Craftsman Eric Cashion is the one man shop known as Confederate Forge, and while I'm tempted to say he's got his work cut out for him, in actuality he cuts out his own work. Texas-based Cashion makes complete products in his hunting knives: He works the metal, carves the wood, fashions textiles for the grips and stitches up the leather sheathes.
A couple of things impressed me about the operation, one being Cashion's cross-material skills. Working metal is one thing, wood is another, and fabric is yet another entirely. On that latter front, while he'd previously figured out how to sew leather into sheathes...
...he only recently started monkeying with leather carving, and for an avowed novice the results are surprising:
"Started working leather a couple of months ago," he writes. "I figured I try something that was difficult and time heavy to work on my carving. Guys have asked for engraved sheaths so here is a start."The second thing that struck me is Cashion's creativity-driven approach to doing business:
I make my knives one at a time. Each one is slightly different and I don't finish everyone I start. If I think it sucks I chunk [sic] it and start over.
As I complete knives I post them up with pictures and information on size, finish, material, features sheath and price. It's first come first served because its easier for me to keep a grip on things. I don't take deposits or payment till its finished. I'm not rushing a knife out the door because then it becomes a job with a boss and I hate bosses.
I try to keep my prices reasonable so a working guy can own a decent knife that's unique. They ain't perfect or pretty but neither am I.