View Full Version : Bright Knives, Big City - NY Custom Show Review

11-08-2001, 05:48 PM
Hello fellow knifeknuts
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Yes, I too was at the NY Custom Show last weekend. Would have written sooner, but first I got sick (flu ya' know) and then work intervened.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp I went for all 3 days and had a blast. Met a lot of old friends and some ether friends (who I finally got to know what they look like and versa visi) and made some new friends. Friday started off real busy with a line waiting to get in at 12:00 noon. Of course I already met some people I knew on line. Regular forumites from over at bladeforums and some who probably hang at CKD and TKCL as well. When I got in I went straight over to Darrel Ralph's table. Darrel was kinda bummed this year, it took and hour and 5 minutes to sell out this year last year he was done in 45 minutes :)
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp I got my MaddMaxx from Darrel, I had known about this knife for a while it was just convenient to pick it up at the show even though he had it ready ahead of time. Darrel calls it an integral bar knife. Basically the whole handle side is the lock. Ti frame in a contemporary modified Sheffield coffin handle style, with a Mike Norris D2 Damascus semi spear point blade. It's a flipper opener and the ears or horns are the flipper and hand guards in the open position. I couldn't help myself I just had to keep flipping it open to the initial joy and then annoyance of the people around me (Sorry Steve). After setting up at Darrel's I started to wander the floor, It's great knowing all these people, but it does have one disadvantage, with all the hello's and how are you's it took me 4 hours just to walk the hall once.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Next to Darrel was a maker I wasn't to familiar with (although that wasn't the case by the end of the show) named Lee Gene Baskett, he had some awesome hunting folders, one with wood slabs and a really broad ats34 blade that really caught my eye. He also makes folders with 1911 handles. Next was Joe Kious, great knifemaker and drinking buddy. He started me on Aberlour single malt and I've been bringing a bottle to every show I go to since, I've never failed to finish the bottle (2 this year, 1 Aberlour, 1 Longmorn both 15 years old). I've been wanting one of his knives for a while, yet I have never had the money. I think I may order something this year or early next. Pat and Wes Crawford had the usual big crowd out in front and so did Allen and Valerie Elishewitz. Allen's got a new home and new shop and some new design's coming out, so look out. I got a preview and they are very nice indeed.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Like at any show some people did well and some not so well. Many sold out or sold enough just on Friday (very busy) to have a good show and ride out Saturday (middling busy) and Sunday (which with the NYC marathon being run that day, was the deadest day I have ever seen at a NY show)
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Spoke to Bailey Bradshaw a number of times over the weekend and he also came out to the Saturday night dinner at Virgil's BBQ. Amazing knives, they must be seen in person to appreciate them and to get a true sense of their size. Bailey also managed to sell out near the end of day Sunday so that worked out. Joe Szilaski, as usual, sold out. Howard Hitchmough had some amazing folders, the detail was incredible. Kurt Meerdink had a large selection of knives at very good prices. Mardi Meshejain had his usual macabre selection, and he's forging titanium now, he had a very funky titanium axe at his table. Even John Lewis Jensen stopped by (but only to deliver a knife) it was the smallest folder I have ever seen him make (approx. 4" blade) I don't know how he will ever live it down. Sometime during the afternoon I swapped a cigar for a bar of Swiss chocolate with Peter Klotzli. Speaking of cigars, we've dubbed the side entrance to the NY Sheraton (53rd St side) where the ashtray's are, as Darrel Ralph's NY corporate HQ. Darrel was down there smoking more than he was at his table (almost, hey I'm just as guilty I was chimney that weekend).
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp I managed to speak a little with Jot Singh Khalsa, he's a regular at both of the NY show's. Cliff Parker is another of these amazing knifemakers that you don't hear nearly enough about. Nice guy and such detailed folders and so flat, how does he do that? Steve Corkum was there sporting a serious cut on his hand, if you saw the wide flat dagger on his table with the red, white and blue stingray under the wrap, then you saw the culprit. I got to talking a little with Tom Anderson, Tim Wilson and Brad Duncan (his bearing pivots are seriously slick). Andy Prisco of American Tomahawk was doing a booming business and it seemed the Busse combat was also.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp The South Africans are getting bigger and better every year. I don't know whether it's the Rand to US dollar exchange, but your getting a lot for the money from these guys. Bertie Reitveld had his narrow fixed blades and stanhope glass logos, very unique. Theuns Prinsloo had his usual excellent selection and was almost sold out by the end of the show. Lourens Prinsloo was there with his son and he did sell out, he had a great matching set folder and fixed blade they where the same size and you had to look to for the liner to see which was which. Arno (or was it Nico) Bernard also had a table of African knife materials, horns and tusks and whatnot.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp I finally got met Jonathan Loose (we had only met before in the ether) who does these incredible Viking influenced knives in Damascus. His jewelry is pretty alright also. We got to talk some design and I found out the Jonathan has an art background. I'm not sure but I think Jonathan managed to sell out. I also met his better half Daphne and yes we were drinking single malt whiskey and if you met someone at the show who gave you a shot of whiskey the odds are pretty good it was me :)
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Another group who appreciate a good scotch was Wally Hayes and his bunch. Wally and two of his friends, who are learning some knifemaking from Wally and they're his destruction knife testers, brought some knives and wakazashi's. As usual Wally's stuff is incredible. The work his friends are doing is looking real good a lot of potential there.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp One of the big topics at the show was all about getting to NY with knives, especially for the people coming in from outside the country. In a way I wasn't to happy to hear it, I spoke to Farid and he said that security was tighter and more complete in England than it was here in NY. On the other hand everyone seemed to get into the show with their knives.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Almost forgot to mention I also picked up a very nice mokume arrow head necklace from Ed Chavar. Those and his Damascus head battleaxe necklaces were real impressive. He told me he tightened up the Damascus on those so that they would look more to scale. I also picked up a nice 6" chef's knife from PJ Tomes. Sandvik Steel and g10 handle about 2 1/2" wide in sort of a banana shape. At $125 it was a deal.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Friday night after the show we dragged 12 (or was it 14) people out to Pietro's on 43rd street. Darrel Ralph, Steve Korn and myself were the original 3 on the reservation, then Darrel (boron carbide coatings) and some of the guys from Bladeart joined in and then Wally Hayes and the Canadian Connection joined up. Sorry about the names I just don't remember them all. In any case Pietro's probably has the best steaks in NYC and great potatoes too. That everyone agreed about. After dinner the knives came out and fortunately the waiters took it pretty well. Our head waiter came over to check out all the knives we where drooling over. Not just folders either, I had my Johnny Stout bowie with me and there was an original Bagwell bowie floating around as well. Hey it's NY, nothings shocking.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Saturday night was the annual TKCL dinner. As I mentioned before Bailey Bradshaw came down and a bunch of us TKCL people. Dinner was excellent and we also passed the knives around after we finished feeding our faces. I little more sedate here (read that as smaller knives) I saw a Buzz Bezuidenhout, a Lourens Prinsloo, a Corie Schoeman, a Arno Bernard, (I told you the South Africans did good) a Howard Hitchmough and a couple of Baileys knives (which he didn't own anymore) and I had my MaddMaxx with me. There's nothing quite like fooling with knives after a good dinner with good company.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp There were a lot more people that I spoke to, but due to their being busy or me we only managed a hello and a handshake, maybe next time we'll get some more time to jaw.


J Loose
11-08-2001, 08:11 PM
Yipes Jerry,

That's a lotta Show Review.

You ain't kidding about my better half... more like my better three-quarters. ;)

Neil Ostroff
11-09-2001, 10:14 PM
Great review, Jerry O

You nailed it all.

Sorry I miised meeting you as I was there all 3 days.

Hope to see you at the next New York show in March 2002.

Take care,


11-10-2001, 05:41 AM
Yeah, thanks so much Jerry! That took some time to compile, and was VERY detailed. Great, great stuff.

See you in March!


Roger Gregory
11-12-2001, 06:23 PM
Great review of the show Jerry.

One day I'll make it across to the USA for a couple of shows with some dollars in my pocket. New York has to be on the list. I'll bring some single malt too :)


J Loose
11-12-2001, 07:19 PM
Last Year I made the entertaining acquaintance of a collector who apparently has an odd habit... He goes to the shows with a really nice bottle of Scotch and offers some to knifemakers. He engages in pleasant conversation and he offers you some more... you have more nice conversation and he offers you some more scotch... you have further nice conversation and then he hits you up for a great deal on a knife.

I mean, if you're already coming with some... why not give it a shot?

Roger Gregory
11-13-2001, 06:40 PM
Good plan Jonathan, I'll work on that. Better pack a few bottles, including some cask strenght stuff for the makers who can handle their booze! Maybe there is a page in les's book on when to strike a deal with an inebriated maker.... :)

Then again...after the second bottle I suppose I would hand my plastic over to any passing dealer or maker and who knows what I might buy!

Better stick to the social drinking. ####!