The Arkansas Knifemakers Association will present the Eighteenth Annual Arkansas Custom Knife Show on Feb. 16-17, 2013, in the Robinson Center Exhibit Hall located at Markham and Broadway Streets in downtown Little Rock. Knife show hours are: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.
Admission is $10 for a two-day pass. Preceding the knife show this year is a cutting competition on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m., held on the Log House grounds of Historic Arkansas Museum located on 2nd and Cumberland Streets. The public is welcome to view the competition, free of charge.
At the custom knife show, over 100 tables will have various styles and sizes of handmade knives. The remaining tables will have knife-making supplies, leather products and knife-related books.
Twenty-eight of the makers are Master Bladesmiths. Master Bladesmith is the highest rank that a knife maker working in the forging method can attain. Arkansas has 16 Master Bladesmiths; more than any other state in the nation.
The remaining knife makers will be Journeyman Bladesmiths, Apprentice Bladesmiths and others that work in the stock removal method. Many are members of the American Bladesmith Society and several are members of the Knifemaker’s Guild. Door prizes will be given hourly. Awards will be presented for the best knife in the following categories: Hunter, Fighter, Folder, Bowie, Damascus, Miniature, Camp knife, Art knife, Bird and Trout, and Pearl handle. Awards also will be given for best sheath, best historically inspired knife and best of show. Knives can be bid on during a silent auction both days. Four handmade knives will be given away Sunday afternoon. Table holders are coming from 28 states and Taiwan. Thirty-five are from Arkansas.
On Friday afternoon, Feb. 15, beginning at 2 p.m., a cutting competition will be held on the Log House grounds of Historic Arkansas Museum to determine the winner of the Best Performance Bowie. Competitors will use a specific style of Bowie knife that they made to cut various objects at five stations on a timed basis.
The Knife Gallery at Historic Arkansas Museum features contemporary custom knives, alongside historic knives, and is home to the American Bladesmith Society Hall of Fame.
Historic Arkansas Museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the galleries and parking are free. Tours of historic grounds are $2.50 for adults, $1 for children under 18, $1.50 for senior citizens. The Historic Arkansas Museum Store is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Image courtesy Arkansas Game and Fish Commission