A story by a thousand cuts
When is the last time you had your knives sharpened?
I don't mean using the shitty sharpening steel that came with your Kitchen-Aid butcher block. I mean actually took your knives to a cutler, someone who has sharpens, maintains, and resurrects knives to their true glory.
It's ok. I've never done it either.
But that may change, now that I've met Joshawa Lamkey from Grindhouse Blade & Ware Care. Lamkey has been sharpening blades here in Halifax for the past few years, but his devotion to all things bladed is not just in their maintenance: it is in the stories found within.
In this latest - and last - episode of Assis Toi, Lamkey tells the story of how an unsuspecting-looking knife turned out to be a hand-hammered beauty. You can stream the episode here, or you can download the podcast via iTunes here.
Update, September 3rd, 2015: I got a lovely email today from a listener named Harriet McReady who heard my piece about Josh and his knives. She gave me permission to share her email with you.
My father always kept his knives in top condition, and I have two of his sharpening stones and use them are use them regularly. (Perhaps not as well as he did... as he would sit calmly for what seemed a very long time... I have not such patience. ) He also carried a small stone in his pocket, which he used anywhere he found a dull knife!
But I wanted mostly to tell you that I have a knife that was my great-grandmother’s; a bread knife. It was given to me by my aunt, who died in 2012 at the age of 91. It has an inscription looks like “The Etna Bread Knife”
Patent May 25 1886 Landers Frary &Clark New Britain Conn. U.S.A. (I think these letters are correct.)
The handle is wooden, with a carved decorative braid. I use it nearly every day and treasure it greatly.
My aunt said a bread knife should never be used for anything but bread... and I obey!
Just goes to show: you never know where another story can pop up.