Book Reviews

Knives You Can Make – Book Review

Knives You Can Make - Book Review

Tim McCreight, master knife maker and jeweler, has just published a new book on knife making – “Knives You Can Make.” In this video, swordsmith Walter Sorrells reviews this excellent book.

Knives You Can Make by Tim McCreight

Published: September 6, 2020

Knives You Can Make has the specific goal of introducing metalsmiths, novices and hobbyists to the pleasures of making a knife. Most of us use knives several times a day, but few people know the satisfaction of making a knife for themselves, from scratch, with only a few tools. In this engaging book, respected author Tim McCreight shares the pleasures of knifemaking, bringing the tools and the process into the reach of any willing worker. With minimal investment and clear instructions, readers will learn how to make kitchen knives, folding knives and folk art knives through three dozen projects.

The book starts with a description of the tools and materials needed and instructions on hardening and tempering steel. This is followed by chapters on fixed blade knives, folding knives and rustic knives. Each chapter offers seven different knives that progress from basic to more advanced. The Fixed Blade chapter, for instance, runs from a 6 carving knife, to a hefty camp knife, and on up to a full size chef s knife.

A combination of hundreds of drawn illustrations compliment photos of the finished knives. The design of the book, based on antique ledgers, amplifies the straightforward tone of the book. This is a book that speaks to any person with an interest knives to assure him or her that these are Knives You Can Make.

About the Author

Tim McCreight is a designer, teacher, author, and goldsmith. He received a degree in fine arts from The College of Wooster and an MFA in jewelry and silversmithing from Bowling Green State University. He taught fulltime for 25 years, first at the Worcester Center for Crafts and then at Maine College of Art. Along the way he has taught hundreds of workshops throughout the US and in Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the UK.

After writing two books for large commercial publishers, he decided to take on the challenges of illustration and layout, joining a new generation of authors who took control of all aspects of their books. In this way he has overseen all details of many of his books, most notably Complete Metalsmith, which is recognized as a standard text in the field. His books have been translated into Russian, Japanese, and Italian.

McCreight’s books are characterized by a practical approach and commonsense descriptions that empower beginning artists while confirming information for advanced readers. His curiosity and the obvious pleasure he takes in sharing information makes his books not just readable but fun. Most of his books deal with metalsmithing but he has extended into design and into the genre of creative nonfiction with his very popular Syntax of Objects, re-released in a new edition in 2010. In his efforts to explore new approaches, he has also created an App for iPhone, iPod, and iPad called “Metalsmith Suite,” available through the iTunes store.

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