Knife Expo 05; Feb 25-27, 2004, Pasadena, CA
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Each year the Southern California Blades, Knife Collectors Club, hosts the Knife Expo show. This is one of the best knife shows on the west coast. Of course I may be biased, seeing as I am a member of SC Blades. For full information on the next Knife Expo, or past shows, go to SC Blades web site, www.scblades.com.
This year once again the Knife Expo show was held on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday in February. Now unlike the most recent prior years, the show had to move from it's Buena Park location due to its' being torn down. So the show moved back to its' location of many years ago, the Pasadena Convention Center. The upside to this was a larger, good looking hall and very convenient loading and unloading. The down side was that attendees had to pay for parking which may have reduced some show attendance.
This was my second full blown professional show, so I wanted to really step up this year in both the number and quality of pieces on display. So in the two months leading up to the show I stepped up production (as much as a part time bladesmith can) and managed to bring 14 pieces that I was very satisfied with to the table. In addition to knives, this year I also brought three tomahawks to the show. Add to the blades the same knife case line we offered last year and a shipment of Jet blocks as handle and spacer material and it made for a very full table.
In addition to my work and the stock my wife bought, I got a surprise for this years show. My wife Sandra and our friend Helen Nauert had conspired to swipe one of my table cloths and modify it. Helen took the the upper red cloth and added my makers mark to it in yellow appliqué. It really made my table stand out and I was totally blown away. Below is a close-up photo of the table showing Helens' work.
Photo by Vance Jaqua
Unfortunately we all forgot cameras on Friday, so there are no photos of the table when it was completely stocked. However on Saturday my father and brother came to see the show and we got photos after a few items had been sold. Below is a photo of the table with my wife Sandra sitting next to me and father Vance and brother Doug standing behind us. I was really pleased to have my father and brother there and I think they enjoyed the show. I was also really please with how my table looked. I thought we really put out a very high quality presentation.
Photo by Helen Nauert
I was of course also very pleased with the level of business at my table. I had a very good show. Much improved from last year. Add to that, my wife and Helen both taking home custom knives from the raffle and it was very good weekend.
On another note, I wasn't the only one having a good weekend. On Saturday the results of the professional knife makers competitions were announced. And our good friend Rocky Lemon (the brother of one of my teachers, Tony Lemon) of Oso Forge took home the trophy in the high profile Best Sword category. It took a while for Rocky's feet to hit the ground again that day. On Sunday I managed to remember my camera and capture a photo of sword, trophy and maker. Rocky made an absolutely stunning type XII sword with a pattern welded blade, guard and scent-stopper pommel. My digital camera was not really up to the lighting problems in that hall, but I think I managed to capture enough of the pattern and details to give the viewer an idea how stunning this piece really is. Fortunately professional photos were taken to hopefully appear in an upcoming magazine. Well deserved congratulations go out to Rocky!
Photos by Scott Jaqua
All in all, this was a great show. I am greatly looking forward both to next years show and the The California Knife Makers, custom knife show later this year. I really am starting to feel I am making a name for my self. My goals are to continue to improve my work and hopefully bring more and better historically inspired knives to the table.