Knife Burnout

Most knifemakers at one time or another approach what I call "Knife Burnout". I will relate my own experience with this dilemma.

When I began my knifemaking in 1987-1988, I definitely jumped in with both feet! I read all that I could on the subject, attended shows, asked many questions and spent as much time as I could spare learning to create knives.
My goals in the beginning were set high. 1) Make the best knives that I possibly could. 2) Someday test for the ABS Mastersmith Rating. Upon obtaining my journeyman, stamp with the Bladesmith Society I found that I had no desire to set foot in my shop. I did not want to make, discuss or even look at knives! I call this "Knife Burnout"

My solution was simple. Stay out of my shop, go to the gym and NOT read anything related to knives or knifemaking, which was fine with me. This went on for around five months. Slowly but surely my desire came back. I found myself tinkering in the shop, selling and buying a few knives and I eventually got fully back into the swing of things.

I am not sure how and why this "burnout" came to pass. I do know that stepping back away from knives was very therapeutic to not only my well being but also helped my work in the long run.

I  have seen many knifemakers go through similar experiences, some come out of their "funk" and some no longer make knives. My advise is to follow your heart. Do what makes you happy and find something besides knives to occupy your time. In the long run it will lend to longevity in this business.

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