Last year, when The Angel was first was with us, in the Harz mountains in Germany, she introduced us to a new level in knives and scissors. As tent makers, we spend a lot of time on our hands and knees cutting canvas, and have tried various electonic cutting devices, but, without fancy cutting tables, and often working outside, in the end a good ole’ pair of scissors seems to be the best tool for the job. These superior scissors she brought, could cut through more than 12!!! layers of 12oz canvas, and glide through a single layer, making the job so much easier.
And then the knives: we usually use an Opinel knife for everything from chopping tomatoes, to carving spoons, even though we have made our own knives from old circular saw blades, and of course, there was the ‘crooked knife’ for carving which Bill Coperthwaite raves about…. but, these knives she introduced us to, are carbon steel so are super thin, light and mega-sharp and thus make many kitchen jobs much simpler. Like the scissors, I had accepted a certain level of tool as ‘good enough’ but then discovered the level beyond ‘good enough’.
Then there was the day when, I was looking at the mid-summer growth of grass and nettles, and wondering if we should do something about it, but not having a lawn mower or green machine, it turned into a not-doing, with tiny clippers. But later in the day the good-looking postman brought a package with a new load of these knives, with a traditional-looking set of garden shears. Just the job, although decided to leave the nettle forest as it was, growing so wild and beautiful.
These blades are made by several families of traditional blacksmiths in North Vietnam, in a tradition that has been intact for many generations. Recently the small family forges have met with difficulties, as cheap rolled steel-products made in China flood their local market. The Angel has recently started developing our Wild Canvas brand of products and is selling these Authentic Blades alongside the wild bushcrafty things.