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Ryan Lemaire

Metal / Abbeville, LA / Master Craftsman

Artist Statement

I enjoy all crafts. At this time, I build custom desk sets, pens, duck calls and custom knives and sheaths. If I am building something specifically for someone, I try to build with that person in mind. I especially enjoy knives from past eras and try to put myself in that period as I build the knife.

Biography

I retired from AT&T in 2008 and finally have the time to work on crafts on a regular basis. I like to use scraps as much as possible, because I can picture something from the scrap and build on that idea. When I build something, I like to do the entire process and make all parts match in a way that a person can recognize the piece without an explanation. The same thing goes when I build a knife.
I have always been fascinated with knives and anything military as far back as I can remember. I can remember walking to my grandfather’s hardware store, Summers Hardware, after school while in the second grade. I would clean the display cases and my favorite was the “Case Knife” display. When I was finished cleaning, I would go into the work shop and pick up scraps of leather, wood or metal and file or cut away at the material until it looked like something. I continue with that today.
I like to build knives that are out of the ordinary and try to match the time period from which the knife and sheath came from. I feel anyone can go to a department store and buy a knife that thousands of others have, but when you buy a handmade knife and sheath, there is a lot of thought and individualism that went into the piece. I get a lot of satisfaction from the completed piece and even more satisfaction from seeing a person’s response when they see their purchase for the first time.