Florida Knifemakers Association’s First-Ever ‘Club Knife’ Fund-Raiser Will Benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children

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The spotlight at the Florida Knifemakers Association’s Custom Knife Show will be on FKA #1, its first-ever “Club Knife,” the proceeds from which will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. For more information about the Dec. 5-6 event, visit http://www.floridaknifemakers.org/show.html.

“The Florida Knifemakers' Association was founded in 1997, to promote and advance the craft, art, and science of knife making and to improve the overall quality, performance, and value of knives, edged tools, cutlery, and related products,” Davis said.

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Quality custom knives of every shape, style and size will be on display in Sikes Hall at the Lakeland Center during the Florida Knifemakers Association’s 18th annual Custom Knife Show Dec. 5-6, but the star of the show will be FKA #1, its first-ever “Club Knife,” details about can be found at http://www.floridaknifemakers.org.

Show hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 9 .m. to 3 p.m. The Lakeland Center is at 701 W. Lime St. Admission to the show is $10. Parking is free. The pubic is invited to attend. Winner of the “Club Knife” will be announced Dec. 6. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the FKA #1 fund-raiser will go to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Here’s more about “Club Knife”: Damascus was forged, ground, etched, and polished by FKA President John H. Davis. Ralph Turnbull did the finger guard, pommel, spacers and file work and fit-up. Master Engraver Roland J. Robidoux was in charge of the carved engraving. Jimmie Smith was tabbed for the scrimshaw work and presentation box.

Robidoux lives in Edgewater. He has been an engraver-designer since 1962 and specializes in custom engraving pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns as well as knives. He is known for his inlays, scrollwork, lettering and expert restoration. Robidoux has completed contract work of fine engravings for Tiffany’s, Ferrari and American Express. He invested more than 20 hours on FKA #1.

Turnbull, who lives in Spring Hill, has been making custom knives since 1973 and became a full-time knifemaker in 1980. He has won 16 awards, including FKA’s “Best Custom Folder” (2014). In 1997 Turnbull became the first American to be invited to participate in a knife show in Seki City, Japan, an area known world wide for its high-quality cutlery and centuries-old distinctive sword-forging techniques.

Smith, educated as a commercial artist, started making custom knives in 1984, specializing in hand scrimshaw as part of his repertoire. He lives in Eustis and is currently vice president of the Florida Knifemakers Association. Smith said the hours, material and even the shipping on the first-ever “Club Knife” will be absorbed by FKA so that 100 percent of the proceeds can go to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

In addition to the handiwork of Robidoux, Turnbull, Davis and Smith, FKA’s 18th annual Custom Knife Show will feature veteran artisans from Pensacola to Key Largo.

“All have a passion. That passion has taken them into making their own knives—their own pieces of art,” said FKA’s Davis, who attended the American Bladesmith Society’s Bladesmithing School in Old Washington, AR, where he studied under ABS Mastersmiths Jim Crowel and Bruce Fuller.

Davis says Florida’s knifemakers represent people from all walks of life: Dentists, lawyers, construction workers, and office workers—all of whom use their talent and imagination to painstakingly and passionately create custom, modern, vintage and collectible knives.

“The Florida Knifemakers' Association was founded in 1997, to promote and advance the craft, art, and science of knife making and to improve the overall quality, performance, and value of knives, edged tools, cutlery, and related products,” Davis said.

The Association assists members with respect to technical and esthetic values, quality of work, and business ethics, he added. It also works to educate the general public with respect to the fabricating processes and the skills involved in knife making.

The annual Custom Knife Show is one FKA’s major outreach efforts.

For more information about the Florida Knifemakers Association and its upcoming show, including details about FKA’s first official “Club Knife” raffle, contact Jimmie Smith at (352) 771-6481, John Davis at (209) 740-7125 or visit http://www.floridaknifemakers.org. and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Florida-Knifemakers-Association-272251796212165/?fref=ts)

ABOUT: The Florida Knifemakers Association was founded in 1997 to promote and advance the craft, art, and science of knife making. The 18th annual FKA Custom Knife Show takes place in Sikes Hall at the Lakeland Center. Show hours are Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6, 9 .m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $10. Parking is free.

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