C is for…


My curiosity for cutlery knows no bounds. You can gauge my trips by the variety and material of hand-carved spoons I have: made from wood, shell, mother of pearl, snails, bamboo and horn from various ports around the world. It’s no surprise that I would be drawn to the work of the cutler, the early cutlery & knife maker. B in my Alphabet of Arcane Trades focused on the bonesetters, so what a perfect progression to learn that the first cutlers were cave-dwellers, who created utensils out of bone. Casting our eyes a little further forward, Sheffield emerges as the home of cutlery as we know it. The workshops of cutlers featured grinding wheels, from which came rudimentary blades for harvesting crops, which then evolved into knives for the table, though we have skipped a few notches on the timeline. I’m always interested in dining & cutting utensils, especially those that have passed through the passage of time, with extra points for patina and evidence of handmade. I recently returned from Korea with a bundle of razor-sharp knives, their wooden handles with small characters marked on the handle caught my eye.

The Alphabet of Arcane Trades:
A is for…      B is for…

Written by Adam TSI Byron — October 29, 2019

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