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OMG I want this knife!


Special K
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Chelsea Miller knives. Website of the same name and an article in today's New York Times, "At One With Her Knife."

 

Now, if I just had an extra $800 lying around... I'm sure it would be worth every penny.

 

:wub:  (and I need a green-with-envy emoticon, too).

 

K

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I wonder how well these pieces of art will function as a tool.  The Chef knife is beautiful, but how well might it work with most of the top 2/3rds of the blade filled with the roughness of the horseshoe rasp from which it's made?

 

And I wonder about the quality of the blade's cutting edge?  Is the material she uses best, or even good, for the knife's purpose?

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I wonder how well these pieces of art will function as a tool.  The Chef knife is beautiful, but how well might it work with most of the top 2/3rds of the blade filled with the roughness of the horseshoe rasp from which it's made?

 

And I wonder about the quality of the blade's cutting edge?  Is the material she uses best, or even good, for the knife's purpose?

 

Carbon steel knives can be sharpened very sharp and with relative ease but they take a lot more care. 

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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I usually have to be dragged away forcefully from any knife display. These however look clunky and of dubious utility. Great works of art perhaps. Useful kitchen tools?

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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I cruised the site. I appreciate her commitment to her craft and the knives look nice in a folk art way but I'm not sold on the "left on for grating" teeth for real world use. Mainly though, I won't pay $800 for a knife no matter who made it, how it's made or what it's made from. My knives are tools and are used as such. I do what needs done with them. If something happens to one, I buy another. I don't think there's anything at all wrong with collecting and using really expensive knives, I've seen a few I've drooled over, it's just not practical for my budget to allocate that much to one knife.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I don't find these at all attractive, in fact, downright ugly, and they don't look as if they would be well balanced, which in my opinion is extremely important.

 

I have quite a few knives, including one that was custom made for my hand size and which to me is beautiful and is very easy to use and my hand does not tire while using it.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Looks like something you'd see hanging on the wall between two Matisses at the http://www.barnesfoundation.org/...  If you're in the market for art, these might be cool... For actual use... I'm skeptical.

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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Not my kind of knife. Not my kind of art. What is "living" art anyway.

 

But she will be successful and she will make lots of money. Very good in PR. Not very skillful in knife making. I wish her a great future, and she will be more famous.

 

Just a word of advice to her, never show so much cleavage when making knives. It's dangerous. Flying sharp metal, flying burning sparks, flying machine tools, flying knives ----. Always wear thick protective clothing.

 

dcarch

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Not my style, but as someone who has been knife geeking out as of late (just bought a Carter yesterday), I appreciate her work, and more importantly I appreciate having a female knifesmith...first one I've found making a splash (or is it a cut?).

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Aesthetically they are quite attractive and unique looking. The ergonomic functionality might not suit me as an individual, and I'd need to handle one of these before a purchase.

 

I'll add that these are obviously not hand forged by the artist. The rasp was cut with a torch into the desired dimensions and then worked with a grinder to create a knife shape and edge. Then finished and polished.

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If this was advertised on TV as a combination wok knife and ginger grater for only $8.00, and the first 500 callers could get a second one free for just the shipping and handling I might be seriously tempted.

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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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This is a classic case of beauty is in eyes of beholder. 

 

The knives appear to have no utility value.  Poorly designed for any kitchen tasks.  IMO.

 

They seemed to be positioned to appeal to folks that can afford a "look at this"  equivenlent of a coffee table book.  I doubt that potential buyers even know what prep means.  And thats OK.  Does not hurt that she is an attractive lady with an interesting story.

 

I would not buy one at any price but good on her for creating a market and filling it.

Edited by daveb (log)
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I use the outside of my right thumb as a guide so I don't cut myself with the knife. I'm not sure that I'd like to subject the side of my hand to a rasp. Seems much more arty and ornamental than practical.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
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The technique of "repurposing" a worn out file into another tool goes back hundreds of years, (plane irons, chisels, axes, knives, carving tools, leather working tools, etc) and while I think this is a great idea, I don't care for the kitchen knife as depicted in  Ms. Miller's website.

 

A kitchen knife should be polished smooth.  Certainly any knife selling for $800.00 should be polished smooth. If Ms. Miller is looking for a pure art form, leave the old marks on, if she is selling a tool to be used, it should be polished smooth.  Rough surfaces collect food debris and bacteria, polished surfaces minimize this risk.  I wouldn't want to wipe the depicted knife dry on a paper towel, or shred a cloth towel on it.

 

The scales (wood handles) seem to be fitted on nicely, copper rivets are not a good idea with kitchen tools though.

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Edward J,

 

Actually she says the "pins"/rivets are brass, but I agree completely with everything else you said.

 

On the Mohs scale:

 

Copper 2.5-3

Brass 4

Stainless Steel 5.5-6.3

Case-Hardened File Steel 7.8-8.5

 

According to this site: http://www.rockrollers.com/features/hardness.html

 

When I was a very young bride we bought a set of high carbon steel Old Hickory knives. They have brass rivets, and in 40 years, I've not had a bit of trouble with this rivets. I knew nothing about knives at the time, but feel I lucked out in spite of my ignorance. They are all full tang, and to this day hold an edge better than the stainless I now prefer for ease of maintenance.

 

There would be no way to prevent rust in the deeply textured surface of the $800 knife short of periodic sandblasting, which you'd probably want to do anyway to prevent the hygiene issues Edward J mentions. I sure wouldn't want to butcher a chicken with this knife and then use it to slice tomato for a salad.

 

I think case-hardened file steel is a great idea for a knife, but it would need to have all of the texture removed in order to be useful in the kitchen.

 

I feel sorry for Special K, though, he/she was so taken with this knife, and it hasn't gotten a lot of love here. Judging from dcarch's description of the video (which I haven't seen) though, I'm betting Special K is a he.  :laugh:

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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There is no question that she will sell knives, she is very skillful in PR.

 

But to call her a knife maker is an insult to all the other female knife makers. Chelsea Miller has 0 skills in making professional knives.

 

Check out knives made by Judy Gottage, Dellana Warren, Dellana Warren, Dianna Casteel, Mary Jane Cashion, Audra(Sharp)draper --------------------. 

 

dcarch

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There is no question that she will sell knives, she is very skillful in PR.

 

But to call her a knife maker is an insult to all the other female knife makers. Chelsea Miller has 0 skills in making professional knives.

 

Check out knives made by Judy Gottage, Dellana Warren, Dellana Warren, Dianna Casteel, Mary Jane Cashion, Audra(Sharp)draper --------------------. 

 

dcarch

I don't really feel a need to defend someone that I don't know and haven't used her blades, but saying zero skills is ridiculous since she's able to do much more than you or I when it comes to forging, shaping and sharpening. I just researched your list of women because I really, really love supporting artisans and would have hopped on the purchase of a knife from anyone on the list til I realized that...well...they make fantasy blades, swords, bowie knives, finger daggers...only one had any attempt at a kitchen knife. A kitchen knife is a different beast than a hunting knife or display sword. The base skills are the same possibly, but the blade specific skills are different. I would love to know if there any American female kitchen knife makers - then we can compare apples to apples.

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-------------- but saying zero skills is ridiculous since she's able to do much more than you or I when it comes to forging, shaping and sharpening.  --------------------------

 

 

Oh, I think she has good hobby knife making skills, but as I said, 0 professional knife making skills. I did look at her work closely, not very good.

 

Yes, I do make my own knives, but it will be another 10 years before I possibly can be a professional maker.

 

dcarch

 

knifecuttingbd.jpg

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forge_zps6a3604b0.jpg

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The quality of her workmanship reflects the "distressed quality" of a "found object"... or at least that would be the favorable argument by a supporting and indulgent art-critic.  :shock:

 

For something that is intended to be functional as well the price is very steep for this type of quality as dcarch indicates. Miller indicates that she is an artist and they often command steep prices. However, my experience is that almost without exception successful artists that move their work exhibit a high quality of craftsmanship in every detail and aspect of the piece, and at every stage of production.

 

Take some time and take a gander at Mark Knapp custom knives out of Fairbanks, Alaska. Three year waiting list and they ain't cheap.

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It's not often that I agree with Dcarch, but those close-ups reveal some pretty sloppy workmanship.  It would be all right for your own use, but to sell something for $800 with the wood scales not even properly finished, with rough and unconsistent bevels on the edges, and with poor surface quality on the "polished" portion of the blade, this is not right.

 

So, you can call it art and hang it on the wall, or if you want to use it for what it was intended for, send it back and ask for it to be properly finished, or your money back

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