I discovered Roger Barnes of the BC Cutlery Company through his Twitter feed (@bc_cutlery). We have been corresponding for a while now and Roger agreed to participate in our 5 from the Grinder interview series.
BC Cutlery Company is located in the Bay Area of California. I have a good friend out there and I am hoping I can arrange for him to do a shop visit and guest post for us. That is a topic for another day. For now I would like to welcome Roger Barnes to TTAK and yield the floor to him. (note: He did not send me names of the knives in the photos. I will update soon).
First, in a few sentences, please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives.
Thank You Mr. Aalders for your interest in my Handmade Fixed Blades, P’Kal’s and Karambit’s and more importantly thank you for all you do for the Industry we both share and love. My name is Roger Barnes. I’m a 37 year old, semi full-time custom knife-maker. I am owner/sole-author of Barnes Custom Cutlery Company – better known as “BC Cutlery Co.®”.I started making knives in 2012 and went full-time in 2014. Ran into some difficulties and scaled back to semi full-time in 2016, but plan on going back to full-time as soon as these last few projects/orders I’m fulfilling are ship out and my clients satisfied. If anyone wishes to learn more about or stay up to date with what I’m doing the best avenue is through my Twitter account.
Question 1: What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
As as largely self-taught, sole-authored maker, Blade Magazine had had the biggest impact in my Life. The biggest influence(s)in my style and design making handmade knives has got to be Rob Simmonich, Bob Loveless, Bark River Knives/ Mike Stewart (favorite brand ever), Benchmade (cuz i love em), Spydy (for their research and use of steel). In truth, there are countless influences in my Life in General, mainly the Lord, who is also my most challenging mentor, as I am in a daily fight against Sin. Though I feel very blessed to have a relationship in Him!
Question 2: What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?
My favorite knife pattern from history has got to be the dagger with the karambit as a close second. I love these two designs and love making them as well! They always present the biggest challenge to me and I gain the most satisfaction when I complete one.
Question 3: What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?
The next big thing in our industry will be myself (lmao) and many other up and coming makers. Though I do want to see a more specified category in the handmade class. What I mean by this is those taking sole-authorship and those outsourcing need better classification and separation. As it stands, the two are often strewn together as equals when this is not always the case.
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?
I take pride in my style and raw strength and sharpness of my blades, but my Utilabit is a reborn concept of Simmionich. It is a good example of that exhibits who I am, but I’d like to think all my knives show the elements of my technique and style. I also enjoy the videos I make and publish on YouTube. Those truly show what I’m all about.
(If you are a curmudgeon like me you will want to turn the volume down)
Question 5: What is your EDC and why?
My current EDC is a “Benchmade Axis Striker” w/partial serrations and my own “Dropped Tanto Hunter” in 80Crv2. My every day carry is always changing as I do like to keep it fresh and feed my addiction!
As he mentioned, the best way to contact BC Cutlery Company / Roger is through Twitter (@BC_Cutlery).
He also has a YouTube Channel, The Facebook Pages: BC Cutlery and BC Cutlery Co Bay Area or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also call him and place an order at (925)483-6982 .