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Here’s your lunchtime (or post-work-with-a-scotch-in-hand) entertainment for today: a kick-ass 10-minute flick that tells the story of Joel Bukiewicz, a guy with an MFA in creative writing who turned to “making stuff” after facing difficulties selling his first manuscript — and ended up as a successful professional knifemaker. Like previous videos we’ve linked here on TM, I’m sure lots of you will identify with this guy’s experiences.

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This video is part of a series by Keeth Ehrich titled “Made by Hand,” in which he focuses on “objects that surround the space we dwell in” and how they “tell stories … not just about us.” Asking questions about these objects like “who made them?” and “how are they made?”, he exposes a hidden side of life.

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Some key take-aways from this video, IMO: He started making them to satisfy an inner need to do so. Then he applied his craft to the tasks he took on. I use the term “craft” a little bit differently than others. By “craft,” I mean the sum of our life experiences — the decision trees we subconsciously build to help us learn, figure things out, and make shit happen. What’s amazing is how these processes, when reduced to their most basic form, apply to almost any task. Joel developed his craft as a student and as a writer. But when he applied his craft to knifemaking, it made f’ing magic.

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You’ll hear Joel describe how paths opened up for him when he embraced his craft and his art. That’s a lesson we all need to hear and take to heart.

The Made By Hand Series [Artist’s Site]

 

4 Responses to TM Theater: The Knifemaker

  1. Bob A. says:

    Awesome video and thanks for the post. I think we all hope that one day our hobby of making things will turn into our dream job, or at least our retirement plan. A man who is creating is a man who is content.

  2. joseph says:

    Can someone tell me the technic he uses for marking his brand on the blade ? Looks like electrolysis of acid engraving. Thank you

  3. Brau says:

    I just love what he said (paraphrased):

    It takes hard f—ing work to become competent, and once you become competent you *may* have what it takes to be an artist … or you may not.”

    It explained something for me – Every time I’ve ever met a classically trained musician that can’t play a note by ear, or a fine wood worker who can’t work without a full set of instructions. In the end, they can only do what they been instructed to do … because that’s all they’ve ever done.

  4. Dave says:

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    Man, I wish my city could have a sub-culture like this. We are definitely a consumerist town. No one appreciates this kind of work in my area. Shame, I love to create too.

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