Jay Fisher - World Class Knifemaker

Quality Without Compromise

Maker's Mark:
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"Magdalena Magnum" obverse side view in D2 extremely high carbon die steel blade, hand-engraved 304 stainless steel bolsters, Pilbara Picasso Jasper gemstone handle, hand-carved, hand-tooled leather sheat
"Magdalena Magnum"


It's all about light

I picked up my first camera at 13 years old. It was a cheap twin lens reflex, and I took pictures of pets, storms, flowers, family, and friends. I graduated to a 35mm, 120mm, a 4 x 5" view camera, and then digital.

When I started making knives, I realized that in order to keep a record and to ultimately sell my knives, I had to produce good photographs of them. I quickly learned that knives are some of the most difficult objects to photograph. This soon translated to view cameras with perspective control, and ultimately my own darkroom, lab, and processing equipment. The digital revolution changed much of this, but I still manage to work on some photo processes and techniques with light and prints.

Knives and photography go well together for me. During my career, I was lucky enough to be exposed to many processes and jobs that amplified my photographic skills and exposure to new techniques and fields. I've taught photography, advised law enforcement on photographic techniques, photographed other artist's works, and studied strange and unique properties of light. I've even photo-etched test waveguide filters for the largest radio telescope in the world, using photochemical milling processes I've developed. My photos have been published in dozens of magazines and publications. I've accompanied the military on their training missions, and have some of my photography hanging in the United States Air Force Pararescue School at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Currently, my knife making career and backlog prevents me from taking on many new photographic jobs and excursions, but I still keep the darkroom stocked and my lenses clean for the occasional field trip. Of course, nearly every knife I make is photographed, and I managed to create an immense multi-disc compact disc album set of my works. The CD set got to be five CDs long and I realized that I could reach many more people just by putting everything possible on the website. There are tens of thousands of photos here, on about 600 pages.

Here are some of the processes I've been lucky enough to work in over the decades:

  • Photo retouching and restoration
  • Reprints
  • Enlargements
  • Black and White Processing
  • Copying
  • Contact Printing
  • Color Manipulation
  • Color Negative Processing and Printing
  • Lithography
  • Digitizing
  • CD ROM Photo Archiving
  • Color Transparency Processing and Printing
  • Darkroom Manipulation
  • Matting and Mounting
  • Archival Printing
  • Handmade Frames
  • Printing on Media: Glass, Ceramic, Fabric
  • Toning Photographs
  • Photo Etching
  • Photochemical Milling
  • Photo Electroforming

"Doll's Eyes" my photography published in the Double Gun Journal James Duval, old friend, actor, mid 1990's photo shoot in New Mexico "The Faceless Cowboy" Muleshoe ranch, New Mexico, mid 1990s "Pontiac Sunset, New Mexico: 2006"
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My Knifemaking History      Knife Handles: Gemstone Knife Embellishment  
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What I Do And Don't Do      Knife Handles: Woods How to Care for Custom Knives  
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Testimonials, Letters and Emails       Copyright and Knives  
Funny Letters and Emails, Pg. 1       440C: A Love/Hate Affair  
Funny Letters and Emails, Pg. 2       ATS-34: Chrome/Moly Tough  
Funny Letters and Emails, Pg. 3 D2: Wear Resistance King
Funny Letters and Emails, Pg. 4       O1: Oil Hardened Blued Beauty  
Funny Letters and Emails, Pg. 5       Heat Treating and
Cryogenic Processing of
Knife Blade Steels
Funny Letters and Emails, Pg. 6       Elasticity, Stiffness, Stress,
and Strain in Knife Blades
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