Jay Fisher - World Class Knifemaker
Quality Without Compromise
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"Alegre" is a great style of tanto, and this one has a stout, nicely angled blade for serious use and great appeal. This is the first Alegre I made, and the client is an artist who works with heavy textiles and wanted a knife that would be useful and valuable, with plenty of artistic appeal. The blade is deeply hollow ground 440C high chromium stainless steel, mirror polished, with a fully tapered tang and full filework. The bolsters are brightly polished nickel silver and the front bolster face is sculpted to give a little extra rest for the thumb. The bolsters are dovetailed to bed a pair of brightly polished Polvadera Jasper gemstone handle scales. Gleaned from the Polvadera hills in south central New Mexico, the gemstone has bright areas of agate as well as plenty of brilliant reds and oranges. It is very hard and tough. For the sheath, the client requested a simple, clean basket weave pattern, hand-stamped into 9 -10 oz. leather shoulder, hand-stitched with polyester sinew, dyed a medium brown, lacquered and sealed. You can read a great testimonial about this knife below and on my Knife Anatomy page. The Alegre is a great knife, and the origin of all the Alegre pattern knives I've made and new ones yet to come!
Thanks C. K.!
Well, Jay, now I’ve got a problem. I ordered the knife as a daily user, to carry with me always – my third hand. Now that I have it, I see it should be displayed on a shelf as a work of art!
When I saw your picture of the knife, my mouth dropped open. Now that I actually have it in my hands, the reality of it takes me to an even higher level. I am overwhelmed. What extraordinary quality and workmanship. And the balance... I don’t hold on to it, it clings to my hand, resting there as if it always belonged. You really put yourself into it. I’m speechless… but AWESOME (in a very loud voice) comes to mind. You truly are an artist and a knife your canvas. But, I am going to follow through and carry your artwork with me every day. A knife needs a hand to make it whole. It’ll be a good friend.
Let me give you some first impressions of specific aspects.
I read on your web about “balance”. Now I truly understand. Alegre is a knife with a little heft for its size, yet it’s so balanced in my hand. I also love how the handle belly, the upper arch on the top of the handle, the hawk bill quillon on the rear bolster and the quillon on the front bolster conform to the hand. The concave forward extension of the front bolster turned out well. Aesthetically it adds to the gentle forward sweep/curve of the knife. It also works well as the thumb rest. I wondered if the filing through the thumb rest would aggravate the thumb, but you don’t even notice it. I will be enable to place a lot of thumb pressure to the job.
The mirrored finish, what can I say -- thanks. It takes the knife up to a whole another level. I cannot imagine it without it now.
I’ll say it again; your signature in the blade is perfect. An artist signing his work.
The dovetailed gemstones and bolsters shout quality. The fit you are able to get throughout the knife is unbelievable.
The filing is awesome. (There is that word again.) I didn’t realty expect to get something that special. I love how it goes the total length of the spine to the grind termination. The thin triangular slice in the tip of the spine seems an extension of the filing; like the tip of an arrow. It is wonderful how the filing narrows down as it goes toward and through the rear bolster and yet you keep the pattern going. Then it slowly dissipates, as if through years of wear, at the front quillon.
Thanks for the filing in the choil. I didn’t expect that but I really wanted it. I think it adds so much to the style of the knife.
The sheath is amazing all in itself. The basket weave is perfect. It oozes quality but does not shout.
And then you threw in the extras. The museum display tag is a great idea. The CD of all your knives is appreciated. Thanks.
You know when I found out I’d priced myself out of the original vision of the knife, I was a little depressed. But your insights were helpful and right on. I could not afford that much right now and I would have never used as a daily knife.
BUT... you still created a knife that reflects our wonderful state. Here is what I will see every time I look at it:
ALEGRE ! ! !
Taos, New Mexico
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