Blacksmithing The Zero Waste Knife

I have mentioned more than once about my brief blacksmithing experience. I have a respect for the profession. I have a new level of respect for this particular blacksmith featured in Matthew Weaver’s article below, so would encourage you to visit his website by clicking the image to the left:

Tim Westley making a zero-waste knife at his forge. Photograph: Xavier D Buendia/XDBPhotography

‘My customers like zero waste’: the blacksmith recycling canisters into cult kitchen knives

Tim Westley takes up chef friend’s challenge to transform laughing gas litter

Discarded nitrous oxide gas canisters. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

The little steel bulbs that litter parks, roadsides and city centres – the discarded canisters from Britain’s second favourite drug, laughing gas – cause misery to many communities. But now one blacksmith has found an innovative use for them: turning them into handmade kitchen knives.

The prevalence of the canisters has prompted some councils to impose local bans, while the home secretary is keen to outlaw them nationally. But Tim Westley’s handmade kitchen knives are gaining a cult following among environmentally conscious foodies after being endorsed by chefs committed to low waste.

Since promising to make at least two-thirds of his blades from empty “nos” canisters, Westley knives are selling in record time on his website, Clement Knives. “I usually make about five a week, and when they go on the site there’s a rush to buy them, especially in the run-up to Christmas. This week it was only two or three minutes before they were all gone,” he said.

“I’d like to think customers are buying them because they like the zero-waste concept rather than that they just want a knife.”

Westley, 33, a former artist-in-residence at London’s Museum of Water & Steam, moved his forge to south-west Scotland last year. He has always been committed to knife making using recycled materials, including metal dredged from canals with magnets. Then, on walks with his dog, Mayday, he became troubled by the sight of littered piles of canisters, and worried that they posed a risk to cyclists of skidding…

Read the whole article here.

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