When did you become a professional knife maker?
I started after my son’s untimely death. We used to work together, and I kept feeling his presence in the room next to me: it was too much to bear. I opened my workshop at the age of 50, and my first knives were very simple, unlike the ones I make today.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
What I love is creating. I feel a bit like an archaeologist who little by little uncovers an ancient object or bone. I cut into the steel and gradually uncover an animal, a character: little by little my work comes alive. It’s fabulous!
© Gregory Maillot
How is your profession perceived by others?
People don’t imagine it takes at least a year and a half to make a knife. With all due respect to my customers, I like to say it’s crazy work for crazy people! When I finish my creations, I need to live with them for a while, it takes time before I can part with them.
Is knife making typical of the area where you live?
Knife making belongs to the entire world, but what makes my work special is the fact I carve and engrave things related to where I live, such as landscapes, animals, or even local people such as winegrowers, blacksmiths and shepherds.