Knifemaking encompasses an amazingly broad spectrum of styles ranging from the purelypractical to the whimsical. Most makers getting into the craft tend to start with fairlybasic, functional designs and, as their skills develop, get more ambitious and artistic.Jason Brous, however, isn’t like most makers. Although still in his early 20’s, Brous began his efforts in knifemaking with the benefit ofnearly 10 years of experience in CNC machining. His father owns a shop that specializesin the custom machining of high-precision components, mainly for the medical industry. As a good son, Brous spent a lot of time in his father’s shop growing up and by his midteens was actively helping out with production. His skills and knowledge steadilyincreased and by the time he was 20 he was a seasoned and very competent machinist.Brous’ interest in knives actually began with art—specifically a style called“Bio-mechanical” art as practiced by one of his favorite artists, a Brazilian painter andtattooist named Lango. Biomechanical art (also called Biomech) is a surrealistic style of artthat combines elements of machines and robotics with organic animal features.Intrigued by this style of art and its similarity to many fantasy knives, Brous figured thatknifemaking would be a natural extension of his metalworking skills and an appropriatemedium for his artistic ideas. Although he had no specific training in knifemaking, in 2010he designed and made his first knife—a fantasy design with a Biomech flavor—andeagerly posted photos of it on several Internet knife forums. Unfortunately for him, hisdesign drew harsh criticism from some all-knowing keyboard commandos. However,fortunately for us, he turned that criticism into fierce determination.Through persistent trial and error, Brous changed his style of knife design to focus onfunctional simplicity, while still maintaining a strong artistic signature. His early successescame in the form of a series of stout neck knives with dual finger-hole grips. Fans of these“Silent Soldier” neck knives began asking for other expressions of the design. TodayJason is creating numerous variations including a clip point version, a tanto version andthe very popular folder version called the Silent Soldier Flipper.
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