Some artists work with knives…Drew Hash–Knife Maker

Each time someone asks me what I plan to do with my new retirement status I feel a rush of energy.  Well, if I’m honest, at times I also feel a little anxious. I have so many interests that I have concern that for a while I’ll walk around in circles deciding what I want to do next. Does that count as exercise?

I’m not interested in immediately jumping into NEW pursuits, but I’m absolutely gleeful at the prospect of having more focused time for the many activities and areas of enjoyment that have been waiting for me. I’d like more time for yoga, gardening, photography, practicing the piano, reading at a time of day when my eyes can actually stay open for more than 15 minutes, and my family hopes I’ll renew dedication to baking bread. My favorite is sourdough.

Generally, I don’t enjoy shopping very much, but I’m passionate about cooking with spices, fresh and local ingredients and there are many little hideaways that offer cooking classes and lectures that I’ve never had the time to pursue.

In small stores and farmer’s markets I’ve noticed an increase in artisan foods– small batches of cheese or handmade chocolates, fresh pastas and home-brewed wine and beers–lovingly produced by people devoted to the art of creating something special and often unexpected in the level of craftsmanship.

But I also pay attention to the beauty and quality of cooking tools and implements.

Because so many of my blogging friends are dedicated and talented home chefs, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to introduce one of my cousins, Drew, and his wife Amy, a talented James Beard Award winner herself, who live in San Francisco with their two young sons.

Friends have heard me tell the stories of camping with Amy, Drew,  and their larger, extended family, all very good cooks, resulting in meals over a campfire that I would not have believed possible without the conveniences of a home kitchen.

But beyond his skill as a chef,  Drew is also an artisan craftsman hand forging and making beautiful knives that are all the more exciting to me because they are true works of art.

Drew Hash Knives is featured as one episode in a video series, Edible Landscapes, edited by Josh Harding. When I saw the video for the first time just a few days ago, I knew I wanted to share it.

Cheers to Drew and other artists who work with their imagination and their own hands to create products with function and design that sets them apart from the ordinary.

I haven’t yet made a purchase. As you can see, like most one-of-a-kind custom works of art, the cost doesn’t inspire capricious spending, but i know there’s one in my future. I think I really need a quality functional knife for all the vegetable chopping I do, but it’s tempting to purchase a beautiful knife to compliment the bread baking. I do have my eye on one with California Redwood handles.

I hope you’ll take a look at his work and let me know which knives you admire and how you’d use them in your kitchen.

I  want to give credit to Joshua Harding of Joshua Harding Photography, and Ted Thomas of Zero Cool Studios, the two photographers responsible for this quality video.  Check out their work, also.

I just love seeing what others do with their talents and abilities! I hope you do, too!

I’d love to her your thoughts!

33 thoughts on “Some artists work with knives…Drew Hash–Knife Maker

    1. I admit I’m a little nervous about retirement status, Andrew, but the first morning (Thursday) I don’t need an alarm clock I think I’ll be all in! 🙂

  1. What a terrific video, thanks for sharing the story of your cousin. I wouldn’t even know how to handle a sharp knife…I use a steak knife in my kitchen with almost everything. I wouldn’t mind investing in quality knives especially ones hand-crafted and from a passionate designer…maybe a video could be provided on how to use the knives for I don’t do well watching myself bleed. Cheers to passionate artisans and to blowing people’s mind with a homemade meal too!

    1. I hear your questions about proper knife technique, Cristina! I want to hold onto my fingers, too! LOL! I might ask Drew and Amy if they’d ever have the time to share a few pointers. That might be a nice guest blog sometime. I do think the video was fun to watch, and I would have enjoyed it even if I didn’t care so deeply about the “star” of the story. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you took the time to view the beautiful knives, Colleen. I have always really appreciated the work people do with their own hands. We all have a creative spark that yearns for expression, but I do think that some sparks are a little brighter! 🙂

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it, my friend. These are the kind of knives that stay in families for generations. That’s the angle I’m going to take to justify purchasing one myself. LOL! I’m not that great a cook, but I think I have a family obligation, don’t you?

  2. Best of luck to Drew with his knives. I use a large chef knife for cutting large veggies and fruits ~ e.g., butternut squash, watermelon, cantaloupe. I use a large serrated knife for homemade breads. For most other chopping, I use lightly serrated steak knives . . . since we no longer need them for steak.

    Happy Retirement. Enjoy life as the path unfolds before you.

    1. I have nearly lost a hand trying to cut butternut squash, Nancy! So I think I NEED one of these beautiful knives. LOL! I have a few nice knives, but none that actually qualify as “chef” quality and I would think, if I could use them safely, that would be a delight! And tomorrow is my last day of work! Whew! I can hardly believe it! 🙂

      1. Woo Hoo! Enjoy your last day . . . and sleeping in on Friday. No alarm!

        When I cut into butternut, I cut into the seed end first (less resistance) and then turn the squash to tackle the solid part on a convenient angle.

        Retirement Tip #1: If you find yourself at “loose ends” when you no longer have a set schedule, scroll through your blog posts and make a list of things/ people/ places you’ve enjoyed and would enjoy enjoying again. Keep the list handy for days when you don’t know what to do. I expect those days will be few and far between given your innate curiosity about things/ people/ places.

        Retirement Tip #2: Go with the flow and see where it leads.

  3. Easing into retirement is definitely the way to go. Feeling your way here and there and dipping your toes in the pools that interest. I use Henckel knives I bought at least 3 decades ago. If you take care, a good knife lasts a lifetime. I prefer santoku knives for chopping and I have a carving knife I love too. Paring knives are less important as they sometimes get lost (just like screwdrivers!).

    1. It sounds like you have some beautiful knives, Kate. My odd assortment isn’t particularly efficient. I don’t have much need for a carving knife, but I definitely do a lot of chopping. I think I deserve a good retirement gift. Jay told me he enjoyed reading this post…so now I just have to hint a little louder. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing. I had no idea about his special chef knife…
    Retirement is for us to open the other half of chapter of our lives. 🙂

    1. Retirement is certainly a new chapter, Amy. I’m a little nervous about it, but I expect it will be very enjoyable. All I care about right now is “retiring” my alarm clock. LOL! And I’m so glad you have learned a little something about Drew Hash Knives. I so admire Drew’s vision and talent!

  5. Congrats on your new status! It sounds like you are making the adjustment in a stellar way. I’m on my way to Wanderlust and noticed yoga on your list!
    How are the fires? Is it smokey where you live?

    1. Thank you, Susie. Tomorrow is my last day! Woo-hoo! I’m convinced that my yoga practice makes life transitions more comfortable. You, too? 🙂 The fires are just awful. Over the weekend the smoke, ash, and general air quality was terrible, even though we’re a good 30 miles south. But even though there is only 25% containment, the winds must have shifted because the last two days haven’t been affected in the Pasadena area. Thank you so much for asking! ox

  6. If I may be so bold as to offer advice, Debra, it would be to relax. Soon you will discover a rhythm, your rhythm, and those activities that you love and that inspire you will become apparent. You just won’t have time for the rest. You’ll see. 😉
    PS Keeping you and yours in my thoughts. Hope they get those fires under control and soon.

    1. Thank you so much, John. I am sure we will develop new rhythms, but at the moment it’s really hard to imagine the freedom to make choices! 🙂 And thank you, too, with your concern about the fires. We are probably 35 miles south, but we’ve had ash and very bad air, which tells me how big this fire is. All my life we had “fire season” and that wasn’t until September and into October. But with the drought, the big story has been that fire season is year-round. That is a disturbing thought. Thank you for your concern. And words of advice. 🙂

  7. Today is the day! Wow! Take your time, Debra – pursuits will find you and you will find your time filled in ways you can’t imagine. Good ways. I remember feeling a bit lost for a bit – a very short bit – and look at me now! 🙂 You are going to find your time filling with old and new things, surprises, and wonder. Best wishes, my friend.

    I can’t wait to show Drew’s video and craftsmanship to Tom. He will love seeing this and I would love one of these knives. You know, he’s the one who goes to the bank to make a deposit and comes home with tree trunks.

  8. First, congratulations on your new life chapter. I wish you the best of everything as you begin to explore the wonders of this time in your life. Take time to enjoy the journey. Like you, I’m also amazed at the creative side of people — especially their passion, no matter if it’s an artisanal bread or a painting. I love that they love what they do, that they can talk about it and share it with the rest of it — and that they seem to have found joy in a simpler life. Be well, my friend!

  9. Inger

    Congrats on your retirement. You know, when I retired, I thought I would need a hobby, a place to volunteer, something to do. Little did I know that after we bought this place, there would be enough work for years to come. Blogging and taking pictures for my blog has helped the creative side and now I cook too. I wanted to honor my husband who cooked for me all our years together by becoming a reasonably good cook. At first it seemed like a chore, but now I’m enjoying it a lot. Always good to hear from you.

  10. It sounds to me like you’re going to have a very full retirement – you have so many interests I’m sure you’ll be really busy working your way through them. What a talented chap! I love the presentation in the meals he prepares and the knives are fabulous. I’d love to add one to my collection! I was just saying to a friend the other day that it’s such a shame that with becoming ‘modern’, we’ve lost so many industries where people could express themselves by working with their hands. I’m so glad that here is one guy who is bucking that trend xx

  11. I am getting somewhat closer to retirement, too, or at least the age when one is suppose to retire, but I can’t see myself doing that. 🙂 Nevertheless, you seem to have your hands full of wonderful and fun tasks. By the way, I enjoyed the video cut with Drew Hash.

  12. Donald Wilden

    Wow what a talent! I hope and pray you will soon be able to take a deep breath and just Enjoy! Be as slow or as fast you want! Enjoy each New day as a gift wrapped just for you! Love Deb

  13. Wow Drew is exceptionally talented – what a great video! I think you’ll get into the swing of enjoying retirement quickly, but I do know what you mean about being overwhelmed with having the time suddenly to do anything and everything you’ve always wanted to. But I know you’ll breathe deeply and start on a course of discovery that I’m looking forward to reading about here! 🙂

  14. I really enjoyed watching the video Debra. It’s always fascinating to see the creative process. The knives are very beautiful but I don’t think I could justify the cost (and postage!) 😦 If I could afford one it would probably be a 6″ Utility Knife like the tiger stripe maple one and it would be a replacement for my favorite Sabatier knife in our kitchen set that we bought over 20 years ago.

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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