5 From the Grinder

“5 from the Grinder” with Olivia Garriga (Wildcraft Knives)

It isn’t everyday you see someone rocking a fixed-blade as their EDC. It is even rarer to see a woman do so. A couple of weeks back, my family and I were enjoying our Saturday morning at the Knoxville Farmer’s Market, when we came across a duo busking some really good bluesy rockabilly music. The upright bass player was Olivia Garriga, and being the knife-geek that I am, I couldn’t help but notice a rustic-looking 3″ fixed blade hanging from her belt. I knew there had to be a story behind it, so I grabbed one of their cards (they are know as Outlaw Ritual) and dropped them an email that evening. It turns out that Olivia is a smith, and she sells her hand-forged knives through her Etsy store . The knife I saw was one of her creations.

I will let Oliva tell you more about her knives and knifemaking philosophy in our latest installment of “5 from the Grinder“.

You can see the knife that caught my attention hanging just behind her keys.

First, in a few sentences, please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives.

My name is Olivia Garriga. I am a self taught knifemaker living in Knoxville, Tennessee. My obsession with knives started as far back as I can remember. I could never afford to buy handmade quality blades, so i started to make my own. From there my obsession and passion for making knives grew.

Question 1: What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?

When I first started I didn’t know anyone else that made knives. However in the last two years I have exchanged information and techniques with other bladesmith’s online.  I have a friend John Phillips that specializes in high end custom knives, any questions I have regarding knifemaking, he has definitely helped me out.

 

 

Question 2: What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?

I do love damascus, even though I have never made my own, but will certainly teach myself soon enough. I also get a lot of inspiration from Persian style knives, and primitive African knives crafted from different tribes throughout history. I also love WW2 army issued knives.

 

Question 3: What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?

Knifemaking is a very male dominated profession. I would love to see more women that are passionate about knives teach themselves the skills to start crafting their own and starting a business.

 

Question 4: Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?

All my knives have the same aesthetic and general style. Primitive and aged with a plethora of elegant details. I mostly like to use all salvaged steels and natural materiels for the handles. Farriers rasps, old files, antler, bone, coins, and leather.

 

Question 5: What is your EDC and why?

 

I have carried a knife on me everyday for the past 10 years. In a way it has become like an extra limb that I cannot live without. The custom knife I made for myself is forged from an antique file. I like to carry a small blade, anywhere from 3-4″. You don’t need a big knife to get a task done, or to do harm if needed. I made a little bit smaller of a handle on mine, so it fits perfectly in my hand.

 


You can see more of Olivia’s work on her Instagram page (@wildcraftknives) or on her Etsy store.

 

Or if you are into some cool streetcorner music, check out the Outlaw Ritual Facebook Page.

 

If you are a knifemaker, or know a knifemaker who may be interested in participating in our 5 from the Grinder series, please send an email to thetruthaboutknives@gmail.com

Discussion

3 responses to ‘“5 from the Grinder” with Olivia Garriga (Wildcraft Knives)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *