Why Knives?

Since I am more known as an opera singer than a sculptor/knifemaker, I get the above question quite alot. Most of the time, it is because knives are associated with violence. And this is certainly true, but it has not always been so.

I would point out that since our earliest days on earth, knives have played and integral part in man’s survival. Archaeological digs have unearthed some beautiful specimens dating as far back as man’s first appearance. They were used for protection, hunting, and everyday chores. It is considered one of man’s earliest tools, and it is no accident that it has survived.

Knives in the kitchen are indispensable, (and you can bet, in our kitchen, we have some beauties). A lawnmower is simply knives attached to a motor. I have been fascinated with blades of all kinds since my childhood and the story related on another page, both as a practical tool and as weapons.

Becoming a professional opera singer seemed to fuel the flames, frankly. Every time I turned around they were handing me a beautifully made broadsword, rapier, foil, epee, dagger, and occasional swordcane, pointing out some innocent colleague, explainging what moves to make, and then saying, "go get’em tiger." And, as a side note, some of the opera companies have admirable collections. I would jokingly warn them about certain pieces, "If this is missing after the run is over, best to check my suitcase first; it’ll save time."

There is a famous saying regarding end times and it’s general idea is “beating swords into plowshares”. I thought to myself, why wait? Why can’t a knife be art? If someone can put paint in a squirtgun, and fire it at a canvas and charge a fortune for it, why can’t I make beauty and art out of a practical, yet ornamental thing like a knife?