Just as every outdoor adventure has a story, so does the creation of a hand crafted blade – the explanation in color, curvature, and weight. For many knife makers, whether a hobby or a profession, the passion behind the craft is evident. That is what we found in 17 year old Bennett from Fishers, Indiana. His drive and enthusiasm for knife making is apparent. He has an undeniable energy while discussing his unique designs and a eagerness to learn more and expand his skill set. We met Bennett at Blade Show West in Portland, Oregon, where Bennett sold three of his designs – the first three sales of his bladesmithing career.
The tradition and heritage of bladesmithing continues with this Future Grind Master.
Meet Bennett Snipes
I hope to continue to work and grow as a maker, continuously pushing the limits of my ability.
My love of reading is one of the primary influences that led me to this craft. I was fascinated by swords and weaponry even at a very young age; enthralled by stories of grandeur and adventure. I began collecting knives and swords when I was 12, frequenting local knife shows and stores, and joined several online forums, including the Sword Buyer’s Guide, and All Swords. I was drawn to the maker’s sections of these groups and became determined to learn how to make my own blades. When I discovered an opportunity to make a knife at a local woodstore, my amazing parents supported my attendance, setting me on the path to becoming a knifemaker. With my dad’s help, I began to gather the equipment needed to begin making my own blades. I obtained a 1×30” grinder and started sharpening and re-profiling old machetes. At 15, my dad bought me an Atlas mini forge and railroad track, which I used to start learning to forge. Through the blade forums, I met some fantastic people who helped advise and tutor me in the craft. I traveled to their home forges to learn and take classes from them. With the advice and support of many, I slowly learned and improved as a knife maker.
My absolute favorite design to make is just about anything with a recurve. I enjoy making them in all different sizes, even though sometimes they can be a pain to grind. Lately, I’ve been making medium sized recurves, which my friend has dubbed “mini-fighters”, as they currently have no other name. The design has slowly become my signature style. My favorite part of the process is the design of the recurve. The angle and depth of the curvature is crucial to the design, and a slight alteration makes for a completely different look. To me, a good recurve is sleek and elegant, yet assertive, and aggressive. While aesthetics are secondary in knife design to function, a good recurve is the perfect blend of form and function.
I plan to exhibit at the much larger Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia in June 2019. Until then, I will be working as a full-time smith and plan to continue taking as many bladesmithing/sword-making classes as possible. I hope to start working towards a Journeyman Smith rating in the ABS, as I would like to eventually be a ranked Master Smith.
Have a knife design you would like to share with us? Post your image in the comment section below.
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