The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
I was born and raised in Odessa, on Koblevskaya st.
As far as I can remember - I always loved knives.
But if you ask me "Why?" - I would not be able to give you a clear answer. Just like them.
Always wanted to make them. My first knife I made at the age of nine.
I refiled my grandma's favorite nickel silver butter knife.
Obviously, my grandma was not happy.
And at the age of 12 I had a, shall we say, "running with the law" (more on that below).
Later, when I started to work as a machinist, I also made some knives.
Management did not like it, but, nevertheless, going hunting or fishing they were asking me for knives.
The dream of making knives was alwys alive and at the end - it came true. That happend across the ocean (in US).
A lot of things was unusual for me. First of all - the very existance of knife clubs, well organized shows and specialized magazines.
I read them "from cover to cover." There was a lot of new information. It was hard to digested such amount of information.
I started making knives the same way as I was making them in the Soviet Union - by trial
I tried a lot of different ways. Made mistakes, was disappointed.
Then I have discovered yet another striking aspect - almost complete and absolute openness of American masters.
Openness and willingness to help. Sometimes you getting stuck on some technical problem or some nuance and do not know what to do, how to solve.
I would find in a magazine or internet who is "doing that way" and I would called him.
The man has no idea who you are and what you are, but it sits with you for half an hour (or even more) on the phone and tells you how to do it.
He describes all the technical subtleties and nuances.
The turning point in the making of blades for me was the good fortune associated with this willingness masters to help those who need it.
Once (already in the US) I made a knife.
I went to a knife show, showed it to a well known dealer (unfortunately now deceased) (Reth Sditham).
He looked at my knife, looked at me and asked:
- What's your name?
He got up from the table, took me by the sleeve (literally) and dragged him across the room.
He brought me - to whom do you think? to Bob Dozier and says:
- Here is the knife that Gregory made. He needs some help.
Bob looked at the knife, and said simply:
- Come to Arkansas, to my shop. I'll teach you.
I was stunned! Dozier Himself invites me to his shop!
- I can not afford your lessons.
What Bob Dozier replied:
- All your expenses - it's a plane and hotel.
As a result, I went to Arkansas. Dozier met me at the airport, gave me his car to get out of the hotel.
For a wheek he was breathing in my neck. Teaching me, screaming at me, supporting and incouraging me.
He not only did it for free - he fed me breakfast and lunch, did not let me to spend any money.
From there I came home with a dozen knives, made under his leadership.
That how my "professionalism" started - I started to knives, building on what I learned from Dozier.
1. Please tell us how you came to knife making? Where the passion came from?
- I can't remember. Have no answer t it. It's probably some kind of innate virus from which there is no cure. I just like to collect and make knives.
2. Is the knife making your main job? When did you start making knives professionally?
-Over the years, making knives was just a hobby. But the last eight years I make knives, so to speak, professionally.
3. What materials and trade methods you use in your knife making? What materials do you prefer? What determines your choice of materials?
-I do not have any special methods. I have a grinder, two hands, two eyes and head. Those are all of my techniques.
Well, a lot of imagination and a strong desire.
I prefer D2, S30V, CPM 154 steels, Damascus from several masters - those oare my main blade materials.
The choice of the handle materials, as well as the blade steel depends on the overall concept of the knife.
I like mikarta, stabilized or very dense wood, horn, bone.
The basic approach in selecting steel and handle materials based on intended knife use.
4. What materials do you consider the most perspective in your future plans?
I do not see changes in my material selections. Many use the G10 or carbon fiber.
I do not consider it necessary to breathe glass or coal dust just for the handle color.
Micarta, or a good wood have more than enough strength that the average knife handle needs
5. Do you have any special set of "mandatory testing" for a new knife? What is in that testing set?
- I do not have any special set of tests. Some antler choping, cut a piece of paper - that's about all.
I feel that special tests are necessary, if you start something new.
D2 was used to manufacture punch thru dies since 1932.
Ii was used in knifemaking for least 40 years.
The rest is just a right geometry The geometry of the knife and the cutting edge.
So far, judging by the reviews, looks like I am doing OK there.
6. Please tell us a little about your company?
- There is no company. Just me.
7. In your work you have had some success. Where do your knives "geographically"?
- I have no idea. From Montana to Texas and from Massachusetts to California. In general, mostly USA.
8. Who are the celebrities or famous people enjoyed your knives? Do they have any special requirements and wishes of the knives and their design?
Who are the celebrities that you found difficalt to work with and who are not?
- I do not know. People bought my knives on the show or via the Internet. But celebrity or not - who knows ...
9. Do you collaborate with other artists? If yes - whit whome ? Which knifemaker's work and design are the most interested for you?
- No, I do not cooperate. The entire design and manufacturing - is completely mine.
Sometimes, though I "steel" some pictures from the Internet.
But at the end result - it comes out as "my knife", not the same as on the picture.
As I work on a new knife - weather it is my design or inspiration from the somebody's work - there is always rethinking, adjusting
refinement and my own vision of the final design.
And so it turns out a completely different knife.
10. Recently, in some countries there is a certain tightening of requirements for knife caring. How do you feel about this?
- I think this is absolute fulishness, bordering with crime.
In the USSR, for a folding knife in my pocket could've easily get me a up to 3 years in jail.
Did we had less crime in USSR? No we did not.
Incidentally, (in my youth), I did not even cary a knife.
Teaspoon, sharpened with a razor sharp edges was my choice of self-defence .
All of these prohibitions and restrictions are just a nonsense.
Nonsense made up by people (goverment) who want to control other people by any means, and mainly - not where it should be.
11. Which of your knives are best sellers? And why?
- Among the most popular - a Dash Skinner, Medium Hunter, Bird & Trout.
Reason - that they are very practical. Also warncliffes are popular. I try to make them elegant.
12. A personal favorite of among the knives? And why?
- Unfortunately, there is no such knife. Like a lot of knives, but i do not have the one I am in love with. Not yet.
I just did not make it yet.
13. Do you have any interesting or unusual history connected with the knife?
--Yes I do. At the age of 12, I was arrested because I was walking thru one of the parks in the heart of the city with Pukko on my belt. (it was against the law)
Mom paid the penalty greater then her monthly salary.
And I, as a result I could not sit for a week
14. Any new models? What new models can we expect in the near future?
- I do not know. If something comes up - I will show it.
And yet - I do not know, but something new periodically appears "in my head."
15. And finally, the traditional question - what are your short- and long-term creative plans?
- To live and enjoy life!
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