Up until a week ago, I had never considered what goes into making one of the most essential kitchen tools: the knife. I’ve thought about how food is grown (obviously), how food is cooked and what it’s cooked in, and what it means to be nourished—but knives? I’ve always just used the Cutco set Dan earned peddling knives door-to-door when he was a teenager.
However, now that I’ve seen the short documentary Crafted (2015) by award-winning director Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), I’m saving up for a Bloodroot Blade, made by artisan knife-makers David Van Wyk and Luke Snyder.
We’ve known Luke and his wife since 2006 when Dan and Luke met at Taylor University’s Master of Environmental Science program. We’ve visited the Snyders in their hometown, where Luke’s family made a carrot cake for Harper’s first birthday. And the Snyders came to our farm with a group of Taylor friends right after we moved here to help us clean up the property (we ate homemade calzones for dinner that night).
But, as too often happens with friends once you move away, we lost touch over the years beyond the occasional facebook post, which is where I heard about Crafted.
The 25-minute film follows the stories of three food-related artisanal companies: the pottery business of Yuji Nagatani, a seventh generation Japanese potter; the San Francisco restaurant Bar Tartine; and Bloodroot Blades of Arnoldsville, Georgia. The individuals behind these companies create beautiful, hand-crafted products—rice cookers, gourmet dishes, knives—and they take their time doing so.
“We’re in this business not for the money but for a lifestyle and for joy, just the joy of the craft,” says Snyder in the film. Dan remembers that back at Taylor, Luke was always talking about his knives. What do you think Dan was talking about and working on in every spare moment? That’s right, growing vegetables! What a privilege it is to earn a living honing a craft you love and, in doing so, creating a product that those around you love too.
To watch the film, click here. It’s free if you have Amazon Prime and costs $1.99 if you don’t. If you want to purchase a knife from Bloodroot Blades, be warned, you’re going to have to be patient. These knives are so quality there’s a 28-month waiting list.