ED­I­TO­RIAL

Knives Illustrated - - Contents - BY JOSHUA SWANAGON

Any­one who uses knives on a day-to-day ba­sis knows that over time, if a knife lasts long enough, that knife be­comes part of your story. You build a bond with it that in­cludes mem­o­ries that will not soon be for­got­ten. How­ever, ev­ery once in a great while, you get the op­por­tu­nity to have a mem­ory turned into a knife, and that is some­thing very spe­cial in­deed.

Back in 2014, I had the op­por­tu­nity to go on a trip to the Ama­zon jun­gle, in the south­ern­most tip of Colom­bia, with Bushcraft Global—run by a good friend of mine, Joe Flow­ers. Also on this trip were some other good friends, in­clud­ing Dan East­land of Dog­wood Cus­tom Knives. While there, we back­packed roughly nine miles deep into the jun­gle, where we lived in ham­mocks and learned, from in­dige­nous guides, the ways and crafts­man­ship of peo­ple who spend their en­tire lives in the jun­gle and have never ex­pe­ri­enced the lux­u­ries you and I so eas­ily take for granted.

As we hiked around the jun­gle, learn­ing about the lo­cal flora and fauna, we were in­tro­duced to blood­wood, a beau­ti­ful wood with a deep rose color. It was such a stun­ning wood that we har­vested some for different projects we were work­ing on. When it came time to leave the jun­gle, Dan de­cided that he re­ally wanted some of the wood for

“THERE IS SOME­THING VERY SPE­CIAL ABOUT HAV­ING A KNIFE THAT YOU BUILD MEM­O­RIES WITH, BUT THERE RE­ALLY IS NOTH­ING LIKE HAV­ING A KNIFE BUILT FROM A MEM­ORY.”

han­dle scales, and we har­vested a cou­ple large chunks of it (prob­a­bly about 10 pounds—it is a very dense, heavy wood), tak­ing turns car­ry­ing it out.

Fast for­ward to this year’s SHOT Show, where I met up with Dan while shar­ing a room with him and a few other friends. Be­fore the show, he told me via text that he had some­thing he would give me in Vegas. When I ar­rived, I was sur­prised to re­ceive a beau­ti­ful spear point knife, with scandi grind, made of CPM 154, with scales made from the blood­wood har­vested on our trip. There is some­thing very spe­cial about hav­ing a knife that you build mem­o­ries with, but there re­ally is noth­ing like hav­ing a knife built from a mem­ory.

Stay sharp and keep it real. KI

Photo by Joshua Swanagon

The Dog­wood Cus­tom Knives "Wasp" made per­son­ally for Joshua by Dan East­land, from the blood­wood dis­cussed in the story.

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