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Today I am speaking with young knifemaker Jason Brous. Jason is one of those guys that you are going to want to watch. Although relatively new to the world of custom knifemaking, Jason as already created quite a stir among the knife community with his wild and inventive designs. Additionally, his work has received international recognition, and has been published in Blade Magazine. I never doubted that he was talented, but in our exchange of emails I also found Jason to be polite, humble and highly professional. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Jason Brous to BladeReviews.com.
Hey Jason, welcome to the site. How did you get into making knives?
My initial take on knife making is not typical of most makers. I believe that is why my work looks so unusual, or from another planet. My inspiration came from a particular art style that I was introduced to through an amazing artist from Brazil named Lango. This art form is known as bio-mechanical, and it is basically a combination of abstract robotics intertwined with the human body in a mechanical formation.
This type of art got me interested in fantasy style knives. I began doing some research and I found a lot of cool unique designs, my favorite by Paul Eller. Being a Machinist by trade meant that I had all of the resources to potentially make one myself. Having not the slightest clue on what I was doing I was able to pop out a half way decent knife.
Very cool. It’s a very unique style. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a Machinist?
I have been working as a CNC Machinist at my father’s company for about 10 years now. A common misconception is that I use CNC machines to make my knives. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I use the stock removal method, grinding bevels with my 2×72 KMG grinder, and mill complex serrations with a Bidgeport Manual Mill. Many, many hours and exact calculations go into my designs.
That is cool man. For those interested, there are some nice photos of Jason’s shop on his website.
Ok, so tell us a bit about your most popular design, the “Silent Soldier.”
The “Silent Soldier” design was actually made early in my knifemaking career. I posted it on a few forums and it was even featured in the January 2011 issue of Blade Magazine. The response I got was phenomenal. I received so many orders for them that I could not keep up making them by hand. I was basically working my full time job by day, and making Silent Soldiers by night. This went on for many sleepless months and minimal time with my family. I finally considered the idea of outsourcing. I was able to find a reputable company to help in the production of this design. We made 500 total and about half are already sold through pre-orders. You can see more info and purchase at BrousBlades.com. My confidence for these Silent Soldiers is through the roof. I will put these up against any neck knife in the entire industry.
At 24 years old you have already started making a big name for yourself in the world of custom knives, what kind of response have you received?
It is very tough being a 24 year old knife maker. Although the majority of people appreciate the craftmanship in my work, there are always a few people that are going to loathe it. I have had people tell me that my work is silly and pointless. I do realize that I have a lot to learn about knife making, but everyone must start somewhere. I wasn’t lucky enough to have some great accomplished knifemaker teach me what to do and what not to do. Because of that, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, and I have leaned from them. I will continue to strive to be the best knife maker I can be while staying true to myself.
Your style may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I respect the fact that you are doing your thing, putting your knives out there, and asking for advice and opinions. It’s easy to be hyper-critical of someone’s work, especially behind a computer screen.
I think you have the right idea with simply continuing forward to make the best knives you can and ignoring the “haters.” What are your future plans for Brous Blades, do you plan to make knives full time?
My plans for Brous Blades is to continue making top quality and creative custom knives and I hope to release a few more production knives. I am also working on a collaboration with SOG Specialty Knives and Tools. The collaboration will feature a full Brous Blades line of about 5 to 6 designs.
I would eventually love to make knives full time. I definitely have enough work to keep me busy, but I do not want to add the pressure of knifemaking being my sole source of income. It is very difficult to stay creative under that kind of pressure. The fact that I dont make a lot of knives makes the ones I do a little more exclusive.
Congrats on the SOG collaboration, that is really cool. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for that. Ok, one last question; What is your current EDC (Every Day Carry) Knife?
I actually carry the Silent Soldier around my neck every day. I literally use it for everything; from splitting wood pallets, to cutting boxes, to even opening mail. The versatility of this knife makes it perfect for everyday use.
Very cool, it’s a neat little design. Thanks again for the interview Jason, best of luck in your knifemaking endeavors!