I've carried and used knives of some kind all my life. Growing up in Washington State, I spent most weekends hunting and fishing. I have a fair understanding of what features make a knife usable. I know that stopping to sharpen a knife while dressing out an elk in 20-degree weather on the side of a mountain is frustrating as well as dang inconvenient. I also know that a knife suitable for trout isn't ideal for salmon.
I started making knives on a regular basis in 1979 after reading Sid Latham's book "Knives and Knife Makers". By 1996, my interest had turned into a passion, and had expanded to forging, so I attend the ABS Bladesmithing School (ABS) in Washington, AR. Not only did I learn the art of forging knives but also forged friendships, which I still cherish today. In 2000, I returned to Washington, AR and took the ABS Damascus course with Bill Moran. In June of 2007, I completed all requirements and became a Journeyman Smith in the American Bladesmith Society.
Every knife I make is constructed as if I was making it for myself. My cutting edges are as hard a practical for the type of knife. I do my own heat-treating, and test every knife before it leaves the shop. I make forged and stock removal blades using materials best suited to the task intended for the knife. I prefer exotic hardwoods and natural materials for handles, but use Micarta and stabilized woods where more appropriate. I forge 5160, 1084, 1095 and 52100 carbon steels, I stock remove D2, ATS-34, 440C and O1. I make my own Damascus (pattern welded) steel. My knives are constructed with the idea that whether they are working knives or fantasy knives they are still knives -- and should be able to function as such.
I believe very strongly in sole authorship. I forge, grind, heat treat, finish and embellish all my knives myself. I do most of my own leatherwork. If the knife does not perform, I cannot blame it on anyone else! Most of my knives are "one-of-a-kind working knives with bragging rites". My goal is to make knives so fine that if you pick one up, you would rather part with the money than the knife!