Discussion in 'Stefan's Japanese Knife Handles' started by apicius9, Mar 16, 2016.
Any updates on progress? How was Germany?
Sorry, only sporadically checked in here. I had a busy year, focusing on my new job. Met all my goals, got good reviews from my students, got a contract extension, and my boss requested a salary raise for me. So, i feel I now got my feet on the ground in the new work environment, and I hope to gear up again for some woodworking this winter. Took me longer than expected, but that seems to be a pattern - maybe just a sign of getting older.... As bad as I feel about it, I have given up on making promises. I just need to take it as it comes, complete old obligations. Once all that is done, I will send a sign of life and see if there is still interest in my work, in spite of the numerous colleagues who have started making handles in the meantime. I also have a few other plans, but they need more time...
Thanks for your patience!
Glad to hear the move is paying off! Maybe Thanksgiving break will give you some time to reduce your backorder.
Ouch, that will leave a mark.
Haven’t followed it enough to know what that means, probably nothing good... One of my email accounts is down, and they want me to come by in person to reestablish it - trying to explain to them that I now live 5000 miles away. Will catch up by PM.
Pretty sure if you ask for a refund he'll do it, I did and got my funds back basically immediatly and got told when he re opens I'd get priority acess after he cleans his books. That's basicaly all a maker can do if they really can't fufill orders.
Just to clarify, you're referring to Stefan and not Pierre, right?
Yes, Stefan good guy, but life got in the way, pierre bad guy disappeared
Well, you will always be the best. I still refer to your older threads as references for style and dimensions/ sizes.
Stefan, what email.should we be using to contact you?
Customorders at japanesehandles dot com works to reach me.
before I am doing anything else, I am trying to pick up the pieces of my last failure. This whole project here had not worked out as I had hoped, and in the meantime I have reimbursed several people their payments - basically, everyone who asked me for it. But there are still a few who had sent me advance payments, and I would like to follow up with everyone at this point.
That said, I could use your help because, to be honest, between real names and forum names, I am not 100% sure to whom I sent back the payments and to whom I still owe handle(s) or reimbursement. May I ask all of you who were in on this to send me a short PM to sort this all out? My summer load is a bit lighter and I have not planned any long travel, so I want to clear up everything I can.
Thanks for your help,
As a side note, I've always wondered what your field is, what exactly do you teach? Just being nosey
My background is in Health Psychology but I have been working and teaching mostly in Public Health the past 12 years. Plus a few occasional courses for psychologists and - to keep it from getting boring - this year I have also been teaching Behavioral Sciences and Patient-Provider Communication to dental students.
After multiple discussions with Stefan, I finally decided I could no longer wait since I need to use my knives.
Stefan was very professional in all interactions and provided a full refund immediately and without hesitation.
In addition, Stefan also gifted me the main handle pieces we had planned for my build so that I could potentially have someone else build them. I hope that someday soon, Stefan might still make the handles I originally wanted.
The whole situation obviously played out badly, particularly w.r.t. communication, but I give Stefan credit for being responsive and professional when I contacted him - and generous in the gifting of the handle material.
I too feel very badly about this situation. Stefan was one of the vanguard of craftsmen creating custom kitchen knife handles on the old KF/ITK forum, and by far the best wa handle builder, the Maestro; a claim that I will still defend today. I bought one from the first batch he released, and several more since. He has a real talent for aesthetically combining materials, and his construction techniques are damn near bulletproof.
Stefan has had his good times, his bad times, and his worse times...but his heart is always in the right place and his ethics are beyond reproach. As a part-time craftsman it’s amazing how prolific he can be when the stars are aligned. But, he does have a career that takes precedence and we must understand that. He doesn’t have a shop full of apprentices to pick up the slack, and the inevitable delays are not something that he is indifferent to. He cares about his commitments and his customers; but as it is said, sometimes ‘life gets in the way’.
Get through this rough patch Stefan, then re-organize & re-energize. There are a lot of people out here that have yet to experience your talent. Thank you for what you have brought to this community over the years.
Thanks for your kind words, everyone. I have never been in this for the money, in fact, I have lost a small fortune doing this, and I have never intentionally taken anyone’s money without expecting to deliver whatever I promised. But as Dave said, I had a few ups and downs. I definitely cannot recommend chronic clinical depression, unemployment, and debts that suffocate you every month... And, in case anyone wonders, overestimating my abilities, the inability to follow up with communications, and staying on top of things were among the major symptoms of my depression. It’s hard to understand if you have not experienced it.
That said, I have tried to reach out to everyone, and If I did not contact anyone I should have, please follow up with me. In the past 2 years I have been going back and forth between reviving the handle making and shutting it all down, especially because there are now so many others who make very nice products. But, in the end, if I don’t get myself into trouble by taking on too much, I still enjoy playing with wood, so I will give it another try - just with a much lower acceptance of custom orders. As in the beginning, I will make things I like and hope anybody wants to give me money for them. If not, I can always put them on my own knives. Or on cake servers I may also venture into a few other, related items and maybe even offer a bit of my wood stash.
Right now I am packing up a few handles, getting a few other ancient orders finished up. Some of the very old customers never got back to me, so I assume they moved on. As mentioned above, I also want to follow up with those of you who prepaid through this thread and have not requested their money back or received anything. Here is my plan: Once I figured out which of the old, half-finished orders are still wanted, I will finish those (working on that right now). In a second step, everyone who was in on the prepaid project will get first dibs on whatever I have available at that time. After that, I will make any handle from the prepaid project that people still want.
So, now would be a good time to follow up with me if you have a very old open order, if you want your money back from the prepaid project, or if you prepaid and want to follow through with it. Please also look at the order list mentioned above. I will have a much lighter teaching load over the summer and, once again, have hopes to get back into the groove.
Thanks again for all your support. There were times, when the positive feedback I got here for my work literally helped keeping me alive. That is another strong reason why I really want to make sure that nobody here feels like they have been taken advantage of.
It occurred to me the other day, while surfing Instagram late at night, how just about every handle maker (and many knife makers too) who construct wa handles use your designs without likely even knowing where these designs came from. Fish started the rehandling thing for sure but you birthed the (western) wa handle as we know it. Stefan, you're the Freakin' Father of the American (?) Wa Handle! It's true, I don't see many handles without your flair included in some way, you should be proud of this. :thumbsup:
This is so true. I noticed Stefan's name on th ZD Knives website, the resulting search lead me here.
I'll freely admit that if it wasn't for the two of you I never would have made handle #1. I'm kind of a quick study so just by looking at the construction I sorta figure things out. The rest was advice you guys had just shared with me. Who better to learn from than the OGs right?
Agreed, and you Mr. Rick Theory are equally an OG in our knife life. Your sharpening videos we're always mesmerizing and kitchen break-downs using various awesome knives are still the best out there. Garlic smash and lobster mania are just two of my favs. He's also very humble and very funny as $hit.
Separate names with a comma.