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New FaceBook Page

I started a new FaceBook page @knifecarver. Please help me out by “liking” my page.

I’m working prolifically on some new stuff. I started carving souvenir spoons & making pendents out of them. Some of the tops can be salvaged & made into pendents too. The handles, which could be made into “spoon rings” on a larger spoon, were too small & brittle to bend. So, I made sword pendents out of them. (What else!) I carved the hilt out of beef bone. On some spoons I can make 3 pieces of jewelry. This is recycled/up-cycled art. Interested in purchasing a pendent? Message me on my new FB page.

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I added bone feathers to this carved pendent. The bone used in these projects is a recycled beef soup bone.

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Custom Made Easels Available

I made these really cool easels for an artist friend of mine, Stacy Harshman. They’re great for displaying paintings, an alternative to hanging. Custom made to fit your art, they can be made small to sit on a table, or large to sit on the floor. The 36″ easels I made for Stacy, are only $30.00, and are made from wood sourced and milled in Vermont. Check out Stacy’s beautiful art which is gracing these sturdy, Vermont made easels at https://www.facebook.com/stacyharshmanart/videos/369885973351978/

Interested? Email me: knifecarver@att.net

IF YOU LIKE ANY OF THE POSTS ON MY BLOG, PLEASE CLICK ON THE *LIKE* BUTTON OR ANY OF THE OTHER BUTTONS AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH POST. AFTER DEVOTING 35 YRS. OF MY LIFE AS A WIFE & MOTHER, I FINALLY HAVE TIME TO GIVE MY ART MY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION! SO, I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET.

THIS BLOG HAS HAD 2,912 VISITORS FROM 88 COUNTRIES! & NOBODY LIKES MY BLOG? THIS IS GIVING ME AN INFERIORITY COMPLEX. lol   THANK YOU!

so, I need to get off my butt & get to work. My stereo is fixed! I have the music I’ve waited 20 years to hear again & no more excuses to not start creating some artwork. I owe a few good people some animal portraits, so I’ll be working on them. I have to have more than one thing going at the same time. I get bored easily & when I do, I can move on to one of the other projects. Sometimes, you just have to step back & look at what your doing from a distance. I hate rushing. I work well under pressure, almost to a fault but the stress is too much.

The next post will probably be a portrait of “Otis”, a beloved pet who has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I’m working on him today. It’s raining outside. It’s a good day to draw while listening to Cat Stevens; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young & maybe Pure Prairie League.

A New/Old Tattoo

This is a tattoo I did for my son. The dragon is the old tattoo, done around 2003ish, it is our Family Dragon, designed & tattooed on 4 family members by me.

The new tattoo is everything else. Robert wanted a sleeve with a Koi & a lightning bolt in the design. I used a yin yang flow to incorporate the Koi & the Dragon. I have a hard time taking pictures that do the tattoo justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But this time it’s a good thing. Many changes in my life in a very short time, some good, some bad. Goes to show you, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. All in all, this may be the last 2 yr. rut. Hopefully we will be moving to a place where I can focus on living healthy, inside & out, someplace where artists are appreciated, where I can focus on my artwork & live as far off the grid as I can. Moving is scary, but the place where I live now, is sucking the life out of me. The pace, the people, I lived here all my life and I can’t wait to get the hell out of here. I NEED to be free & close to nature. I shouldn’t be falling apart this early in my life. I blame it on  where we live & the way we live. The only hard work I want to do is what ever it takes to live off the land. Not work my ass off & have nothing to show for it. I haven’t posted in a long time so I felt I needed to update this blog. After the dust settles, I’ll be setting up a new workshop. I’ll have plenty of inspiration & I’ll be posting my newest projects. But before that, I’ve been working on a new/old tattoo that I have to finish before the move. Keep an eye out for it.

Chuck Stapel made these two knives for my husband Greg. A HUGE Arkansas toothpick and it’s mate.

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I fell in love with the little dagger, so I had to make a special sheath for it.

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This is a two piece sheath. The center piece is covered in dyed rattlesnake skin.

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The leather was cut and sewn by hand. Both pieces were wet molded to the knife & dyed.

Now I’m working on a matching sheath for the Arkansas toothpick. Check back soon!

This is my 1st knife sheath. I was going to attempt a piggy back sheath for the two knives, but I decided not to bite off more than I could chew. In the beginning, I started making the sheath for the big knife. So I designed it on thin cardboard, (mistake #1) left 1/2″ of room along the edge of the blade (mistake #2) and cut out my design after tracing it out on the leather.

 

When I folded the leather over, it was too short and I had no room to sew it, add a spacer and fringe. So, I tailored it to fit the small knife.


I had to cut a lot off. Using thicker cardboard would have compensated for the thickness of the leather when folded over. I also left 3/4″ of room along the edge. These are the tools I’m using.

Why the forceps? I’m going to use them to push & pull rawhide when I lace another piece of leather to the sheath for strength.

Here is the new design, cut and marked out, allowing for the bend in the leather. The black leather is to line the sheath. The knife is made from a file and it kept catching on the suede. The smooth part of the black leather will be facing out against the blade so it goes in and out of the sheath smoother.
I’m cutting my own fringe from a piece of buffalo suede that I scraped down to make it thinner. I didn’t have the right tool, so I used a single razor blade and yes, there was blood involved in the making of this sheath! Best thing I found to shave the leather was a double bladed safety razor. To cut the fringe, I taped the leather to my board with clear packing tape, covering the entire piece. I marked it out and cut it using a ruler and exacto knife that I kept sharp with a honing stone. This the was key to cutting the fringe.

I cut & dyed the fringe. I cut some notches in the belt strap & cut a strap to hold the knife handle. I don’t have a snap setting tool, so I’ll use velcro to close it. It doesn’t look like I left enough room for the knife in the picture, but that just because of how I placed the knife on the sheath.

I added another piece of leather near the top of the sheath for strength and support. I used rawhide shoelaces (that I split in 1/2 lengthwise because they were too thick) to sew the leather to the sheath. I thought it would look cool but boy what a pain in the ass! So I glued the bottom half on. I also sewed the strap on the belt loop but now I have to cut it off because I didn’t leave enough room for a normal sized belt.
It all looks kind of rough right now, but it’s for a Mountain Man Knife, so it’s alright if it’s rough as long as it’s tough!

Glued up these pieces.

Checked the fit.

Sewed it all together, fixed the strap & added velcro

Back of sheath.

Fits like a glove.

Oops! I forgot to post pictures of this Custom Mountain Man Bowie, Chuck Stapel made for my Husband. I just ordered some leather and I’m going to attempt to make a piggyback sheath for this and the skinner that Chuck made. This Bowie is over 15″ in length with a 10 1/4″ Blade. Chuck Stapel is making another set but in the Arkansas Toothpick Style. Haven’t got it yet. Will post pictures of it when we do and the sheath when it’s made. May even do a WIP.

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What Ever Happened To…

all the knife manufacturers in my State, Connecticut?

Sad but true, this State was once a manufacturing Meca. Guns, knives, furniture, clocks, hats, textiles, submarines, etc. were all made here. And it’s not just Connecticut, it’s the United States in general. It’s cheaper to make stuff in other countries, and like the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Some of the earliest American Manufacturers who specialized in pocket cutlery (on a mass production level) were right here in Connecticut.  Many were started by Cutlers from Sheffield, England. Until the 1940’s, Connecticut dominated the pocket knife industry in the U.S. Today, Swiss Army/Victorianox is headquartered here but I don’t think they make the knives here.

This is a list of Connecticut, Ax, Knife  and Shear Manufacturers that are no longer in existence.  I’m sure there are more. I’ll update the list as I learn more.  The dates are as accurate as I could get. (I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started this!)

How many have you heard of?

Connecticut Knife Companies circa 1800’s -1966

American Knife Co./Plymouth Hollow Knife Co., Thomaston (Plymouth Hollow) CT – c. 1849 – 1911. The company was called “Plymouth Hollow” until 1875.  The town’s name change to Thomaston in 1875 in honor of Clock maker, Seth Thomas (Pocket Knives)

American Knife Co., Winsted, CT – c.1919 – 1948 (Not the same company as above) In 1948, the company had changed locations and was now called the Kendal Manufacturing Company. In the same year, it was re-named the Bukar Manufacturing Co. and continued until 1955.

American Shear & Knife Co., Hotchkissville CT – c.1853 – 1914 (Factory burned down in 1914.) First pocket knives they made were in 1870.

B. H. Morse/Waterville Co., Waterbury, CT – c.1857

B.T.CO./Bridgeport Tool Company, New Haven, CT – c.1922

Billings & Spencer, Hartford, CT – c.1900s. This Hartford tool company began making novel and expensive styles of knives. One was an early type of “butterfly” knife.

Birmingham Knife Works, Derby, CT – c.1849 (Pocket knives)

Bradley Lyman, Middlebury, CT – c.1861?* (Pocket knives)

Bridgeport Knife Co./ Bridgeport Hardware Manufacturing Corp., Bridgeport, CT – c.1904.

Bridgeport Tool Co., New Haven, CT – c. 1910 to 1920 (Pequot)

Bristol Knife Co., Bristol, CT – c. 1868 to 1874 (Wrench Knife)

Bronson & Townsend Co., New Haven, CT – c.1923 to 1938 (Pequot)

Bud Brand Cutlery Co., Winsted, CT – c.1922  (Pocket Knives)

Capital Knife Co., Winsted, CT – c.1920s (Pocket Knives)

Challenge Cutlery Corp., Bridgeport & New Britain, CT – c.1891 to 1928 (Wiebusch & Hilger),

Clark R. Shelton, Derby, CT – c.1849  (Pocket knives)

Collins Co., Collinsville and Hartford, CT – c.1826 to 1966 (machetes, axes)

Connecticut Cutlery Co., Naugatuck, CT – c.1867 to 1883 (Pocket Knives)

Cornwall Knife Co., Cornwall, CT – c.1800s

Eagle Knife Co., New Haven, CT – c.1916 to 1919  (Hemming Pat. 10/01/1918)

Empire Knife Co.(Beardsley & Alvord), Winsted, CT (moved to West Winsted, CT in 1880) – c. 1852 to 1930. Empire did a lot of private-brand contracting. Some of the knives they made were Military knives used during W.W.I. The TL-29 Signal Corps Knife is one. They also produced straight razors .

Excelsior Knife Co., Torrington, CT – c.1880 to 1884  (sold to Northfield 1884)

Flylock Knife Co., Bridgeport, CT – c.1918 to 1928  (by Challenge Cutlery)

Frary Cutlery Co., Bridgeport, CT – c.1876 to 1881. This was the most hi-tech knife company of its time.  The firm was sold in 1881 and Frary started James D. Frary & Sons, also in Bridgeport. This company was sold in 1884 and was re-named LaBelle Cutlery Works.

George Schrade Knife Co., Bridgeport, CT – c.1929 to 1956 (Presto, Commando, Wire Jack knives)

Geo. W. Miller, Meriden, CT – c.1886 co-owner of Miller Bros.

Griffon Cutlery Works (A. L. Silberstein & Co.) Bridgeport CT

Hatch Cutlery Co., Bridgeport, CT – c.1886 to 1889.

Hemming Bros., New Haven, CT – c.1923 to 1924 (had operated Eagle Knife Co.)

Henry Cowlishaw, Hartford, CT – c.1881 to 1911 (the Pearl)

Holley Manufacturing Co., Lakeville, CT – c.1844 to 1930’s.   (handmade/forged pocket knives)

Humason & Beckley Mfg. Co. (H. & B.), New Britain CT – c.1853. Sold to Landers, Frary & Clark in 1912.

H. Wilkinson, Hartford, CT c.1860 – one known example of a Bowie.

Landers, Frary & Clark (“Universal” Brand), New Britain CT – c.1865 to 1965.  (Made Bowie style after 1890’s) Makers of late bowie-style hunters in both stag and imitation stag handles popular during the 1st quarter of the 20th century. Was the largest cutlery firm in the world at the turn of the 20th century but did not make pocket knives. From 1914 to the 1930’s, Humason & Beckley (H & B) produced their pocket knives.

Lyman Bradley & Co., Naugatuck, CT– c.1841

Meriden Cutlery Co., Meriden CT – c.1861?*

Miller Bros. Cutlery Co., Yalesville & Wallingford, CT – c.1863 to 1926 (Moved to Meriden in 1872.) Won U.S. Navy contracts to make sailors knives. Also made the TL-29 Signal Corps Knife during W.W.I.

Naugatuck Cutlery Co., Naugatuck, CT – c.1872 to 1888

Northfield Knife Co., Northfield CT – c.1858 to 1929 (made the 1st cast iron handled knives, patented by Samuel Mason in 1862) The Company purchased the American Knife Co. in 1865 & the Excelsior Knife Co. in 1884. Adopted the Trademark, UN-X-LD in 1876.  Northfield Knife Co. was sold in 1919 to Clark Brothers Cutlery of Kansas City, Missouri. The name Northfield was no longer used. The company went bankrupt in 1929.

Rawson J. & Sons, (Westville) New Haven, CT – C.1861?*

Rice, Lathrop & Clary, West Winsted, CT – c.1861

Smith & Hopkins, Naugatuck, CT – c.1848

Son Bros. & Co. (Yale), San Francisco CA, (manufactured in Meriden CT)

Southington Cutlery Co., Southington CT – c.1867 to 1914 (Pocket Knives)

Thompson & Gascoigne, Winsted, CT – c. 1852. In 1856, it changed hands and was renamed the Empire Knife Co.

Thomaston Knife Co., Thomaston CT – c.1887 to 1923

Twitchell Brothers, Naugatuck, CT – c.? (Pocket Knives)

Union Knife Co., Naugatuck, CT – c.1851 to 1885.  (Pocket Knives)

Waterville Mfg. Co., Waterbury CT – c.1843 to 1913. Grew to be one of the largest U.S. pocketknife producers of the 19th century.

EK Commando Knives,  Hamden, CT near lake Whitney  – c.1944 to 1949

( Jim Frost of Frost Cutlery, aka Cutlery Corner, is buying the rights to use old knife companies’  names to put on his “made in China” knives.)

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