Pattern Welded Chef’s Knives with Jordan LaMothe
Session Four, July 5th through July 16th
This workshop will include all aspects of creating an extraordinary pattern welded chef’s knife: Making the pattern welded billet, forging and welding of the blades, grinding, heat treating, designing and making handles, along with etching and finishing. Please see Jordan’s detailed description.
In the kitchen, a well-designed, attractive knife is both a visual centerpiece in the knife block and on the cutting board, and an indispensable tool for processing raw ingredients into nourishing food. In this intensive, two-week class, students will learn to make kitchen knives with pattern-welded, or Damascus steel blades.
In the first three days of class, each student will produce their own billet of Damascus steel, forge welding two different alloys of steel into complex patterns at high heat under a power hammer. Students will then spend the remainder of the class crafting chef and paring knives from their own patterned steel. Students will learn to forge, grind, and heat treat their knife blades; shape elegant, comfortable handles; and apply fine finishes to every surface of their pieces. Special attention will be given to the cutting geometry and handle ergonomics that make for high-performance kitchen knives. Each student should expect to leave class with a finished chef knife and paring knife.
While this class does not require any base level of blacksmithing or knife making knowledge, some experience with crafts or design will help a student to make the most of it. Making knives involves both hard, physical work and careful attention to detail — a combination that is particularly rewarding when you create a piece of edged art that will last for decades of use.