The Australian Knifemakers Guild was formed by a group of dedicated custom knifemakers in 1984, with the express purpose of fostering the design, manufacture, sale and use of Australian made custom knives. To this end the Guild now has members in each state and territory of Australia as well as overseas.
There is a national committee and each state has an elected representative that inspects the work of prospective Guild members. The AKG has a national show held annually as well as a quarterly newsletter called 'On The Edge' that carries discussion topics and articles of interest to the membership. The AKG is a voting member of Craft Australia, the Nation's peak craft body.
In the AKG our members skills cover the whole range of knifemaking techniques. These range from traditional bladesmithing or forging through to those who practice stock removal, which is the grinding of knives from selected steel stock.
Within this broad spectrum of techniques, the knives produced are of a high standard and range from basic hunting and fishing knives to utilitarian knives to fine pocket knives and knives that are considered art objects, adorned with jewels, exotic metals, and handle materials.
These knives appeal to the discerning collector. Many hours are spent on each individual knife in the design, manufacture, heat treatment, fitting, finishing and embellishment.
Such work may be completely done by the knifemaker, or certain specific work may be done by other artisans. This includes engraving, scrimshaw, silver and gold smithing, carving and leatherwork
The basic process of making a knife involves forging or grinding the blade. The bare blade is then sanded, heat treated and polished before fitting and finishing the guard and handle. The skill, time and effort of the knifemaker produces a knife that one would proudly own.
The men and women among our membership come from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles, contributing to the overall vibrancy of the Guild.
Membership is of several types
- Voting for those members who make custom knives and have demonstrated a acceptable standard of proficiency,
- Probationary for those new makers who wish to become voting members.
- Associate for those who are artisans, collectors or people who wish to support the Guild and its objectives.
- Overseas for those who are resident outside Australia but share the same interest in knifemaking as local members. Overseas members do not have the right to vote.
- Corporate for organisations, craft bodies, museums, institutions, schools colleges and private enterprises. Corporate members do not have the right to vote.
For the knifemaker to become a voting member of the AKG, he or she must undertake a minimum probationary period of twelve months, during which their work is viewed by a state representative. This is to show that they have the skills and dedication to knifemaking required to be a member.
AKG members are encouraged to display and sell their work publicly and to promote knifemaking as a whole.