View Full Version : A Great Meeting!!

08-29-2004, 01:44 PM
Yesterday, August 28, 2004 the Georgia Custom Knifemakers' Guild had the 4th meeting of the last year. It was held at the home/shop of Wayne and Rebecca Hensley in Conyers Georgia. It is an astounding thing that just last August (2003) John & I were putting out "feelers" to see if there was enough interest around the state for a Georiga Custom Knifemaker's Guild to be formed. We have been blown away by the overwhelming interest and willingness of you to work and make this a reality. The Georgia Custom Knifemakers' Guild is YOUR Guild.

The Georgia Custom Knifemakers' Guild is a group of people who have a vision:

To educate and inform the public about knifemaking and metalworking.
To aid, assist, and teach members, helping to develop their skill level and how to promote their craft.
To establish and follow Standards of Conduct and Workmanship.

Below are pictures of how we are beginning to do this. Hope you enjoy seeing how we are progressing.

As the Directors (plus 1) were meeting:

The people began to gather. Many brought examples of their work for everyone to see.

By the time the Directors' Meeting was over, quite a crowd had gathered with a total of 37 people attending the meeting.

After the General Meeting, Carl (our VP) began the day of "handle demos" showing us how he fits the guard and pommel on a stick tang knife and how to burn the handle for a fit to the knife.

After that, John did a demo on how he tapers the tang of a full tang knife.

Rebecca Hensley was a wonderful hostess and prepared a lunch of sandwiches, chips, vegetables, fruit salad, and several different cakes and pies to top off the meal. What a great spread and everyone not only enjoyed the meal, having plenty to eat, but took away her receipe for the very delicious fruit salad.

During lunch, those who came to jury in as voting members, went thru the "painless" process. We had 8 join as voting members and 1 as a Friend of the Guild.
Our new members are: Garrett White, David Turner, Jim Small, Don Tommy, James Mitchell, LeRoy Matthews, Billy Snow, Franklin Jones and Frank Chikey.

For the afternoon, Garrett White, walked us through how he shapes the handles on his knives. Garrett is an astounding young craftsman who is in school in Atlanta taking Mechanical Engineering (I think that is what he told me). His father is an accompished knifemaker also, and has passed his talent on to his son. Garrett won "Best Folder" at the Flint River Show last February. If you have not seen his work, you should keep and eye out for Garrett.

To finish out the day, Carl talked with us about how to get youth involved in our craft. It is important to give youth a good role model and an alternative to some of the other opportunties they get drawn into these day.

Wayne Hensley, our host, and Rade Hawkins gave us a time to ask them any questions or make any comments on knifemaking today. Separately, these are both very interesting men. Together they can be very entertaining and have a wealth of wisdom.

As the day ended and everyone began their trip home, their was many kind words and lots of enthusiasm for upcoming meetings. Our next meeting will be Dec 04 in Buford, Ga. Then in February we will be down in Statesboro. After that, in May, we will be up around the North Georgia Mountains at Cleveland. We are striving to have meetings all over the state to include as many of you as possible. If you are willing to host a meeting, or have an idea for a demo, please be sure and contact Carl ( or John ( so plans can be made to include that.

It was a great day and plans for the future are in the works. One our our larger projects at this time is with our webmaster, Jamey Saunders. Jamey is working on a plan to give our members a web presence for their work--you won't want to miss this.

John and the Directors hope you will plan to join us on December 04 for our next meeting. Directions, agenda, and general information will be e-mailed as the date grows closer. Hope to see you there!

Mark Williams
08-30-2004, 10:43 AM
Ya'll sure have gotten a lot of participation rapidly. Great to see. Hope everything is still rolling when I finally get back home where I belong. Nice looking crowd other than the fellow doing that burnt handle thingy :)
Hope you can get all them folks to come to Trackrock in November.

Jamey Saunders
08-30-2004, 10:56 AM
I'll agree with Joan, it was a great meeting. Wayne and Rebecca have a beautiful home, and their hospitality was wonderful. As always, it was great to be in the middle of a group of knifemakers and "talk shop".

I'm very happy that Garrett White did the handle demo, since the shaping of handles had always been a problem for me. I picked up a few things that I'm sure that I'll use in the future. Great demos all around, and thanks to everyone who showed up and participated.

08-31-2004, 08:29 PM
It was a good day and a good meeting. Welcome aboard new members. You guys that missed it need to plan for the next one. This is everyone's guild and we all have something to share and something to learn. These are opportunities to meet some very interesting and experienced craftsmen in a face to face atmosphere. You can't get any closer to networking knowledge and skill.

One thought came to me on the drive home about stabilizing handle material.......It's a waste of time if YOU don't get involved. Get the youth of today interested in and educated about knives and knifemaking. They'll never get to see how long one will last if knives get outlawed and confiscated by their peers that don't KNOW any better.
Think about it! Now go out and make a difference.

Hey, I just realized, I got kicked in the shin by "Chicken Toes" himself.
I declare a Grudge Match - November 6th at the TrackRock Barn early!
The Toad Sticker has thrown the hammer down!
(I guess following with "Be ye chicken?" would be pushing the edge a little to much)

Mark Williams
09-01-2004, 06:40 AM
Butter knives at 300 paces!!

09-01-2004, 05:06 PM
Butterknives for three hundred pesos! Not much of a challenge but sounds like a good deal. I'll take two boxes.