fbpx Interview: Ben Edmonds, creator of Blok Knives

Interview: Ben Edmonds, creator of Blok Knives

Blok knives are no ordinary kitchen knives, they are more like works of art, and every one is handmade in Ben Edmonds’ workshop in Derbyshire

Ben in the Blok workshop

Ben in the Blok workshop

Blok knives are a great example of British craftsmanship being reinvented. Each knife is profiled from a flat sheet of either stainless or carbon steel, with wooden handles carved from English oak. The attention to detail on every Blok knife is outstanding, and we were delighted to be able to catch up with their creator Ben Edmonds, to find out more about his craft.

Tell us about why you set up Blok Knives?

I love to make things and keep busy. Whether it’s cutting up wood to make a bookcase or chopping an onion for a lasagne, im in! Blok evolved from something that started out as a hobby… Just another thing to try. I found myself trying more than usual! I wanted to make the best knife possible so I got stuck in and started to learn my craft. Before I knew it Blok was born.

Blok Knife with English oak handle

Blok Knife with English oak handle

How would you describe the products that you make and what was the inspiration behind them?

The knives are individually hand crafted pieces. Each one is unique. I want to produce something that will stand the test of time but also be a functional, useful object. We seem to live in a disposable culture, nothing is made to last. I’m inspired by beautifully crafted items and the people who put blood, sweat and tears into making them.

In which part of Britain are you based?

Blok is based in Derbyshire.

Why did you decide to manufacture in Britain?

I think it’s important to support British crafts and produce, and where I can I also source British materials.

Who makes your products?

I do. Each knife has been hand ground and finished in my workshop in Derbyshire.

Where do you source your raw materials from?

As mentioned earlier… I think it’s important to source as locally as possible. The knife handles are made from a stunning English oak burr… The packaging is handmade a few miles down the road. The only thing imported at the moment is the metal. This is for quality reasons, however I am currently testing some metals made locally.

Blok Knife with English oak handle

Blok Knife with English oak handle

What has been the hardest part of getting your products made here?

Not many people in Britain make knifes. In fact I believe that blok are the only company in the UK who specialise in handmade kitchen knives. Finding like-minded folks to chat to took a while. There has been a lot of trial and error with materials, machinery & processes but I can safely say that the hard work has paid off.

And what has been the best part?

The best part is using a finished knife for the first time.

What else do we need to know?

Knife making has been going on for centuries and there are many amazing knife makers out there. I would urge people to go and try a handmade knife… It really does make chopping a pleasure! Have a look around, there’s a knife out there for everyone…

You can find out more about Blok at www.blok-knives.co.uk

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Comments

  1. About homewares generally –
    Hipflasks.co.uk – Acorn Hipflasks Ltd of Birmingham have made homewares for years. Coinholders, hipflasks, punk wrist cuffs, and other odds and ends that can be done on the same machines. Their online prices start at £12 for a flask while their ebay shop is a bit more expensive,

    Meanwhile Waitrose has just started selling hipflasks for £8 which I guess are not made in the UK.

    The answer for homeware producers, I think, is to sell second-hand as well as new versions of their own product. Anglepoise and Duelit could be great at this, along with Acorn who already have an ebay shop. That way, there would be a chance of competing with shops that buy things cheap and mark them up. With luck, the idea of an old but guarunteed object might become more trendy as a gift than a new and Chinese one. The same technique might work for Blok knives.

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