Knives are emotional, cultural and personal too.
We were struck this week with the personal nature and story that knives can have. Sure, they can be stamped out of sheet steel by the millions. But they can also be made by hand by humans and hold tremendous value monetarily, emotionally and culturally too.
Bit #1 • No. 60
Some unintended fun from “getting into knives” are all the photos and content that you all send my way. I love it. Keep it all coming. Really.
Here’s one we got this week.
This knife maker was established in 1845 and is the oldest in Korea. Master Shin In-Young has been named an “Intangible Cultural Treasure” in Korea. Number 60 to be exact. This is the first time such a designation was made for an individual.
That’s nifty and cool. Knives are for hands and when they are made by hand they seem to speak words that echo forward to something deeply human.
Note the “60” stamped in the blade.
Bit #2 • Our Names
Here is a set of Japanese knives on the bench, pre-sharpening and pre cleaning :), a few weeks back. Note the engraving and stamping patterns. The knives on the right have characters chiseled in the side of the blades, stroke by stroke. Those on the left are etched.
After sharpening, cleaning (forgot to take picture) and returning these to the customer they shared that the etched knives had been customized in Japan with the first names of the couple during their travels. Now that one of them has passed the set has all the more value!
Bit #3 • My grandfather bought it
In a conversation with a knife friend last week she mentioned that she has a knife in her kitchen drawer that her grandfather bought her Dad. It was given to mark the occasion of joining the family business, a butcher shop, at the young age of 14.
That old knife sits among high end knives but, as she said, it has far more value than any of the others.
Knives connects to our very ability to eat and survive but they play a role in uniting us with food too. Tell us your knife stories!
Did you get ‘em for a wedding? Did you get them on a trip? Did someone give them to you to mark a moment?
Please… tell us your knife stories! We love hearing ‘em.