Blacksmithing turned into knife making for Patrick Burns, owner of Arcadia Knives. When he took a class in 2005, he learned the art, and in 2007, when he and his wife moved to Tennessee, he began devoting more time to the craft. Now, he creates high-quality custom knives for an affordable price. They range from $75 to $200, depending on the size and quality of materials.
“I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and worked in printing for almost 25 years. Work was always hectic. My wife and I decided to move to Tennessee in 2007 as our final pitstop in the ‘rat race.’ Our homestead is called ARCADIA, which [to us] means ‘A region of ideal rustic simplicity and contentment.’ Moving to a rural setting has really fired my passion for knife making. Each knife I make is one-of-a-kind.”
Patrick creates as much of the knife as he possibly can, even making some of the handle material himself. Handle materials might be made from wood, antlers, and even cloth or canvas.
Designing the sheath as well, Patrick creates each knife according to customer specifications and tries to repurpose materials when possible. “I even did a knife where I made a handle out of a military uniform. It was as personal as it could be for the guy,” he commented.
Patrick makes mostly utility and hunting knives. “I’ve made kitchen knives before,” he said. “But there’s a lot more handwork involved with those.” Using high carbon steel, he works with each customer to give them exactly what they want. It usually takes 8 to 12 hours for Patrick to complete a single knife.
“Forging blades is how I started making knives,” Patrick said. “There is something mystical about using fire to create things. With hammer and fire you can start out with just about any size/shape piece of steel and pound it into the desired shape.”
Arcadia Knives are sold mainly at heritage and craft shows. In December, Patrick Burns plans to be at the Farm School Holiday Bazaar in Summertown.