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The Humble Grumble

Jean Turner, RPT

   ...the sporadic annoyances & humble mumblings of a Jeannius.

Monday, 11 July 2011

KnivesUK 2011, Tortworth Court, near Bristol

knivesuk 2011 - our table

If the thought of knives conjures up images of young, unruly teenagers stabbing each other, then perhaps you ought to keep on reading...

Not all people who love blades or carry knives around in their pockets are hell-bent on revenge, frightened and so thinking about personal defence, or even keen to show how macho they are. Some of us are just normal people who enjoy using a special blade for tasks such as opening letters, opening packets of snack foods bought from the local store, starting campfires, or even cleaning the fish we just caught for our supper. Some of us even buy and keep special knives simply to collect items of beauty.

knivesuk 2011

Then there are those who like playing with immense choppers, cutting through ropes and plastic drinks bottles filled with water and chopping through large chunks of wood just because they can.

These are just normal people who are frustrated with the hysteria surrounding the very real problem of kids who carry and who stab each other because they don't know how to (or don't want to) talk. Tired of being lumped in with everyone else and being seen as part of the problem ("After all - if you didn't sell knives, these things wouldn't happen!" No Madam - and if I and others didn't, then you would also have to chew your meat off the whole animal because, if the statistics given out by the Metropolitan Police were correct at the time I saw them - 95% of all knife crime is done using knives taken from the household kitchen), knifemakers and sellers unite and enjoy the occasional time of sharing with like-minded people.

knivesuk 2011

For the most part, they are not vicious, or sad, or in need of psychological evaluation. They are normal people who enjoy working with steel, shaping and heat treating it and then clothing the handles with wood, plastics or other chosen materials, and making beautiful and elegant protective sheaths to keep others from cutting themselves accidentally.

As a girl I am conscious of the fact that we are a rare breed in knife making circles. As a womanly supplier of knife making materials I am looked upon by the world outside of knife making with great suspicion and yet also intrigue, distrusted and at the same time carefully inspected. As a female knifemaker - when others who know me discover my hobby, I am skirted as though the association of the 'me' and the 'knife-making' automatically make me brutish, and yet I am looked at in fascination, almost in disbelief. And I can read the eyes that hide the unasked questions of how I can possibly justify making weapons and enjoy them with such open pleasure.

knivesuk 2011

The reason is because they are tools. And items of immense beauty when properly made.

Perhaps if the slightly more educated and open-minded individuals in the world teach their children how to use knives safely, by example, show them to view them as tools - and not as weapons - we will have fewer wasted lives caused by knife crime. Maybe it is time we teach our children how to talk, how to negotiate, and above all - how to compromise in order to make and preserve the peace.

knivesuk 2011

Next time you see a knife show advertised - pay your entry fee and go and take a look for yourself. Take your children too, and teach them that those who love knives are not all gung-ho happy maniacs who run around play-stabbing at each other with sharp pointy objects. Just like the rest of society - we are for the most part perfectly normal people doing perfectly normal things in a perfectly respectful way. Come and see for yourself, and you may yet be converted...

For knife making materials and more information about how to make a tool for yourself - see my Knife Making Pages