The evolution of ideas

Interesting contrast between the two replies to my post on the maple knives. One was a practical critique of the idea, and a good one at that.

A.J. is probably correct in his observation that these knives will be difficult if not impossible to keep clean. Chuck Riccardo, on the other hand, took the ball and ran with it, thinking now about making knife handles. A much more practical product.

He got me thinking, too. I used to make knives and sold all but one. I made the blades as well as the handles. But there are many sources of unhandled blades that could be fitted with fine wood handles. Not too much material involved either!

Too often we tend to protect our ideas for fear of someone “slurping” them. But an idea that is expressed can often stimulate other ideas that lead to unique pieces. Sometimes these things become an entire genre unto themselves. Pen making is a great example.

The thing that I appreciate here is how ideas are generated and how they evolve through the process of discussing and sharing them.



  • Steve Panizza says:

    This sounds like the concept of crowdsourcing somewhat. In fact, design collaboration is what attracts a lot of people to maker spaces. The problem I see here though is what happens to someone’s intellectual property when their work has a business case attached to it. I don’t know in that instance if one can have their cake and eat it too.

  • A.J. Hamler says:

    Steve —

    At least in this case, if they do have their cake they’ve got something to cut it with.

  • Steve Panizza says:


    I’ve seen some of your posts and know where you stand on copying without regard to authorship. I’ve had that experience also. I suppose with collaborative design, everyone just needs to agree to collaborate first.

    At any rate, I wonder how a band saw would do at cutting cake?

  • Chuck Riccardo says:

    There is no end to the possibility of knife handle making. Professional Chefs would love a knife that would just fall into their hand – much like an auto mechanic loves the feel of Snap On tools.

    Each knife a pro uses is handled in a slightly different way – the handles could reflect that.

    And then there are the varieties of exotic woods…. endless possibilities!!!

  • Nancy Kroes says:

    Very exciting to think about custom *handled* knives. Hmmmm…

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