To say attendance was high at this year’s Blade Show would be a huge understatement. The three-day event kicked off in Atlanta last Friday. Attendees literally ran in the front doors and down the aisles to get first crack at the vendors.
The show is held annually at the Cobb Galleria convention center just outside of Downtown Atlanta. It’s not called the world’s largest knife show for nothing; more than 700 booths and 200+ tables were set up inside the exhibition hall, filling every inch of space with blades, sheaths, and various other items. Blade enthusiasts were everywhere, and bought everything from everyone it seemed.
Sporting Classics and Sporting Classics Daily met up with some of the exhibitors who were in attendance. Each took time to speak with us over the roar of the crowd, sharing their products’ history and the stories of how they came to Blade Show.
Two of the most unlikely knife makers to attend this year’s show are the DesRosiers of Alaska Blades. The married couple of Adam and Haley DesRosiers, both master knife makers living in Alaska, recently lost their shop to a fire. Forging their custom blades in-house, a spark ignited a bit of oil that quickly spread. The two were able to exit the building safely, but being in Alaska, where fire departments are truly few and far between, there was nothing they could do but watch as their piece of paradise went up in smoke.
Thanks to the generosity of the knife-making community, the two are back in business and still building custom knives. Adam said that they could have gone back to commercial fishing — a past career that they had loved, but which would keep them from smithing due to its job requirements — but they declined to avoid putting their orders behind schedule.
The couple first met through a mutual friend after participating in an online knife forum. When asked by Sporting Classics’ Ron Stepp if they had known each other growing up, Haley joked that they hadn’t, but that they should have since they were so close. After all, they grew up only 100 miles apart.
This was the second Blade Show for Mareko Maumasi of Maumasi Fire Arts. The former restaurant cook took his years of experience with kitchen cutlery and began apprenticing with Bob Kramer; after three years of learning each step in the process, he fashioned his own knife. The rest is history in the making.
Maumasi recognizes the importance of kitchen cutlery to the knife world. The blades he fashions get daily use from their owners while also functioning as works of art. Each is carefully designed to balance perfectly and sit in the hand as needed. Using his years of experience in the kitchen, the knives are positioned in the hand in such a way that they give greater control over their usage.
Working out of Seattle, he has always won numerous awards for his designs.
Chad Weatherford of Weatherford Knife Co. proudly displayed his knives and cover art this year. Chad has won Field & Stream’s Total Outdoorsman Challenge several times and placed in the top six virtually every year the event has been held. He’s been featured on the magazine’s cover as a result.
The Argentine Sobral brothers of CAS Knives displayed a unique knife design … to say the least. Their dragoon pistol features an age-old design from the days of pirates and buccaneers: a large blade mounted on the bottom of a firing blackpowder pistol. Asking price for their one-of-a-kind, highly customized build: $25,000.
Mike Deibert of Deibert Knives was also at the show. Mike threw himself into the custom-knife business after returning from the mission field in Nicaragua. He and his family spent 13 years there, teaching blade- and blacksmithing to the community in their spare time. Now back in the States, he makes everything from hunter models to Bowies to hatchets.
Ben Seward of Arkansas brings Damascus steel and modern techniques to the Bowie knife. His design features a curved handle and intricate detailing on both the steel and wood.
These and many, many more exhibitors were on hand. Attendees and vendors flew in from all over the world, contributing to the show’s gigantic size. Begin making plans now to come from wherever you are in the world to attend the 2017 event!