Hello, my name is Kammi Dingman, and I’m all about that knife life! The unique thing about me is that I am a woman knife dealer in a male-dominated market. I equip myself with the knowledge necessary to advise or share my experience in my field. Knives are not only tools, but artistic reflections of our culture and history forged from necessity. A blade is a tool that we can’t live without; a tool for which there is no alternative. Over the ages, blades have earned value based on their performance qualities and artistic presentations. For example, the Kukri is an inwardly curved machete-type blade traditionally made in Nepal and India for chopping and daily utility. Knife shapes, grind styles, and sharpening techniques have become more specialized over time.
Manufactured knives come in all different shapes, sizes, styles, and grinds. Companies like Spyderco, Benchmade, and Kershaw make a variety of products for consumers. Just like painting reproductions, there’s a lot of manufactured knives to go around; They are not necessarily rare or hard to come by. Custom knives are considered to be art and are used and collected by individuals. They are regarded as assets, similarly to how a collector treats prized paintings and sculptures. Skillfully handmade knives are signed or stamped by the bladesmith, just as an artist signs their paintings.
Why do people collect art or things in general? Interest in collecting originates psychologically from the appreciation for the item. These items are seen as assets that communicate value and satisfaction to collectors. Acknowledging an artists work to be pleasing, we want to own a piece.
My husband, John Dingman, is a distinguished bladesmith who enjoys making original custom pieces for our customers. During John’s experiences at Boy Scouts of America, he first displayed his extraordinary talent for wood artistry at a young age. Even after completing the BSA program and achieving the high rank of Eagle Scout, he was still passionate about making eclectic wooden knives, swords, walking sticks, battle axes, and more. In 2018, after drawing out designs and researching the protocols and techniques that the legendary knife makers use, he created his first knife all by himself.
Since then, we enjoy contributing to the western culture and knife communities by participating in forum discussions and trade show exhibitions. We have met such kind people in the knife making community (buyers, makers, and sellers alike) at Blade Shows. I am honest, knowledgeable, and believe that there is nothing like a good custom made knife. Stay tuned for more cutting edge artistry thoughts!
Pictured is a Kukri (Gurkha knife) from India. This tool is a staple for the cultures in Nepal and some parts of India.