Class: Let the Pros Up Your Knife Game
Born in the hinterlands of Charleston, South Carolina, where the forested wetlands of Four Holes Swamp meander through his little hometown, Jason Knight began his dream of making knives. His dad read him stories by Edgar Rice Boroughs, while his mom made costumes for this little boy with a huge imagination. He would go on adventures with his cousins through the primeval forest in their backyard, hacking his way through the understory with old knives and machetes that never performed quite like he knew they should. Wild stories, knightly costumes and wetland adventures inspired Jason’s budding artistic mind. As his fascination with fantasy art developed, he longed to see the knives and swords he was constantly drawing take three-dimensional form. Even at a young age he understood that edged tools were not just fantasy but, instead, art with function. When he was a teenager his parents bought him a grinder – the first step to realizing his dream of becoming a knifemaker.
From an early age Jason attended the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition every February where he met a diverse group of custom knifemakers- some of whom pursued the trade as a hobby, while others like the famous George Herron and Master Bladesmith Daniel Winkler made it their full-time careers. The teenage artist would take his newest creations- typically intricately carved effigies or walking sticks- to show Herron and Winkler, eager for their critique. Concurrently, Jason was attending Native American Pow-wows where he shared his artistry with an entirely different audience, and also gained even greater appreciation for the historically influenced craft of Daniel Winkler and Karen Shook. It was during these years that the friendship between Jason Knight, Daniel Winkler and Karen Shook was born. His intrigue with knives grew even more. He began following the most innovative and prolific makers in the industry, not taking for granted those who continually encouraged him to pursue his passion. Jason’s imagination and talent continued to flourish, while books and movies further inspired him. In 1992 Jason and his wife saw the movie The Last of the Mohicans, featuring knives and axes made by his friend Daniel Winkler. He left the theater knowing that he, too, could achieve the dream of becoming a full-time custom knife maker.
Jason’s early knives were created through the stock removal process. In 2001 he attended the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing in Old Washington, Arkansas. Jason won Best New Maker at Blade Show West that same year. His work quickly became sought after because of his recognizable style. According to Jason, some of the most valuable input he ever received was from his friends George Herron and Daniel Winkler, both of whom encouraged him to always remain true to his own creative niche. In 2007 he received his ABS Mastersmith rating and was awarded the B.R. Hughes Award for the best knife by a Mastersmith candidate. He continues to receive awards for his extraordinary skill. Knight is well known among custom makers and collectors not only as an innovator, but also for his mastery of metallurgy and blade geometry. His influence is widespread in the knife industry and is manifest in many he has mentored and taught to forge blades.
Jason Knight joined the Winkler Knives Team in 2017 as a designer and consultant. His unique insight and ingenuity add to the diversity of the Winkler Knives’ product line. His knifemaking expertise and attention to detail insure the continuation of the standards of excellence for which Winkler Knives is known.
- 2017 Knife Collaboration of the Year
- 2012 Best Bowie; Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair
- 2010 Battle of the Bladesmith Champion – ABS Great Smokey Mountain Symposium
- 2008 BLADE Handmade Award for Best Bowie; Blade Magazine
- 2008 Bill Moran Award; American Bladesmith Society
- 2008 Best Bowie; Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair
- 2008 Best Fighter; Arkansas Knife Makers Association Show
- 2007 B.R. Hughes Award; American Bladesmith Society
- 2007 ABS Mastersmith Rating; American Bladesmith Society
- 2006 BLADE Handmade Award for Best Fighter; Blade Magazine
- 2006 Best Fighter; Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair
- 2006 Best Fighter; Arkansas Knife Makers Association Show
- 2004 BLADE Handmade Award for Best Non-Damascus Hand-Forged Knife; Blade Magazine
- 2004 Best Non-Damascus Hand-Forged; Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair
- 2003 ABS Journeyman Rating; American Bladesmith Society
- 2002 South Carolina Knife of the Year; South Carolina Association of Knifemakers
- 2001 Best New Maker; Blade Show West