Custom knife maker Andrew Mennie describes his work, the pleasure he derives from it and what he hopes to offer his customers
|"From being a small child, I have always admired and enjoyed a well-made knife. My first knife, which was given to me in my teens, was a small sheath knife, complete with a leather sheath. I still have this today and it will always be very special to me. Over the years, being an avid game shooter and stalker, I have bought knives from various sources but mainly at game fairs. For me, part of the pleasure of going to a game fair was looking at the various knives and deciding on the one I knew I would eventually buy.
As I was not working as many hours as I had been, I decided - urged on by my partner - to make a knife for myself. The enjoyment and satisfaction I derived from creating this knife spurred me on to make some more. When I showed my knives to various friends, they were very impressed and offered to pay me to make one especially for them. This I did and so it progressed to people they they knew asking me to make a knife for them.
I feel that I am able to choose and buy the best blades and handle materials from around the world. I predominantly use African hard-woods, various Micartas and Dymondwood laminates on the handles. I take an enormous pride in creating each knife individually and making it into what has been described as a work of art. You can be assured that when you buy a knife from me that it will be a total one-off and no two knives will ever be identical. All my hunting and stalking knives come with an individual hand-sewn leather sheath for which I do all my own leatherwork.
All my knives carry my full life-time guarantee, whether subjected to hard work or displayed in a cabinet or on a shelf, to be passed down to any future knife enthusiasts. Obviously it excludes dropping them and using them as a pry bar or screwdriver!
My first event as an exhibitor was in 2003 at the Lowther Show where Stalking Magazine front cover artist, Ashley Boon, invited me to share his stand. I received a lot of encouragement from numerous people - and some sales. I even had compliments from Sir Johnny Scott - the 'Countryman' in the television series Clarissa and the Countryman.
For me, to have one's own custom made knife is a great pleasure and joy, and there is also the satisfaction of knowing that there is no other knife like it in the whole world."
Andrew Mennie at Work