BLADE Magazine

Loerchner Wins CKCA/Fisk Cutlery Challenge

It took four judges over two hours to reach a decision, but Elizabeth Loerchner was chosen the winner of the Custom Knife Collector Association Jerry Fisk Cutlery Challenge.
Elizabeth won for her folder set with glass inlay. The announcement of the winner was made in Atlanta during the 2013 CKCA Banquet held the same weekend—May 31-June 2—as the BLADE Show & Living Ready Expo (

Elizabeth won over knife projects submitted by knifemaker Robert Kaufmann and ABS master smith J.R. Cook. All three were awarded $15,000 endowments last year to make “a more innovative knife,” with all three resulting knives judged prior to this year’s CKCA Banquet. The innovation could be in a new process, new design, anything that produces a knife “more innovative than what is being done.”

The artisan trio represented an international cross section of makers: Loerchner of Ontario, Canada, Kaufmann of Aitrach, Germany, and Cook of Nashville, Arkansas. The entries will be on display at various museums to introduce non-knife art collectors and others to the fast-growing collectible field of custom knives.

The CKCA accepted applications until May 1, 2012, and a committee met to select the three winning makers. “Each maker consistently stretched themselves to do something outside their norm,” a Cutlery Challenge news release noted. “The selected makers are recognized for their enthusiasm, support for the industry, and are a positive representation of the CKCA organization.”

The benefactor of the $45,000 challenge has agreed to sponsor another one, and details regarding how to enter and more will be released by the CKCA in the near future. The challenge is open to CKCA members who are full- and part-time knifemakers who specialize in the forged or stock removal methods.

The CKCA is dedicated to the promotion and artistic significance of handmade knives. For more information, visit


Elizabeth Loerchner won the CKCA/Fisk Cutlery Challenge for her folder with glass inlay. (Francesco Pachi photo)

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