By Roni Toldanes
Boyd Asworth is a unique craftsman with a knack for translating bizarre-looking materials into works of art. Just look at the photos.
Asworth, 38, is a Journeyman Smith in the American Bladesmith Society. He hopes to present this knife, together with four more of his best knives, to elevate his status this year to that of Master Smith.
Last year, Asworth received a portion of a mule deer’s antler from a hunter in Idaho. It took him about a month to figure out how to create a jaw-dropping knife from the grotesque antler.
“It looked so weird I couldn’t decide how I wanted to carve it,” Asworth recalls, shaking his head. “But I wanted to leave it as natural as possible, so I decided to split it and make a folding knife.”
After many sleepless nights, Asworth decided to carve the dragon’s face in the antler. He engraved nostrils in the handle and embellished it with emerald inlays to create the dragon’s eyes. Then he picked up a small piece of scrap iron from his shop, forging it into shape as the dragon’s tongue, which can be moved up and down with a slight pull.
When Asworth’s wife, Holley, saw the handle, she was appalled.
But as soon as he blended his finished blade into the deformed antler, his wife glowed at the idea. It’s like a mother learning to love her ugly child.
“She didn’t like it at first, but it grew on her,” Asworth says. “Once I put it all together, she said she liked it.”
The final product, as Asworth describes it, “was so mean and cruel-looking that we thought of calling it a one-armed bandit.”
The knife comes with a display stand made of amboyna, a mottled curly-grained wood of a leguminous tree often seen in southeastern Asia.
For more information, you may contact custom knife maker Boyd Ashworth at (770) 943-4963.