as well.

Then when you discover the additional dimensions of enjoying the aesthetic, artitistic and scientific aspects of how the knife looks as well as the materials it is made from, well pretty soon you're caught up in wanting to experience as wide a variety as possible trying to find that one perfect knife.

The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life.
-- General Katsumoto in The Last Samurai

Passion, addiction, grail quest, whatever. I've now rationalized why I have 10 gyutos and still lust for more :slaphead:

BertMor
05-26-2011, 09:36 PM
Great answer!!

SpikeC
05-26-2011, 09:44 PM
That pretty much covers it, 9er. For me, I have always been making things. I spent my working life making custom jewelry, while building motorcycles and doing woodwork on my spare time. Cooking has been a focus all my life as well, I did well in chemistry in school and that is what a kitchen is, a chemistry set! Trying to maintain the best edge possible on my kitchen knifes just makes the cooking more pleasant as well as feeding the gearhead.
Now knife making is pulling all of these elements together. All of my life I have been chasing the perfect execution of what ever I am working on, and it is something that is never attained, but the pursuit makes life interesting!

tk59
05-27-2011, 02:26 AM
Frankly, I don't know. I just know that I need to make things sharp and I need to cut things and I like cool-looking things but I don't like useless junk. Why I'm obsessed, is a mystery to me but I don't ask. I just do. It's looking more and more like I'm going to start making significant modifications to knives. Perhaps I'll end up like some of the other folk here and make knives in my spare time.

Marko Tsourkan
05-27-2011, 04:13 AM
...It's looking more and more like I'm going to start making significant modifications to knives. Perhaps I'll end up like some of the other folk here and make knives in my spare time.

If you can't find what you are looking for, make your own.

M

Cookin808
05-27-2011, 05:17 AM
As a culinary arts instructor, we always teach out students that your knife is an extension of your hand and therefore your body. The beauty I find in collecting various tools of the trade is that each knife carries with it a different feel and energy. Each has its own weight, balance points, requiring its own technique for cutting, etc. For me it starts to become very difficult to judge and say one is better than the other (they all become good and therefore result in large collections of knives).

MadMel
05-27-2011, 05:38 AM
I wouldn't say I have a passion for knives. To me, they are an extension of my passion for food.

jaybett
05-27-2011, 06:21 AM
I am constantly looking for ways to improve my cooking, tips, ideas, techniques. I am looking for an as Chad Ward put it, "An edge in the kitchen". The more I can get out of my knives, the more I am able to do in the kitchen.

Jay

tk59
05-27-2011, 11:40 PM
If you can't find what you are looking for, make your own.

M

I feel ya there. With little kids though, time is the thing I have the least of. Plus, I have a feeling my skill level isn't going to measure up to my expectations. I'm gonna try the modification and custom routes first.

Tristan
05-28-2011, 08:35 PM
I'm really actually passionate about women... but the one I have insists that I can't acquire more. The knives are less restrictive. Hence it is an easier hobby.

Actually I just crave the best that you can have for smart money. Like there is always "the best" at some ridiculous markup, then there are honestly good things that cost a reasonable amount of money. I love being able to acquire and enjoy such things. Niche grade heirloom quality at slightly above average prices.

Potato42
05-28-2011, 10:05 PM
Man there are some great answers here. For me I think an "All of the above" is in order.

I'll add that while I am passionate about the knives I covet, It wouldn't be nearly what it is without this crazy group we have here. It's YOU guys that fuel the passion with the quest for the perfect edge, perfect geometry, perfect steel, perfect handle, and perfect knife. If you didn't make it so much fun I'd probably spend more time and money on something else.

BertMor
05-29-2011, 04:57 PM
Man there are some great answers here. For me I think an "All of the above" is in order.

I'll add that while I am passionate about the knives I covet, It wouldn't be nearly what it is without this crazy group we have here. It's YOU guys that fuel the passion with the quest for the perfect edge, perfect geometry, perfect steel, perfect handle, and perfect knife. If you didn't make it so much fun I'd probably spend more time and money on something else.
.
The Tater is right on. Its the group that makes it so much more enjoyable

echerub
05-30-2011, 09:20 AM
I'll have to third the notion that the knife knut community helps to keep the passion going. It's not just the way we can build up enthusiasm as a group, but also because we keep learning and exploring as a group.

AUSSIE BURLS
05-30-2011, 07:19 PM
Hello, My knife passion,hum.. Some people ( SOME ) walk through life trying this and that and having difficulty finding their passion. Well my passion for all things knives started in the boyscouts. I remember being enthralled with that first boyscout knife. As time passed and life went on, I got involved in many different arts but they never really stuck. One day back in 2005-2006, my friend was so proud of his pukka knife. I held it and it reminded me of the boyscout knife I once had. I ordered a few knives and some wood and went to work. I was enchanted. If I had my way I would spend 70% of the day in the shop. The rest of the day would be sleeping, eating, and-you know what--oh and a little love in between.lol
I also fell in love with wood. All kinds of wood,burls,quilted, spalted, crotches and swirls,also the ones that have some nice curls.
Well , I cant say but im scared if I ever wanted to go full time- and counted on it for all my bread and butter- it may not be as fun. So ill keep moving at the pace i am, and someday when there is less responsibility I will sieze the day. Thanks Mark

Mattias504
05-30-2011, 08:41 PM
I am passionate about my knives because I use them constantly, all day long to make my living. I have been doing it for years now and having the best tools makes the job that much more enjoyable.