Joel Bukiewicz – Knife Maker

Made by Hand / No 2 The Knife Maker from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

“Buckets of blood and sweat.” (practice)

“Convergence of handmade and food” (a bit of luck but more like smarts)

This is an excellent video and Joel’s narration makes it even better. What he says about the satisfaction he derives from making things by hand is shared by many across multiple domains from splitting and stacking wood to peeling apples for pies (maybe with one of his paring knives) to making sculpture to making chairs, and more. People who make things that other people use have a very nice feedback system in that there is direct evidence of the pleasure others are getting from one’s work.

I used to collect hand made folding pocket knives (pre 9/11) and still have some nice ones but for the most part I’m content with a few well made “factory” folders for everyday use around the house and yard.

Of course, during our recent blackout, my wife and I stayed warm because I work three years ahead collecting, processing, drying, and stacking the firewood that is our main source of heat. I get real pleasure from doing that process, a similar kind to the pleasure Joel gets in seeing others use his knives in kitchens. And, I enjoy making fine art notecards out of my photography and have sold and given away thousands of them over the years. It’s fun to make these by hand.

The video is part of a series on hand made things at: Made by Hand.

[via Steve Splonskowski and Kottke]


  1. ha I think staying creative in what ever way you can is realy a great way to stay fresh young and growing. what ever it is that one does (knifes photography painting drawing or other) it is a good thing.

  2. Yes, I liked that one too Dilip. Both guys, in very different ways, took huge risks and seem to have done well. Of source, for every two who make it there are 100 who don’t.

  3. John: Yes, I have a few of those French knives with the twist locks. Very fine tools and the metal in the blade is a lot easier to sharpen than my other, harder stainless knives.

  4. Ha Opinel and Laguiole knife are great but nothing beat the asian knife. Richard if you want next time i go the the mountain I can bring your back an opinel, the issue I have found about them is that the rust.

  5. Ha I am with you on the benchmade those are nice pocket knife and hi end I see them at REI every time I go but I allays wander if it is the best or if one can get something better (you might have the answer to that)

  6. Edward: “best” is a relative term. I have two old plastic-handled Gerbers that are in my pocket more than any of my other fancier knives. If you’re after fancy, that’s one thing, if you’re after useful/practical, that’s another.

    Benchmade, Kershaw, Shrade, CRKT, Spyderco, and a few others make excellent pocket knives that aren’t all that much money. Does it have to fit in a pocket? Do you want to open it with one hand? Do you want a locking blade? Stainless or non-stainless blade? Serrations on blade? Etc.

    Too many variables.

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