It’s time to check out some of our regulars and employees who have transitioned to their own companies during the Pandemic! These people are incredibly talented and fabulous at what they do. Showcasing these crafters is a great way to inject life into this dreary landscape that we are living through.
The first local maker I thought about was our own Dave Daschofsky. Dave makes custom knives at Black Cat Ironworks. He runs his shop out of his own garage, and every blade is 100% made from scratch. Dave built his own forge and used unique methods that make these knives one of a kind. Some people might have seen him working away at the Tavern on weeknights; hand sanding and punching every single hole for stitching a leather sheath, individually. The care and time that he puts in to make these blades is breathtaking. He is meticulous and makes sure that the knives he makes are quality pieces and something he is proud of. I have never seen someone actually hand sand a knife to a chrome finish until I watched Dave do it. I was curious if he missed working on his knives at the Tavern. He said that, yes, he does. The time spent chatting with people at the Tavern made time fly and the tedious parts not so bad.
Recently, he was able to answer few questions about how he got into making knives and what possible future he might want from it.
M: How long have you been doing this?
D: I have been making knives off and on as a hobby since I was in high school and got a bit more serious about it a couple years ago.
M: Do you plan on making this a career? What sparked the interest in making your own knives?
D: When covid wiped out the DJ industry, I invested in the tools I needed to turn knifemaking into a full-time job.
M: Do you make sheaths for every knife that you make?
D: I generally do not make sheaths but will if someone wants one for their knife.
M: Do you use sustainable handle materials?
D: I am not sure if my handle materials are sustainable. Aside from the wood, most of it is recyclable.
We talked about the most fun knife he ever made. He says it was this large cleaver that he used every bit of what he had so far learned about knife making on. This thing is enormous and beautiful. It really does look like it was pulled from a store shelf. The handle is made from Amboyna Burl. Burls are the wart on the side of a tree, and Amboyna Burl is one of the most prized for its deep red color and heavy bird’s eye or bubbly grain pattern.
All the changes we have gone through in COVID have made us even more reliant on technology than we already were. It has affected the way we promote ourselves and our business entirely now. Switching to all online and in seclusion has taken its toll on the jobs that we have too. I asked Dave how it has affected him personally. I asked him how Tech has helped him further his business. He replied that it has been significant for him. Between Facebook and Instagram, he has not really needed a website. However, he is working on setting one up. The use of social media has been exponentially helpful in showcasing small, local businesses. Changing career paths in this strange time has had its difficulties, though. The life changes that we have been thrown into have forced many of us to augment our lifestyles. I wanted to know what the most challenging part has been for Dave. He said his biggest struggle was the change in routine. Switching from being a night owl karaoke host, not going to sleep until 8 a.m. to now waking up at 4 a.m. to work in the shop. It has flipped most of us on our heads very quickly, having to adjust to a time in our lives that forced change at lightning speed.
You can buy a blade from Dave yourself if you’d like!