If you are one of thousands of knife enthusiasts worldwide who will attend the 36th Annual BLADE Show June 2-4, it's time to start making your to-do list for the world's largest and most important knife event.
In addition to all the knives and knife accessories, BLADE University classes, demos, cutting competitions, knife collections, knife judging competitions, BLADE Magazine Knife-Of-The-Year® awards, inductions into the BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall Of Fame© and so much more are the people who make the show go.
There are oh-so-many—almost 1,000 booths and tables in all in the cavernous Cobb Galleria Centre show hall—including the world's top makers, sellers and displayers of all things sharp. Among them will be three who on a regular basis help make BLADE® Magazine the World's No. 1 Knife Publication—BLADE Magazine field editors Kim Breed, Joe Szilaski and, health permitting, Ed Fowler.
A retired member of the 5th U.S. Army Special Forces group, Breed's 20-year military career took him to various world hot spots, including the Gulf War in the early 1990s. It was while there that he wrote a letter to BLADE about his love for knives. One thing led to another and BLADE asked Kim if he would like to write for BLADE on a regular basis testing knives. He took over BLADE's “Spec Sheet” department and has been testing and writing about knives for the magazine ever since. He also makes custom knives and will be displaying them, along with scrimshaw work by Mrs. Melissa Breed, at table 17G. Stop by and see them—and if you can, do it on June 2. That will be Kim's birthday. Ask him how old he is—and be sure to duck afterward.
A High-Endurance Performance-Knife (HEPK) master smith, Fowler has been writing for BLADE even longer than Breed—since the late 1980s. BLADE got wind of him after reading a booklet he had written sharing his thoughts on all things knife, including how to use them, how they should be made and much more. Since then in his “Knife Talk” department he has exposed BLADE readers to his distinctive brand of writing and knifemaking, including his preference for 52100 ball-bearing steel, his multiple quenching of his blades, the HEPK courses he teaches at his Willow Bow Ranch in Riverton, Wyoming, and so much more. Visit him and his bladesmithing co-hort, Chris Amos (Chris also has written for BLADE), at table 3N. Also, be sure to attend Ed's demo, “Choices The Maker And One Who Seeks a Knife Need To Make” show Saturday from 2:15-3:30 p.m. in Room 107. (Note: Ed has been experiencing some health problems of late but both he and we hope it will not prevent him from attending the show.)
Last among three BLADE field editors who will exhibit at BLADE Show 2017 is ABS master smith Joe Szilaski. A native of Hungary who was in-country during the Hungarian Revolution against the Soviet Union in 1956, Joe moved to America and has embraced all things USA, including bladesmithing. He has assumed the mantle of writing the BLADE “Question & Answer” department originally started by Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame member Wayne Goddard, and also teaches knifemaking and tomahawk making in his facility in New York state. In fact, he will teach the BLADE U. class “How To Filework Knives” on show Saturday from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in Room 109. His table is 3P, where he will be ably assisted by Mrs. Lori Szilaski.
It's never too early to start planning your BLADE Show 2017 itinerary, and visiting three of the top BLADE field editors who also happen to be show exhibitors is as good a place as any to start. Meanwhile at least three other BLADE contributors—knifemakers Brian Goode (table 19G), David Lisch (13R) and RJ Martin (11M)—will be exhibiting. Also, other BLADE field editors who should be roaming the show hall will be Abe Elias, Dexter Ewing, Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame member B.R. Hughes and Les Robertson. Elias, in fact, on show Saturday in Room 107 will present the BLADE U. classes “Steel: The Heart Of The Knife” from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and “The Best Edge For The Job” from 2-3:15 p.m.
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