Page 58

SS STYLE + SHOPPING

Lust for Knife RAY KIRK AND SCOTT REED ARE BOTH ARTISTS AND CRAFTSMEN PRODUCING CUSTOM KNIVES AS STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL AS THEY ARE RAZOR SHARP. BY JENNIFER ZEHNDER & PHOTOS BY JENNIFER ZEHNDER Knives have been a lifelong fascination for Ray Kirk. “I started on knives at an early age of about 4 years old,” Kirk recalls. “My first one was from a gumball machine and was lost down the side of the window in my uncle’s ‘47 Chevy. I cried because they wouldn’t take the door off to get it.” A welding instructor by trade, Kirk began his knifemaking journey in the fall of 1989 to make presents for Christmas. A friend lent him a copy of Step-byStep Knifemaking: You Can Do It! by David Boye — and so it began. Kirk found a hands-on mentor in Harry Fentress. “He was the first person I met in the knifemaking world and

58 PREVIEW 918 MARCH 2019

was the one who helped me the most,” says Kirk. “He taught me how to heat treat and to hollow grind blades.” In 1997, Troy Brown introduced Kirk to the Arkansas Knifemakers Association (AKA) and the American Bladesmith Society (ABS). There, Kirk found a path to learning what he never knew existed. It was in ABS that he melded his love of forging and learning with a documented system of certification. Today, Kirk is one of four Oklahomans — and the only Cherokee Nation citizen — to carry the ABS Master Smith designation. Kirk’s crafting philosophy is very much a reflection of his tribal heritage. In

KNIFE CARE TIPS FROM FORGED IN FIRE FAN FAVORITE RAY KIRK • Protect your fixed-blade knives with a knife block — a large chunk of wood with slots to put your knives in. This protects the knife’s edge and body from cuts. A sheath can also be used for protection, but is generally not a good idea for long-term storage as the tanning acids may cause the knife to corrode. • Always wipe off the knife after use and return to the knife block, sheath or pouch. Carbon steel knives will develop a patina which also helps to keep the knives from rusting.  • Don’t wait until you can see the edge before you sharpen a knife. It will take a lot longer to sharpen and is the main reason some people say that they can’t keep an edge. They simply got tired of sharpening and quit before it was sharp. • Don’t put knives in a sink or dishwasher. Putting your hand into a sink of soapy water and sliding it along the edge of a sharp knife is dangerous.  • Never cut toward yourself. A sharp knife will cut easily and a dull knife will need a lot of extra pressure — both are dangerous, especially when cutting toward yourself.  This also can apply to stainlesssteel knives. Stainless-steel knives don’t rust as easily as the high carbon steel knives, but if you follow the care tips, you’ll have no problem with any of them.

Profile for Preview 918

March 2019 (Vol. 33, No. 3)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

March 2019 (Vol. 33, No. 3)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...