Billy Traylor

“As a boy I was raised in the rural south and spent most of my non­school days in the pine and hickory woods around the family home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

I can not remember when I got my first knife, it is as if the thing sprouted fully formed in my whittlers fist. I do remember the first knives I made, from shinny new 12d nails cold forged on a 5 lb rail anvil attached to my Daddy’s makeshift workbench in the backyard. Hot to the touch and scimitar curved I can still remember Daddy giving an indulgent, full jowled smile at my achievement.

Now after a forty year hiatus I am back at the forge and my passion for knife making is on me like a gibbon. It’s much of what I think about when I don’t force my attention to other task at hand. I am convinced that there is no better method than forging, but I’m no expert. The expert data that I have read so far agrees that the best properties of steel are released, enhanced and crystalized with fire and hammer. So I walk the way.”