This section of the website is dedicated to interviews with awesome custom knifemakers, knife designers and martial artists. I have had the privilege to speak with some very talented and interesting people. Their stories are as rich and diverse as their work and it has been an honor to feature a little of their work on this site.
If you know someone who you would like to see interviewed, feel free to contact me.
- Interview with Custom Knifemaker Filip de LeeuwFilip de Leeuw is a Belgian knifemaker who makes some amazing folders. I came across his website, DeviantBlades.com and fell in love with his classically styled knives featuring modern materials and enhancements like pocket clips, thumb holes and titanium frame locks. His knives are clean, simple and meticulously finished. I find myself drawn to the ...
- Interview with Geoff “TuffThumbz” BlauveltToday I am sitting down with Geoff Blauvelt, aka TuffThumbz. I stumbled across Geoff’s work while browsing through some of my favorite knife videos on YouTube. One thing that really stood out was Geoff’s amazing energy and charisma. These were dark and crowded videos filmed in some dank corner of his shop, and often ...
- Interview with Randy Church of Church & Son KnivesMr. Randy Church of Church and Son Knives is a man from a forgotten time. Operating out of the Rosebud Forge, Randy is a maker of old world tools. Not only are these old world tools, but he uses old world methods – he makes these pieces entirely without electricity! This has resulted in some ...
- Interview with Gerry Drew of GL Drew KnivesToday I am sharing an interview with bladesmith Gerry Drew of GL Drew Knives. Gerry’s slogan is “Hunting Knives Made by a Knifemaker that Hunts,” and is a testament to his 25+ years of experience hand crafting knives and hunting. His pieces have rustic charm, yet are meticulously hand-made and exceptionally well finished. ...
- An interview with Custom Knifemaker Johnathan MitchellI first heard about Jonathan Mitchell of Mitchell Knives by reading David Decker’s blog. A man who is never afraid to speak his mind, anyone Dave mentions catches my attention because I know he “keeps it real” when it comes to this sort of stuff… it makes the difficult job of finding the next maker ...
- An Interview with Custom Knifemaker Ernie SwansonI find that the more interviews I do, the more I like to find people who have a story. Most knifemakers have great stories so this really doesn’t make finding new knifemakers to interview any easier, but it is always an easy choice when I find some personal connection with a maker and see something ...
- Interview with Roman Pokorny of The Custom Spyderco ProjectAs an unapologetic Spyderco fanboy, I argue that there are few things greater than a Spyderco knife. One thing that does come to mind is a custom Spyderco knife. That is why I asked Roman Pokorny to be featured on the site. A professional musician by trade, Roman is an avid collector of Spyderco ...
- Interview with Master At Arms James A. KeatingToday I am talking with the one and only James A. Keating. Internationally recognized as an authority on edged combat, James is a legend among enthusiasts of self defense, knives and everything in between. Although this interview has been the product of a couple months of conversation, I knew from our very first exchange of ...
- An Interview with Custom Knifemaker Jason BrousToday 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 ...
- An Interview with David DeckerWhen I first started this website, it was simply a place to put some knife reviews. I enjoy collecting knives and building websites so it was a natural progression. I would have never guessed that I would soon be meeting fascinating people from around the world sharing a passion for knives. One of those people ...
- An Interview With Jose Diaz – Custom KnifemakerBetween making his own custom knives, functioning as the executive director for BladeSports International, and making time for his large network of family and friends, Jose Diaz is a busy guy. I managed to snag an interview with him and I was blown away by his passion for knives and commitment to BladeSports. In the ...
- An Interview with Ban Tang – Custom KnifemakerToday I am interviewing Ban Tang of Ban Tang Knives. Ban is a custom knifemaker from San Jose, California and is truly a student of the art of knifemaking. He is completely dedicated to making the best possible knives he can, and it shows in every way. I remember the first time I saw his knives, ...
- An Interview With Sergey R – Jeweler and KnifemakerI saw Sergey’s custom work and I HAD to feature his stuff on my site. Naturally, I feel that way about everyone who I manage to feature here (which is why I enjoy doing this stuff so much), but Sergey’s customizations really spoke to me. We all know it’s real easy to go to the ...
- An Interview with Dylan Fletcher – Custom KnifemakerDylan Fletcher of Fletcher Knives is a custom knifemaker out of Alpharetta, Georgia. His hard use tools are rugged, reliable and are built to simply get the job done. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Dylan and
- An Interview with Filip De Coene – Custom KnifemakerFilip De Coene is a custom knifemaker from Belgium whose simple designs are modern and elegant. He seems to distill knifemaking to it’s purest form and his work is a very interesting departure from the custom knives that I usually encounter.
- An interview with Steve “STR” Rice – Custom KnifemakerThis is the first of a series of interviews I will be conducting with with custom knifemakers and craftsmen, exploring the world of custom knives and the people who make them. If you or someone you know would be interested in being interviewed by BladeReviews please contact me. STR is a veteran and custom knife maker ...
MICHAEL S. WHITLOCK says
MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE KNIFE SMITH, WILL BE THE LATE CLYDE E. FISCHER OF VICTORIA, TEXAS. FROM 1977 TO HIS PASSING IN 2001, I WAS A MEMBER OF HIS “INNER CIRCLE” OF FRIENDS—WE ARE ALL VERY EASY TO SPOT. IF YOU EVER SEE ONE OF HIS LEATHER KNIFE SHEATHS & IT HAS A HUGE “CHRISTIAN FISH SYMBOL” BRANDED LENGTHWISE ON THE SHEATH—YOUR A MEMBER OF THE CLUB. IF NOT, THEN YOU HAD A DISCRIMINATING FOR FINE, HAND-MADE CUTLERY. I HAVE TWO OF HIS FAMOUS “Y-O HUNTERS” LOCKED IN MY GUNSAFE, NEVER TO BE CARRIED AGAIN INTO THE WILDERNESS. WAY TO MUCH SENTIMENTAL VALUE IF ONE WAS EVER LOST. HIS SONS SHELBY & SAM ARE CONTINUING THEIR FATHER’S LEGACY WITH SOME OF THEIR OWN SUPERB BLADE DESIGNS.
Thanks for the thoughts Michael, the Fischer knives sound really nice. I am glad to hear his sons are carrying on the tradition, it would be great to try and interview them at some point – I am sure they have many good stories to share.
MICHAEL S. WHITLOCK says
DAN: BEFORE “FISH” PASSED AWAY, I ASKED HIM “SINCE YOU WERE ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE BLADE GUILD & HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HANDLE ALL OF THE BLADES FORGED BY THE “FOUNDING FATHERS”, WHO WAS THE MAKER YOU ALWAYS LOOKED UP TO & WANTED TO EMULATE?”
HE SMILED REALLY BIG & REPLIED WITH A QUITE & REVERENT TONE IN HIS VOICE—-“BILL MORAN. HE WAS THE BEST OF THE BEST & WHEN OLD BILL COMPLEMENTED ME ON MY WORK, IT WAS IF FATHER GOD HAD SPOKEN TO ME, LIKE HE DID TO MOSES ON THE MOUNTAIN.”
IN 1996, I ASKED HIM “CLYDE WHO MAKES THE BEST FACTORY PRODUCTION KNIVES, FOLDERS & FIXED BLADES?” HE REPLIED “COLD STEEL. THOSE BOYS REALLY KNOW WHAT THEY GOT & THEIR IN-HOUSE TESTING AND THE WILLINGNESS TO SHOW IT TO THE BUYING PUBLIC, PROVES THEY CAN
BACK-UP THEIR B.S. WITH EXCELLENT PRODUCTS.”
IN 1978, HE FRACTURED HIS RIGHT TIBIA IN AN ACCIDENT, WHILE WORKING ON THE CONSTRUCTION PROJECT WHERE I WAS THE MEDIC. WHEN NOT MAKING KNIVES, HE WAS AN EXPERT CRANE OPERATOR ON RUBBER TIRED & CRAWLER TREAD CRANES. AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL, I NURSED HIM @ HOME ON THE WEEKENDS, WHILE HIS WIFE BECKY, SHELBY, & SAM ATTENDED GUN SHOWS IN HOUSTON, AUSTIN, & SAN ANTONIO. HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO RELOAD METALLIC CARTRIDGES, CUSTOMIZE 1911 PISTOLS, & TO GLASS BED AND FLOAT BOLT / ACTION RIFLES. TO THANK ME FOR PUTTING UP WITH HIM WEEKEND AFTER WEEKEND, HE PRESENTED ME WITH A CUSTOM MADE “Y-O HUNTER”. THE HANDLE IS MADE FROM
INDIA SAMBAR STAG (which he imported), FINGER GROOVES, & A BRASS POMMEL WITH MY INITIALS STAMPED ON THE BUTT. BLADE IS A 4″ DROP POINT. STEEL IS A HIGH-CARBON CHROME VANADIUM MADE BY TIMKEN STEEL WORKS. HE BOUGHT THE STEEL IN SHEET BLANKS & THEN FORGED THEM THE WAY HIS GRANDFATHER HAD TAUGHT HIM, USING AN OLD FASHIONED BELLOWS TYPE FORGE. WHILE I WAS LOADING AMMO, HE WAS HAMMERING OUT & TEMPERING BLADES WITH HIS LEG IN A CAST & HIM SITTING IN A WHEELCHAIR—FISH COULD REALLY MAKE THE SPARKS FLY & THEN THE SIZZLE WHEN HE PLUNGED THE HOT STEEL INTO THE COOLING TANK.
IT IS VERY HARD TO WRITE ABOUT HIM & NOT GET A LITTLE WEEPY. I LOVED HIM LIKE A FATHER & HE TREATED ME AS IF I WAS ONE OF HIS CHILDREN. I CONTINUE TO MISS HIM DEARLY, BUT HAVE STAYED IN CONTACT WITH HIS OLDEST SON SHELBY. SHELBY & HIS FAMILY MOVED INTO HIS PARENTS OLD HOME IN VICTORIA, TEXAS NOT LONG BEFORE CLYDE DIED OF A “RUPTURED ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM” WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL IN VICTORIA.
MICHAEL S. WHITLOCK
Wow, I am at a loss for words here (a rare occasion). Thanks so much for the thoughts about your Clyde. He sounds like an amazing knifemaker, an amazing friend, and just an all around amazing person. May he rest in peace, and his memory endure.
MICHAEL S. WHITLOCK says
THANKS DAN FOR YOUR KIND WORDS. THE THINGS RELATED TO HOT-RODDING FIREARMS, RELOADING, SHARPENING KNIVES, HUNT ETHICS, PROCESSING GAME ANIMALS, & ESPECIALLY MY HANDGUN TRAINING EDUCATION, I AM NOW PASSING ALONG THESE SKILLS TO MY SON-IN-LAWS & IN A FEW YEARS TO MY GRANDCHILDREN. IF YOU WOULD LIKE, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO SEND YOU A PIC OF THE KNIFE HE TRULY CUSTOM MADE FOR ME. THERE ARE LOTS OF PICTURES OF HIS WORK ON THE INTERNET.
HE WAS A VERY HUMBLE MAN, WHO DID NOT TOOT HIS HORN ABOUT THE QUALITY OF HIS BLADES—HIS TRUE FRIENDS & LOYAL CUSTOMERS DID THAT FOR HIM!!!!!
HE SHARED A CAMPFIRE IN AFRICA WITH HANK WILLIAMS, JR AND PETER HATHAWAY CAPSTICK & THE MAJORITY OF THE OLD TIME OUTDOOR WRITERS FROM THE 1950’S & 60’S. HIS PHOTO ALBUM WAS A WHO’S WHO’S IN THE FIELD: JACK O’CONNOR, BILL JORDAN, SKEETER SKELTON, BOB MYLEK, HAL SWIGGET, WARREN THOMPSON, JOYCE HORNADY, SHERIFF JIM WILSON, VERNON SPEER, JOHN NOSLER, JEFF COOPER, CHARLES ASKINS, & ELMER KEITH. FISH WAS ALWAYS VERY MODEST ABOUT HIS ASSOCIATES IN THE SHOOTING SPORTS, BUT ME, AS A FELLOW IN MY LATE 20’S I WAS STAR-STRUCK TO SAY THE LEAST, BUT TO HIM THEY WERE JUST A GREAT BUNCH OF GUYS TO SHARE A BEER, CAMPFIRE STORIES, & TO WAGER A BET WITH.
FISH USED TO SAY “THERE AIN’T TOO MANY THINGS YOU CAN’T FIX, WITH $500 OR A .30-06”—-SADLY HE NEVER REALIZED EXACTLY HOW FUNNY HE WAS TO HANG AROUND WITH. COULD MAKE ME LAUGH SO HARD I WOULD SOMETIMES LOUDLY “BREAK WIND” & THEN HE WOULD START IN ON ME WITH SOMETHING ELSE.
FOR LAUGHS, HE HAD HIS CAPE BUFFALO SHOULDER MOUNT HUNG ON THE WALL IN HIS TROPHY ROOM, WITH THE ANIMALS NOSE ABOUT EYE-HIGH OFF THE FLOOR. WHEN YOU FLIPPED ON THE LIGHT, THE BUFF’S NOSE WAS ABOUT 5′ FROM YOUR FACE. I SCREAMED SO LOUDLY THE FIRST TIME I SAW IT & HE SAYS “DON’T WORRY LADDIE, EVERYONE REACTS THE SAME WAY”. HE THOUGHT THAT SCARING THE CRAP OUT OF FIRST-TIME VISITORS IN THIS MANNER, WAS GREAT FUN.
Too funny Michael! He sounds like quite the character! The world would be a better place with more people like him. Yes, by all means please send the picture. I would love to take a look at his work.
MICHAEL S. WHITLOCK says
10-4 ON THE PIC YOU REQUESTED. WILL FORWARD IT TO YOU VIA YOUR PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS.
James Myles says
Would you be able to get me any information on where I can purchase Clyde’s sons knives? I knew Clyde and have one of his knives that he made for me. As you said, the character and personality of Clyde was one of a kind and was a sheer joy to be around. Any information you could get me would be greatly appreciated.
My family was close friends with The Fisher’s back in the day. My father, Gerald Tisdale, was a close friend and they spent many hours working on knives, guns, and scrimshaw. I have memories of being a young girl running the Texas brush, following the dogs as they chased wild hogs during guided hunts. It was thrilling and so much fun, running alongside Clyde’s kids and my brother Doug. He was a big rugged man with arms of steel that always had a gentle hug and a ways had a grin and a quick wink to go along with the hug. I miss those days, running wild , and being around pool that seemed bigger than life. It is good to see Mr. Fisher’s work is collected and treasured, just as my father’s pieces are.
David Griffith says
I am trying to find information on a knife that came into my possession about a year ago. It is a very well made knife that has incredible scrimshaw on the handle/scales. It is signed TISDALE on the scales. The makers mark on the blade looks like “÷”, (qoutation marks added by me). Might the scrimshander be your father D. Tisdale?
Kind regards, David
JD Tisdale says
Can you give me contact info so I can verify if that is my fathers work? I might even be able to identify the knife maker for you. Thanks.
Dixie Tisdaale McKenna says
My father did scrimshaw on knives. He was Gerald (Gerry) Tisdale and usually signed his work TISDALE or GT. Would you be able to share a picture of the work?
Dixie Tisdale McKenna
JD Tisdale says
My sister DTisdale was telling the truth about Mr. Clyde Fisher. A truly awesome man to have known. I was always in awe when he started spinning his yarns of escapades past. He was confident in his skills and knowledge but humble and not a braggart. Clyde was a man’s man and a gentleman all at once. Never one to allow there to be a dull moment.
I have vivid memories of the pig hunt at the Yancey Ranch many years ago. Clyde, his sons, and their hog dogs hunted down a huge hog. It was my first experience with hog dogs and am still amazed to this day at how they all worked together. It was truly amazing to my 15 year old eyes.
Not long after that, Clyde presented me with one of my life’s treasures. He gave me a coffin handled Bowie that he said was an exact replica of the one Geronimo carried.
I’m 47 now and love and cherish that gift just as i did that special day.
I was deeply hurt when i heard Clyde had moved on to the happy hunting grounds, but I take solace in the fact that i know that he and my father are sitting around the campfire telling stories and planning the next hunt.
May they both rest in peace and have a fruitful hunt.
MICHAEL S. WHITLOCK says
GREETINGS TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE “CLYDE EDGAR FISCHER FAN CLUB” CHAPTER #01, SEALY, TX. 77474
I AM CURRENTLY TEACHING 3 GENERATIONS OF AMMO RELOADING STUDENTS & MY NEWEST IS A USMC MAJOR (RET.) & HIS 3 CHILDREN, AGES 10-16. I AM TEACHING THEM THE VERY SAME TECHNIQUE IN THE “ART & SCIENCE OF RELOADING METALLIC CENTER-FIRE CARTRIDGES”, WITH ZEO DEVIATIONS !! CLYDE TOOK ME UNDER HIS WING IN 1977 & HAVE NEVER GREW WEARY OF LOADING VERY PRECISION AMMO, JUST AS HE TAUGHT ME. HE TOLD ME…”LADDIE, DO NOT TAKE THESE LESSONS WITH YOU TO THE GRAVE. PICK WORTHY STUDENTS & TEACH THEM JUST AS I HAVE TAUGHT YOU” & I HAVE DONE JUST THAT !!!!!
I HAVE A NICELY FRAMED PICTURE OF HIM, FROM THE MID-1990’S & SHOW IT TO ALL MY STUDENTS & I SAY “SEE THIS MAN ??? HE IS YOUR AMMO RELOADING GODFATHER & I WAS ONE OF HIS BELOVED DISCIPLES. SO LEARN THESE LESSONS WELL AND NEVER DISHONOR MY LAST NAME & FOR DAMN SURE NOT HIS !!!!”