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  • Q & A with Matt

    Ask Matt

    By William Henry June 19, 2019
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    Have a question about the William Henry multiverse? Email community@williamhenry.com and Matt will choose a couple to answer in this monthly forum...

    Question:  What is Koftgari?

    Koftgari is an ancient Persian technique for inlaying precious metal into steel.  I have an old knife that I found in a bazaar in Pakistan that features sterling silver inlaid into the forged steel blade, somewhere around 300 years old - so the history runs deep...  Today, this artform is practiced only by a handful of small shops in India, and we’ve worked with two of those shops for 20 years now.  We machine and pre-finish our parts in a high carbon tool steel, then send them to India with guidelines for the artwork, almost always rendered in 24K gold.  The work is intensive – first the artisans use a hand-scribe to create a fine raised grid pattern across the metal, then they use very fine gold wire to create the pattern over the grid.  That gold wire is then burnished, by hand, down into the grid in the steel.  As they burnish the softer gold into the grid in the steel base, they also close the grid onto the gold, capturing the gold within the surface of the steel.  This takes many burnish steps, and between each one they use a salt solution to blue/black the steel the same way you would ‘blue’ a gun.  When complete, the gold is completed sealed and captured in a darkened steel frame, built to last generations (as per my own antique described up top).  Amazing work, and we are proud to bring this ancient artform into a modern context thru our select WH offerings with Koftgari...

    Question:  Where did the name William Henry come from?

    When I started William Henry in 1997, I had a silent partner.  I decided to combine our middle names to create the brand – mine is William, his is Henry.  I liked the name, liked the sense of history it had, and particularly liked that it was not, in fact, a real person.  I wanted people to fall in love with the brand and the work, not a persona or individual.  Right out of the gate I had customers telling me that their grandfather had a William Henry back when, and who was I to disabuse them of this notion?  I always wanted to build a brand and products that were timeless, belonging equally to 100 years ago and 100 years into the future – William Henry seemed like the perfect name to manifest that intention...

     

  • #MeetWilliamHenry

    #MeetWilliamHenry : Edgar

    By William Henry June 18, 2019
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    Edgar Manriquez has been a blade guy at William Henry for 4 years. In fact, his anniversary was last month. His job includes etching blades and handles, doing the WH logo engraving, and hand sanding blades. Edgar spends his weekends running. Literally. An avid trail runner, he also enjoys playing soccer and spending time outside and in the mountains. His favorite food is avocados and the last movie he saw was The Godfather Part II. No word on if he was eating avocados while watching the film.  

     

  • Studio Stories

    Where it all began...

    By Matt Conable May 6, 2019
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    As we begin our WH newsletter, I thought I’d share a little
    of the backstory of how I ended up here – what a long strange trip it’s been...

    I’m another one of those college drop-outs that did alright – in 1989 I left Cornell, mid sophomore year, to take a grunt job in a little knife shop in Davenport, CA near Santa Cruz.  Why?  Because at that moment, making things of permanence and enduring value made more sense than studying bold face terms in textbooks.  I loved the way knives combined form and function, art and utility, performance and aesthetics, and I knew that almost every piece I worked on, day by day, would still be out there in the world long after I was gone.  Quite simply, that made sense to me – and I never imagined that it would start me on a 30 year odyssey of a career.

    I learned quickly, became proficient and then more than that as a craftsman, and a few years later moved to the Arizona mountains and set up my own backyard knife shop in an old horse barn. For three years I made knives by hand, and quickly rose the ranks in American craft. At 25 years old my work was being juried into shows at the Smithsonian and Philadelphia Museum of Art among others – I had arrived at the top of the fine craft market in the US. But, as is all too often true, I was making peanuts – less per hour than waiting tables – my art could not sustain a life and a family.


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  • Material of the Month

    Woolly Mammoth Tooth

    By William Henry May 4, 2019
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    We're starting a new Material of the Month feature, where we discuss the crazy materials and techniques that drive our artistry. We thought we should start off with a bang and dive right into fossil WOOLLY MAMMOTH TOOTH! William Henry Founder and Creative Director Matt Conable explains where we get this extraordinary material and what we do with it.


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  • Q & A with Matt

    Ask Matt

    By William Henry May 3, 2019
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    Have a question about the William Henry multiverse? Email community@williamhenry.com and Matt will choose a couple to answer in this monthly forum...

    Question:  How long does it take to make a WH knife?

    I’ve always answered this question “Until it’s done”. Maybe a little trite, but it’s the truth. It’s also true that we orchestrate a global dance on many of our knives, working with master artisans wherever they may be to bring the best to each aspect of the design. As a result, an average knife takes about a year to complete. Yep, a year. Involves anywhere from 6 to 11 different shops in as many as four countries.

    We source amazing materials, work with a number of shops and artisans to prep those materials and turn them into precision parts to our specifications, and then go thru 500-800 separate steps in our Oregon studio to craft each knife from those custom parts. Not easy to do, near impossible to copy, and a daily miracle that we pull it off.


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  • William Henry Fans

    FEATURED William Henry CUSTOMER - Christina Dale

    By William Henry May 2, 2019
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    Just received another bracelet today. Screams....I love my William Henry jewelry. These rare pieces of gemstone put together are very unique and exotic. I especially love how these bracelets add such a sophisticated look to my casual wear. Not only does it give a bold statement to my attire, these precious stones have healing and protection properties that keeps my spirit at ease and protects my spirit when I’m feeling unbalanced.

    William Henry jewelry collector Christina Dale

    Even though it’s advertised as men’s jewelry, William Henry’s jewelry is elegant for all. I never leave the house without wearing 1 or more pieces. William Henry’s bracelets compliment one another for stacking or can be worn alone. In the last 2 years I’m honored to have added 7 bracelets to my collection. Yes....I’m addicted!!!! If you don’t have William Henry in your life, you’re not living well. So what are you waiting for? Thank you William Henry for having such rare and precious jewelry. 

    Want to be a featured William Henry fan? Send us your story at community@williamhenry.com

     

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