“There is something deeply satisfying in shaping something with your hands. Proper artificing is like a song made solid. It is an act of creation.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear
I am a maker. I use my hands to create functional, beautiful objects. With Earth’s raw materials—metal, wood, and stone—I use fire, strength, and skill to shape these mediums into the desired form. The details mean everything and the material out of which something is made and the process through which it is made is as important as how it looks when complete. I strive to bring beauty into the world by making art that will stand the test of time.
Too often, distortion and manipulation are confused in all fields of art. I seek to enforce my intention into the material with which I work in order to achieve the desired effect. Clean lines and soft curves are in everything I create. In an ongoing attempt to achieve mastery and precision, I endeavor to control each component while working alongside the natural constraints of the material.
Today, there is no functional necessity for laminated steels; its creation resides solely in the realm of art. It is an exercise in creating through deft manipulation of the materials.
When creating my knives, I think in four dimensions. It is not just the physical shape in three dimensions, because the material itself has layers of complexity that can be carved into and revealed. The pattern is not only the surface but runs through the entirety of each block of steel. This is an aspect of working in this way that appeals to me: Nothing on any of these objects is merely on the surface. The designs are not painted or glazed, and thus cannot be scraped or rubbed off. Every pattern runs through to the core—it has real depth. The pattern is within the very structure of the object, similar to the grain in wood.
The creation of this work requires an immense amount of time and patience. Not only do I forge these objects by hand, but I also make and maintain a majority of my own tools and equipment. There is something powerful and elemental about having precise control over the heat, pressure, and time required to make these pieces. Though I have made them and know precisely what is happening at a molecular and atomic level, I am still enthralled with the process:
To me, it’s damn near magic.
- William Brigham