Blok Knives Ben Edmonds Interview
Described by The Telegraph as the Aston Martin of the cutting world, Ben Edmonds, creator of Blok Knives talks to us about how he initially became interested in knife making and why it’s best to buy handmade.
How did you initially become interested in knife making?
It was the fault of youtube. I was browsing videos one afternoon and stumbled across a video of a chap from Canada talking about his knife collection. The recommend videos to follow consisted of more knife collections and then a lad making a knife in his dad’s garage using an old file. It was this simple approach that made me think ‘I could give that a go’. This is how it all started.
When did you make your first knife and what was it like?
I made my first knife 5 years ago. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the most attractive looking thing, but it kind of worked. It was a kitchen knife because I’ve always been into cooking. I still have the first 5 knives I made. Even in the early stages you can see the development of shape from one knife to the next.
What is a knife to you?
A knife to me is, first and foremost, a tool. I’ve always seen them as food prep utensils. Ultimately, they serve a very specific purpose – to chop stuff but that doesn’t mean they can’t look good doing it! I’m finding the more I make, the nicer I want them to look. So I guess a knife to me has to be 2 things; a great cutting tool and an aesthetically pleasing object.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge on your journey so far?
I’ve found, as a maker, you have to have the patience of a saint! It’s all about putting in the hours. It’s also about knowing when to put your tools down and go home! So finding the right balance is key!
How do you source your raw materials?
We spend a lot of time tracking down the right material. At first, we tried to source everything from the UK, but this wasn’t possible. We currently use Sheffield Steel but the wood comes from all over the world [all approved and responsibly sourced].
Tell us about your colloboration with Fat Punk
We are always looking for interesting and exciting people to work with. Our first collaboration was with a company called Solidwool. They make a woollen composite material which was perfect for making handles with. We then noticed Fat Punk studios cropping up in the Chef world, I’d seen some of their stuff before so decided to approach them about some designs for a knife. We wanted to achieve something very unique and different. Using the Carbon Fibre handle seemed to bring everything together.
Top 5 reasons why chefs reading this article should buy hand made?
This is a good old question… why handmade?!?
From our experience it’s the following:
- This may seem obvious, but the main reason for me, is that it’s handmade!! Each product is made with love. It’s been built by someone [or a few people] and cared for every step of the way
- It is individual. Each piece is slightly different and unique.
- It supports British made stuff!! Its helps build our economy.
- It also supports a craft… a dying art almost. You don’t meet many knife makers these days which is a shame.
- You can have direct contact with the maker! It’s personal and if something goes wrong, or advice is needed, we are there to help!
Ben’s order book is back open – http://www.blok-knives.co.uk