I make knives because I love to make knives. I got started a bit late in life so I know I will never achieve the level of experience and expertise of some of the great master who have been practicing the craft for 40 or 50 years. Like all good knifemakers, I strive for the unachievable, perfection. Of course, perfection is impossible but still a worthy goal.
I have been honored with certain achievements in my knifemaking career of which I am very proud. It is extremely rewarding to have my work recognized and appreciated by my customers and my peers. This page will serve as my trophy case and mark my progression as a professional knifemaker.
2003 - My First Knife
In May 2003 I attended a week-long knifemaking class with my favorite knifemaker, Gil Hibben. With Gil's excellent instruction and help, my first knife exceeded all of my expectations and lit a fire in me that has only grown stronger ever since.
2003-2007 - Learning, Practicing
2007 - The Knifemakers' Guild, Going Into Business and My First knife Show as an Exhibitor
My first real recognition in knifemaking was to be recommended for membership in the Knifemakers' Guild and be accepted as a probationary member. To be considered for membership in this prestigious organization, a knifemaker must be recommended by 4 voting members of the Guild who sign the application after inspecting one's work and verifying that it meets the Guild's standards.
My work was inspected by and my application signed by Wayne Hensley, John Fraps, AT Barr and S.R. Johnson at the Blade Show on June 9, 2007, just one month after I officially hung out my shingle and started my business Carter Crafts, LLC. After 4 years of learning and developing my craft, I finally felt ready to call myself a knifemaker.
My first Guild Show: After earning my probationary membership in the Knifemakers' Guild, I displayed my knives at my first knife show, the 2007 Knifemakers' Guild Show in Orlando, Florida. It was to say the least a very humbling experience to lay my knives on the table next to some of the best of the best knifemakers in the world. At the same time, it was very encouraging as i was warmly welcomed and accepted by the members of the Guild and I actually sold a few knives.
2008 - The KCA, NKCA and my First Award
I joined the Kentucky Cutlery Association and became active in the club. I was later elected to the board of directors.
I also joined the National Knife Collectors Association and began showing at several of their shows.
At the NKCA Spring Show in Shepherdsville, Kentucky in May 2008 I was honored to receive my first knifemaking trophy, the "Best Custom Straight Knife" award for my large fancy dagger.
2009 - Knifemakers' Guild and the KCA
At the 40th annual Knifemakers' Guild Show in September 2009 my knives were once again inspected by a panel of voting Guild members and I was granted full voting membership into the Guild after having served my two years probationary period. I also once again had a very successful Guild Show.
At the annual Kentucky Cutlery Association Christmas Party in December 2009 I was again honored to receive the "2009 Presidential Award" from club president Jerry Bodner in recognition for my service to the KCA and knife collecting.
At the 2010 Kentucky Cutlery Association Knife Show in Shepherdsville, KY I was honored to be awarded the Chairman's Award.
Today - My Knifemaking Career Continues....
I have been blessed with a great many new friends through my knifemaking including customers, collectors and fellow knifemakers. Awards and trophies are wonderful but the real rewards are in the satisfaction of someone choosing me to make a knife for them and in the friendships I have gained.
People now know me and look for me at the knife shows and my orders for custom knives continues to increase as have my sales on my website. I receive emails from customers who tell me how pleased they are with my knives and how well they have preformed in the field. That is my real accomplishment and my inspiration to continue on this path.
I continue to learn and gain experience. I will continue to try new things and experiment with new designs and techniques. I am only 7 years down the knifemaking road but it is still as exciting as the day I started.