If I might hop in, Murray strikes me as, basically, just an honest guy. He knows what he knows and will impart his knowledge, which must be extensive considering how focused he's been in his life. He doesn't always have the right polish about how he presents himself, granted, and can come off as a bit of a square but who cares.
I think that about hits it, partly just because of the way he speaks. Plus, I've seen the odd photo where he's hammering a blade with a sidearm on his belt. Not sure if that's what his mentor over in Kyushu envisioned when naming him a '16th generation Yoshimoto bladesmith' but so be it!
Originally Posted by Lefty
I saw him open-carrying at the Western Blacksmithing Conference, Murray was hand forging a knife with Bill Burke. I don't see why it's a bad representation of his legacy. I remember reading that Murray was one of the few Caucasians to have a gun license in Japan, too. How about this one:
I don't find the open carry thing that odd at all. But then again, it's pretty common in Arizona. We don't even need a concealed carry license anymore.
I think Murray is a great guy, he was the first custom maker I looked into. As a Canadian east coaster myself, there wasn't exactly somebody like him making knives, now is slightly different, with another Canadian east coaster on this forum cranking out sexy customs. I must say my Rodrigue's and Carter's are a great source of pride in my kit, nothing against any of the American or Japanese customs in my kit, it's just we Canadians stick together.
At the same time, I have seen Murray catch a certain amount of flack for his drive to learn to fly and race motorcycles, but he clearly is an adrenaline junky and very interested in all things military. I personally wish I had both, the free time and the money to do some of the things I have seen him starting to do, and for people to laugh and or take personal shots at what somebody wants to do with their money or free time is beyond me. Some people have alot stranger hobbies than racing motorcycles and flying helicopters. He makes great knives, buy one!
btw those pictures are hilarious
What a unique and enjoyable experience!! We just left dinner with Murray...I'll post up pictures etc later.
Dinner? How did that one happen?
We met Murray before the seminar...went over our knives, and overall had a really great discussion. After the seminar Don, Murray, myself, and Eytan (the owner of Phoenix Knife House) walked across the street to a restuarant for dinner. All in all it was an incredibly enjoyable evening .
I got a number of pictures...but in the end they're all pretty much the same. The seminar covered his history growing up...why and when he went to Japan, and how his apprenticeship was conducted...a bit on his business theory, and then his steps for sharpening (the same as on his YouTube videos). He passed around the knife through various stages, and the differences were readily apparent. Oddly enough, before he started the knife easily cut paper...but he didn't feel it was sharp enough.
Anyhow, here's a few pictures:
That's Don's prototype gyuto on the counter behind him in the saya .
I thought this one was great. It's semi blurry...but he's using the three finger sharpness test with his eyes closed lol.
After the sharpening demo. The little Hispanic gentleman was fascinated lol.
Overall, I didn't come away with much in regards to sharpening methods (though Murray did give me the stones he used lol). As I said...what he demonstrated is clearly shown his YouTube videos. I did come away with a much better comprehension of 'sharpness' in terms of utility, and I'm inordinately proud to say my edges hold up to the measure of the edge he created (at least the one he passed around lol). I learned that 'sticky' sharp...which is what I was making, is what I should be making lol.
I do want to say, that the other thing I came away with was a new respect for the man (personally) that wasn't really there prior to meeting him. I respected his work, and his business sense....but as a person he left me sort of, eh...whatever. In person however he's completely different. We discussed my knives, and whether I intended to make a business of them. We also talked about my kids, my relationship with their mother, whether we were getting back together, and how he'd love to have us up to Oregon to spend some time flying, shooting, and driving fast cars lol.
Oh, and making knives .
All in all a very enjoyable way to spend a Monday afternoon/evening!
Canada's Sharpest Lefty
Sounds pretty awesome!
One question. You do or do not respect him more as a person now? Sounds like he was pretty damn cool, in my books.