View Full Version : 2003 ABS banquet dinner

06-23-2003, 01:56 PM
I had the distinct pleasure of attending the annual ABS banquet dinner and auction ( this year at the Blade Show in Atlanta. During the banquet, numerous members were recognized for their contributions to the organization and to the craft of the forged knife, and new Journeyman Smiths and Master Smiths received their certificates.

It was a wonderful sight to see, as these talented bladesmiths were honored for their achievements and accepted their new certificates before an audience of their friends, their peers, and their supporters.

After the awards and honors, the ABS held an auction to benefit the endowment, where dozens of donated items were sold to the patrons. Included among these items were an exceptionally crafted fireplace set by Charles Smale, a beautiful ram's head fire poker forged by James Batson, and all five Journeyman test knives generously donated by Dan Farr.

I tried to buy the fire-poker, but lost out to one very tenacious bidder who just wouldn't quit. ;) I also tried to buy a few of Dan Farr's knives, all of which were top-notch, but kept getting outbid by his brother, who was determined to bring those family heirlooms back home.

But I didn't leave empty handed. Towards the end of the evening, a gorgeous damascus bowie came up for auction. The knife was made by five Mastersmiths at the ABS West hammer-in, and I just had to go after it. Lucky for me, most of the participants had already spent their money at that point, and I was able to buy the knife for far less than I should have.

I had the knife photographed by PointSeven Studios, and, without further ado, here it is:

The makers:
Red St. Cyr, M.S. (2000) - damascus (hand hammered!)
Jame Batson, M.S. (1993) - forging
Greg Neely, M.S. (1993) - grinding
Charles Ochs III, M.S. (1989) - heat-treating
Scott Taylor, M.S. (2002) - handle, finishing

I still can't get over the generosity shown by those who donated items to the auction. There really was some excellent booty, and it's a testament to the good nature of the members and supporters of the ABS. I'm already looking forward to next year's event, and I hope to see you there!

06-23-2003, 04:43 PM
That is sweet.

Jerry Oksman
06-23-2003, 05:07 PM
Wulf, you scored big time. Very nice piece.!

06-23-2003, 06:48 PM
excellent score, dick. thanks for the contribution and for the nice writeup, too!

06-23-2003, 09:41 PM
Most excellent, Derrick! :D

This knife has it all, and it has your flavor from sheath to tip to buttcap. That is to say: QUALITY!!!

I love how clean, simple, and how perfect the ratio of blade to handle is. And hand-hammered? Now that's a work of love! ;)

After the smoke cleared, I'm certain you were happy about missing out on the previous knives.

The picture is clear and well presented.... HEY!!! what's that that's hiding on the sheath??!! All the maker's signed names? Why is that covered?? Sheesh... :rolleyes:



Buddy Thomason
06-25-2003, 10:51 PM
Hmmm--So Wulf got into a bidding war at the ABS banquet/auction with a "tenacious bidder" for the Jim Batson Ram's Head Poker--and who might that "tenacious bidder" be, we wonder??

06-26-2003, 08:08 AM
Thanks for rubbing it in, Buddy. Man, that poker just has so much character, huh? Jim Batson's talent at the forge is just amazing.

Thanks for all the nice comments, guys.

06-26-2003, 12:49 PM
One of the nicest bowies at the Blade show! Except for the damascus bowie you got from Nick Wheeler. That, was/is perfection! :)

06-26-2003, 04:23 PM
another nice score, buddy. nice pic.

Buddy Thomason
06-26-2003, 07:59 PM
Thanks, Wayne. Wulf started this thread by describing the ABS banquet/auction. I came away from that evening (and from the BLADE Show in general) way impressed with the ABS as an organization that sets high standards for its maker members--and seriously tests them--as it should be in any profession. They're doing it right and the result is quality! (Yes, I agree there are many quality makers not affiliated with the ABS and I don't mean to slight anyone.) I spent three days trying to zero in on a maker who's work I did not yet own and who showed great potential for the future (had to be a nice person as well!). John Perry was my man--he won his Journeyman Smith status in Atlanta and though the judges ultimately chose someone else for the Peck Award (best Journeyman knife), in my opinion JP should have won it for his spectacular, over-the-top Mediterranean Bowie. I was fortunate to purchase this bowie and a terrific Stag Handle Fighter. Here are a couple of pics of the fighter:

06-26-2003, 08:38 PM
one of my favorite handle treatments - nice job matching the filework to the texture of the stag.
now about the pic of the mediterranean? ;)
thanx again

06-27-2003, 07:38 AM
John Perry builds knives with a level of precision that simply awes me. He generally does higher-end folders but made some straight knives for his JS test and every one of them was built with the fit and finish of a Mastersmith. Buddy, you done good. Real good.