American Bladesmiths Society Master Bladesmith.
Member: Knifemakers' Guild of Southern Africa
Founder Member: Southern African Bladesmiths Association
My interest in knives began at the age of 12. I was introduced to the craft by my Grandfather who made knives as a hobby. The knifemaking bug bit me hard and I have never been able to give up the habit. Sounds like an addiction? It is! Knife lovers will understand and forgive me!
My knives are tested in the field as I enjoy camping, the outdoors, especially fly fishing. Africa is a tough place to test knives!
I completed a diploma in mechanical engineering and worked in a dynamite factory serving my apprenticeship as a fitter-machinist. I was accepted as a member of the highly respected Knifemakers' Guild of Southern Africa in 1991. I am also a Master Bladesmith with the American Bladesmith Society and a founder member of the Southern African Bladesmiths Association. I am currently the chairman of the Knifemakers' Guild of Southern Africa.
My full-time knife career began in 1996 at Gold Reef City, (a re-creation of Johannesburg as a mining town 100 years ago). Here I met Heather, my wife, and we went on course together to the Bladesmithing School in Arkansas U.S.A in 1998 to learn bladesmithing and damascus steel making.
We both love fly fishing and decided to combine our workshops and move to the country. Here Heavin
(Heather and Kevin) Forge in Belfast, only 2 hours east of Johannesburg, we can concentrate on making the most spectacular knives and have started a knifemaking school, presenting a variety of courses. I am passionate about teaching and understand the importance of keeping the art of the forged blade alive.
Highly collectable art-knives are my speciality. I make my own damascus steel and do both forged and stock removed blades. Africa offers some of the most beautiful handle materials in the world and I use hippo, warthog, indigenous hardwoods, leguaan skin, crocodile, barbel fish skull and any interesting horn or bone available. The knives I make are part of me, I love designing knives and reading every knife publication I can lay my hands on. Inspiration is everywhere! I am particularly fond of making Bowie knives.
My knives are sold from our showroom at Heavin Forge and from www.BladeGallery.com. I attend foreign shows as well as our annual Knifemakers' Guild of Southern Africa show. Please look at my "Knife Gallery" to view a few of my favourite knives that I have made and sold.
I designed two self-defence folders which have been put into production by Boker in Germany. They are the Boker Plus B@t-Man and Boker Plus Baby B@t.
I had my own anvils cast from a mould that I made. Ideal size for bladesmiths and farriers weighing in at 35kgs. Limited run of 12, so they are collector's pieces!
If you would like to see me shaving with one of my Bowie knives, please click here. The "SWAB" (Shave with a Blade) challenge was to raise money for our niece, Michaela Shoebotham, for her stem cell transplant.
A few years back, for the fun of it, I carved a miniature bladesmithing set and had it cast in pewter.
In 2015 I made the International Mastersmith knife, donated to the American Bladesmith Society to auction off to raise funds for the ABS schools. Click here to see how that challenging knife was made.