Not embarrassed that sometimes I just take my knives out to look at them.

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Definitely. When my SO asks what I'm doing when looking at knives my answer is almost always "comparing something on a couple knives" to which I get an eye-roll. She also comes into the kitchen and wants to know what the various piles of cut up veggies are on the board... "Going to make omelettes tomorrow morning." Real answer is I just got a new toy or just wanted to cut some stuff.
 

ModRQC

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Yes because I also happen to have a use for them... or want to sell some... or inclined to throw one into some thinning project... or because I feel I need to verify that certain steels aren't going haywire in a more dormant period of their lives. I mean, plenty of reasons to look at my knives "with a purpose" just to get a look at them. It's not like when I have a thinning project in mind I wake up in the morning with an additional sense of purpose and clear pictures in my mind of what I need to do and how the knife will look like when I'm done and how fun it's going to be to use it with renewed performance.

It is NOTHING like that.
 
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It is similar to this (man secretly watching soccer world championship):
163778B4-AFD6-428B-B45F-C9ED0FE6CDB9.jpeg

"Herman, what are you doing?"
"Er, nothing... just watching p***"
 
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Reading Alan Bamberger’s book on art collecting the other day, I got to thinking about whether and how knives fit into his framework.

So far I can think of only a handful of makers who fall into the “ultra-premium” category, and are bought by enthusiasts as collectibles as much as by pro chefs as tools.

If knives are ever going to approach the mainstream status of Sculpture Proper there would need to be a handful more affordances, like a tradition of catalogues raisonné, and conventions around framing, display, provenance, and packaging, which seem to be still largely nascent. (But the constant stream of requests for maker identification on Reddit and elsewhere suggests that people do care about these things in the way of art, even if the interest is diffuse and latent.)

Until those conventions things arise (and whether or not that would be desirable is a separate question) I expect knives will remain closer to the Beanie Baby end of the spectrum, in the neighbourhood of fellow functional arts perfume and ceramics, than purely “useless” aesthetic assets like, say, Brâncuși’s Bird in Space (for a time the most expensive kitchen utensil in the world).

Still, for those who are in the know, our day is brightened by being in the presence of a good knife, and isn’t that enough to call it art?

Imagine how fun it would be to walk into a Hard Rockwell Cafe where knives from famous chefs from famous restaurants are spotlighted on the walls.
 
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T85

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Reading Alan Bamberger’s book on art collecting the other day, I got to thinking about whether and how knives fit into his framework.

So far I can think of only a handful of makers who fall into the “ultra-premium” category, and are bought by enthusiasts as collectibles as much as by pro chefs as tools.

If knives are ever going to approach the mainstream status of Sculpture Proper there would need to be a handful more affordances, like a tradition of catalogue raisonné, and conventions around framing, display, provenance, and packaging, which seem to be still largely nascent. (But the constant stream of requests for maker identification on Reddit and elsewhere suggests that people do care about these things in the way of art, even if the interest is diffuse and latent.)

Until those conventions things arise (and whether or not that would be desirable is a separate question) I expect knives will remain closer to the Beanie Baby end of the spectrum, in the neighbourhood of fellow functional arts perfume and ceramics, than purely “useless” aesthetic assets like, say, Brâncuși’s Bird in Space (officially the most expensive kitchen utensil in the world).

Still, for those who are in the know, our day is brightened by being in the presence of a good knife, and isn’t that enough to call it art?

Imagine how fun it would be to walk into a Hard Rockwell Cafe where knives from famous chefs from famous restaurants are spotlighted on the walls.
Hard Rockwell Cafe! 😂 love it! What kind of knives would the line cooks have?
 

ch_br

Careful man, there's a beverage here...
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Absolutely! ... knives are tools.

Instinctive use of tools boils down to being so familiar with the implement that you know everything the tool will do when combined with your usage habits.

So absolutely, looking at, picking up in hand instantly reminds the senses what the weight, balance, heft of the handle, thinness of the edge is again.

Its the equivalent of mental reps-- except you are actually engaging some of the senses to remind the mind and body what that knife is capable of.

** Alternate discussion point for significant others:

Knives are deadly weapons-- therefore some measure if weekly, monthly, or annual self taught safety training on each model is essential-- in the name of health & safety of course!


;) :cool: 😝
 
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