The annual Professional Knifemakers Association (PKA) Custom Knife Show was held in Denver, August 15-17. Here are the award-winning knives. First, the winners and what they won by category:
Back Row, L to R:
Mike Young - Best Fish Filet Knife
Mike Mooney - Best Kitchen Cutlery Set
Lee Ferguson - Best Miniature Knife (3 inches or less)
Hans Weinmueller - Best Collaboration Knife (with Ray Rybar)
Jerry McClure - Best Folding Knife
Tom Black - Best Bowie Knife, Best Art/Fantasy Knife (also Best of Show)
Craig Camerer - Best Hand Forged Primitive Cutlery
Front Row, L to R:
John Bartlow - Best Bird & Trout Knife
Steve Powers - Best New Knifemaker
Pete Truncali - Best Knifemaker Display
Margaret & Ed Thuesen - Best Non-Knifemaker Display
Fred Ott - Best Damascus Knife, Best Hunting/Utility Knife, Best Fighting/Tactical Knife
I don't have pictures of the award-winning displays but here are the knives:
Last edited by HTMD; 08-27-2008 at 09:39 AM.
Cool knives and great pictures.
Those Ott knives are really nice. So are the others, but I like the Ott knives the most.
Keith - I don't disagree at all. Fred Ott's knives are very nice in every way. In addition to their other virtues, they stand up well to close inspection. My camera 'sees' everything with its 16 million pixels so when I shoot a knife and enlarge the image to its full resolution on my monitor, every flaw becomes visible and a knifemaker's (or embellisher's) limitations are mercilessly probed. When a maker can pass that test, you know he or she is damn good. Fred is in that category.
Those are some nice shots. What is the handle material on the Lee Ferguson? It looks like opal but that doesn't seem possible.
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Jon - It is opal, and a rather spectacular little piece of opal it is. The trick, photographically speaking, is to get the lights just right so that the colors really light up - same as with the pearls.
In this case I was using 4 separate daylight balanced florescent pro photo lights (each one equivalent to 500 watts) with the angle of each adjusted by trial and error.
With a material like opal or pearl there is often a very narrow family of angles that will work and you just have to either know from experience (based on studying the structure and layers of the material and predicting how light will be reflected/refracted) or be willing to guess and tweak until you find the best combination.
Interestingly, the maker's step-son, James, was at the show and saw my photo of this mini. He's an accomplished technical/industrial sort of photographer in connection with his business. James had also photographed this mini and we had a great conversation about the challenges and techniques involved.
To sum up, anybody who thinks I may have created that opal effect in photoshop is way mistaken. It's all about the light.
Here's an example involving white pearl. Mike "Whiskers" Allen asked me to photograph his special 25th anniversary scale-release automatic at the PKA Show. The pearl he selected for the scales is very good quality and has many internal facets that act like a bunch of little prisms when you throw light on it in just the right way. While not as dramatic as opal in this regard, good quality pearl will do this and poor quality pearl much less so.
Last edited by HTMD; 08-26-2008 at 02:09 AM.
Thanks for the fantastic pics Buddy. I guess I gotta get up yonder next year. The Hans/Ray collaboration is a showstopper. Congrats to all, especially my pal Mike Mooney. I think this is 4 wins in a row for kitchen sets. Thanks again Buddy. Kevin Fox ,Tucson
Great work Buddy, that was a real visual treat.
Really like that Weinmueller/Rybar collaboration.
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I really, really love viewing your images and seeing the quality of knives from diverse makers. I am certain all of these makers were pleased multiple times: First with the awards, second with the images, and now with the continuing exposure. Win/win/win....
I am particularly envious of your people shot. As hard as it is to shoot pearl, I have figured that out. Shooting 13 smiling faces clearly is a challenge that I can applaud!
Well done, every one.
Buddy, thanks for taking the time to share the great images. I know it's a lot of work. The Ott knives are my favorites and I like the fighter the best.
Congratulations to all the winners. That is a spectactular collection of beautiful cutlery. I am looking forward to seeing Lee Ferguson, Jerry McClure, and Mike "Whiskers" Allen at the Oklahoma City show on Sept 20-21.
Thanks for the photos, all of you did an outstanding job on that too.
The McClure folder looks amazing. Thanks for the pics!
Craig Camerer should've won the award for the biggest head!
Thanks for the great PKA review Buddy. The pictures of the award winners and the knives was well done and it was a pleasure seeing it.
I saw the opal also and was thinking how improbable is was to have such an impressive piece with that much "fire" in it, until I read it was a miniature. A spectacular one to be sure!
Thanks for the review and the awesome pics!
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