The First Big Knife Show of 2021, ICCE is Returning to Texas

The First Big Knife Show of 2021, ICCE is Returning to Texas


Its been a long sabbatical between major knife shows but that wait will come to a welcome halt March 26-27 with the International Custom Cutlery Exposition (ICCE) at the FortWorth Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas.

Presented by BLADE, the ICCE will pair some of the worlds best custom knifemakers with a select group of cowboy artisans. The best in sharpened steel will be joined by some of the top work in spurs, conchos, leatherwork and more in what promises to be a unique kind of event combining the world of knives with the world of the wild, wild west, 21stcentury style.

Above: Photos from the 2019 ICCE Show (taken by Scott Schuster)

We  have a high concentration of makers and subscribers in the Texas area, BLADE Show/ICCE director Alicia Newton noted, and a significant number of those makers are expected to attend. Some of the industrys top slipjoint makers and ABS master, journeyman and apprentice smiths hail from the Longhorn State, and they as well as specialists in other top genres of custom knives, knifemaking suppliers, embellishers and more will be on hand to exhibit their wares in all their whetted wonder.

As for the cowboy gear element, it promises to give the event a flair rarely seen in the realm of custom knife shows.

In addition to the outstanding craftsmanship attendees can expect to find from our knife community, we will also be introducing products by high-end cowboy artisans,Newton commented. We believe these products will add a new element to the knife show and help distinguish it from other events in the knife community.



The successor to the old Knifemakers Guild Show, the inaugural ICCE was held in September 2015 in Kansas City and featured members of both the Guild and the American Bladesmith Society (ABS) exclusively all-under-one-roof in the first-ever show of its kind. It was moved to the Fort Worth Stockyards in March 2019, where it met with solid reviews. However, last years rendition, as was the case with many knife shows and other events, was canceled due to Covid-19. In an effort to reboot the ICCE in 2021 better than ever  before, show coordinator Jerry Moen and other officials of both the Guild and ABS turned to the BLADE Show brain trust for guidance.

Our company is always looking for new opportunities to expand the BLADE brand name, Newton noted. Therefore, taking over the show in Texas was a natural fit.

Part of that fit is the cowboy gear of the exhibiting cowboy artisans.

As noted, we will have about 20-to25 cowboy artisans that will be displaying and selling their products at the event, Newton stated. In addition, as the show continues to grow, we will introduce experiences specific to the Texas show that wont take place at our other BLADE Show events.

Above: Photos from the 2019 ICCE Show (taken by Scott Schuster)

Other than the addition of the select group of cowboy artisans, the show itself will remain largely unchanged this year. According to BLADE Show officials, their goal early on for the new arrangement is to keep the ICCE close to what it has been before slowly transitioning in the ensuing years to more of a BLADE Show type of event.

In keeping with that focus, the ABS will not present awards or do any testing for ABS master or journeyman smith stamps at ICCE—the ABS does most of that at the BLADE Show. However, the Guild will present its awards, including honors for knives in the following categories: Best Art; Best Bowie; Best Fighter; Best Dressed Fighter; Best Folder; Best Multi-Blade Folder; Best Collaboration; Best Hunter; Judges Choice; and Best Tactical Folder. The Guild also will present its annual Red Watson Award, Nate Posner Award and Hank Rummel Award, the latter for best first-year probationary Guild member, and determine both its new voting and probationary members. The ICCE,meanwhile, will present awards for knives in the following categories: Best Forged Blade; Best Bowie; Best Art; Best of Show; Best Combat Knife; Best Folder; Best Hunter; Best Damascus; and Best Collaboration.



In addition to great knives, makers, cowboy gear and more, the ICCE will feature the sights and sounds of the Fort Worth Stockyards. Everything you might expect from a Western/cowboy experience—bull riding, the Texas Cowboy Hall Of Fame, outstanding country music, Legends of Texas Gunfight Shows, the best in local eateries and drinking establishments, shopping, events for the entire family, a petting zoo, even the Fort Worth Herd cattle drive (not once but twice daily)—the Fort Worth Stockyards has it.

This event wont be just another typical knife show but will have unique elements specific to Texas that will help set it apart, Newton observed. At the end of each show day, attendees can take in all the sights and sounds of the Fort Worth area without having to drive anywhere.

In other words, the ICCE is not only a knife show but a two-day celebration of Texas culture, history and entertainment as well.

Come for the weekend. You dont need a car. Shopping, restaurants, bars—including the worlds largest honky tonk bar—all within walking distance makes for a fully immersive experience, Newton noted. It will be one of the first opportunities for the knifemaking community to all get back together again.

The Hyatt Place Fort Worth Historic Stockyards (800-833-1516) provides outstanding accommodations in the heart of the Stockyards. For information on it and other places to stay, including the exhibitor list, tickets, attractions and more, visit

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