Occasionally we come across artists who we feel are deserving of more attention and interest from collectors. In the case of the two gentlemen listed on this page, Jack Levin and Salvatore Puddu, it’s safe to say that their work is exceptional and worthy of the highest praise.
Jack Levin: We think most of you would agree that in recent years the words “Legend” and “Master” have been over used to the point where they have little real meaning – yet despite that fact we still feel duty bound to use these words when describing extraordinary Knife Maker Jack Levin.
A life-long knife enthusiast, Jack made his first folding knife at age fifteen in Riga, and in the ensuing 40 odd years has remained fascinated by metal. One reflection of this passion is the name he chose for his most recent series of knives, a name he often uses to describe his own feelings about edged art – Knifemania!
Always involved in creating unusual mechanisms, Jack has a degree in Cold Metal work and spent several years as a military gunsmith. He also has a number of patents, in Europe and America, for different inventions and mechanisms. And although he has no formal art training he has always been interested in art history, and has spent countless hours researching old metal work, arms and technologies, and he is a widely regarded as a restoration expert in both areas. This artist is one of our very talented custom knife dealers.
Jack’s knife making philosophy is simple and straight forward, he is inspired by the harmony of knives and arms exemplified in the Middle Ages, and he believes each detail of a knife should have a purpose, and that the knife should be capable of use. He spends considerable time before beginning construction designing new mechanisms and making certain he has a plan for all phases of the work – especially if it involves a brand new mechanism.
Each folder is quite complex and frequently consists of 31 parts or more, and Jack likes to carve his frames from a single piece of metal to make them as flat as possible. And although stationary shields have been common on fixed blades for hundreds of years, Jack is the first maker we know of to have automatic shields that change position on many of his folders. Jack has also invented magnetic locks and folding guards for fixed blades, and almost all of the parts on his knives are not only decorative but functional.
Jack has also received numerous awards and honors despite being unable to work on knives for almost three years due to recurring tendon and ligament problems in one of his hands. He is also the only knife maker we know of to have won at least one or two Awards at the Blade Show in Atlanta 4 consecutive years. This is an abbreviated list of Jack’s awards and accomplishments.
2003 – Blade Show & International Cutlery Fair – Most Innovative Design, knife Don Quixote
2004 – Blade Handmade, Best of Show, Portland, knife Poseidon
2004 – Blade Show & International Cutlery Fair, Best of the Show, Atlanta, Poseidon
2004 – Blade Show & International Cutlery Fair, Best Collaboration, Atlanta, knife Poseidon
2005 – Blade Handmade, Best of the Show, Portland, Blade-Bow
2005 – Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair, Best of the Show, Atlanta, Blade-Bow
2005 – Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair, Best Fantasy, Atlanta, Blade Bow
2005 – Blade Handmade, Best Fantasy, Portland
2006 – Blade Show and International Cutlery Fair, Most Innovative Design, Atlanta knife – Palash