John Young: I have been interested in knives since I was very young, and I spent much time as a kid making them from old files that I warmed up to soften them a bit. After making a few knives the hard way I began to acquire some tools to make the process easier and faster. Although Bob Loveless, Harvey Draper and many of the great Utah Knife Makers impacted the way I think about knives, my biggest influence by far has been Steve Johnson.
I met SRJ through a nephew who told me I should meet his uncle. Now at that time I had no idea who Steve Johnson was, but after reading about him in several magazine articles I knew I had to meet him. And after that first tour of his shop I was hooked! Looking back I realize that I had the best knife making instructor possible, and seeing his knives and the quality of his work has helped me move a long way towards meeting my knife making goals.
In 1997 I began making knives seriously, focusing mostly on small hunters. Since then I’ve expanded to include double-edge and sub-hilt knives as well. I generally use ATS-34 steel and prefer natural handle materials such as stag, ivory, mother of pearl and sheep horn. I also enjoy using exotic woods and Micarta for its toughness on using knives. In addition to creating functional knives I strive for perfect fit and finish on every knife I make.
Comments from Steve Johnson on John Young:
A native of Central Utah, John Young is a soft-spoken man who speaks loud and clear when it comes to his workmanship and the desire to make an outstanding knife. He is constantly pushing himself to produce better; cleaner and often more complicated knives. He is a family man with tremendous integrity, and a steady focus on the goal of making a better knife and giving the buyer more than his moneys worth. I am proud to call him a friend. S. R. Johnson