Sometimes I think my work as a Meatsmith is summed up in my pursuit of beauty. I keep chasing it with the strange audacity that once caught, it will be more than pleasing to the eye. The thrill of catching up and finding that it is not only lovely, but good, is a transcendent experience.
So, naturally, when I set out to build a knife transportation device, I was hoping that it would be as functional as it is beautiful: that if we diminished the appearance in the smallest degree, the utility would also be lessened.
In my experience, natural materials gratify my longing for this sublime union every time. So I knew full grain leather would be the medium from the beginning. The harness leather actually improves with use, gaining flexibility and reflecting the narrative of your omnivory back to you. My folio for example is perpetually greased with animal fat and kissed with parallel scratches from my bone saw.
Harness leather is the only material that can stand up to my itinerant slaughter schedule. It had to withstand being knocked around in the snow, rain, ice and dry summer heat of the Pacific Northwest without compromising my precious edges. To that end, each pocket accommodates the blade and is stitched as a sheath with a strip of leather sandwiched between the inside and outside sheets. All knives are secured in place by the flap of canvas once folded and tied.
After searching for years for this kind of sheathed knife roll, I realized it did not exist. I also wanted something to house and protect my three-pound cleaver so I wouldn’t have to wrap it in towels and rubber bands anymore. It surprises me still that this is the only knife folio with these two functions in the universe.
It is designed for the Meatsmith who focuses on sharpening and maintaining a blade rather than grabbing for the next knife when one proves dull. I slaughter, butcher, cure and cook all species with three knives at a time.
On slaughter days, I bring a skinning knife, a slightly longer killing knife and a cleaver for splitting. For butchery, I need only a boning knife, a breaking or slicing knife and a cleaver. And for cookery and open fire cookery, I bring a boning knife, a chef’s knife and my cleaver.
The Knife Folio does it all and only gets prettier with use. Which is why I couldn’t call it a ‘fold.’ Folio is the Renaissance format of a small book that involved folding larger sheets to then cut into smaller pages along the creases. Since Shakespeare was preserved in folios, your cutlery demands nothing less.
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