Born and raised in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, knifemaker Sam Densmore grew up around tools. His father, a carpenter and man of many practical skills, gave him his first pocket knife when he was five years old. Coming from a family of artists and craftspeople, he found ways to combine his interests and use his artistic talent in atypical ways. Before knifemaking, his other pursuits included painted wood carvings, shoe making, and bicycle frame building. In the late 90’s, family friend Seth Carey got Sam into making handles for pre-made blades. After doing this for a few years, He wanted to make and design his own blades. In 2004 He went on to apprentice with a local bladesmith and learned the process of making blades out of steel (known as stock removal). Now able to craft blade, handle, and sheath using his favorite materials--metal, wood, and leather--Sam began producing one-of-a-kind, custom made knives. He did this for nine years while working as manager at a local bicycle shop.
By 2012, orders for custom knives had grown to a critical mass, and Sam decided to start his own business. Densmore Knives was born, and he has been crafting knives full time ever since.
When you order a Densmore knife, what you get is a complete package of high-quality steel knife blade, distinctive wooden handle, and unique leather sheath. Not only is every knife different, each one is specifically designed and made to order for its owner, taking into account hand size, intended use(s), how it is to be sheathed and carried, and personal touches done with inlay, etching, and painting.
Types of knives Sam has created include harvest knives, kitchen knives, oyster knives, quahog knives, rigging knives, utility knives, pocket knives, and folding knives. Never one to limit himself, Sam has also made a garden spade, a mini hatchet, a tobacco pipe tool, belt buckles, jewelry, and a grapefruit knife.
Sam works out of a shop located in Woods Hole, and his knives are spreading around Cape Cod and beyond, largely because they make such wonderful gifts for the gardener, the sailor, the carpenter, the cook, the handyman, or anyone who appreciates a beautiful marriage of form and function.
Not a Weapon: Making a Knife Equal in Beauty and Utility.
WCAI Creative Life interview by Ethan Chiel