Drew named Tryon Arts and Crafts School’s Artist of the Month

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Bladesmithing/forge craftsman and teacher, Gerry Drew, has been named Tryon Arts and Crafts School’s Artist of the Month. His artwork will be featured, for the month of March, in the gallery of Tryon’s Arts and Crafts School at 373 Harmon Field Road, which is open from Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gerry began his career in crafting with woodcarving, making small knives and chisels.  He then gradually got into knife making, as “it was more fun!”  He majored in forestry technology at the University of Minnesota, and ended up doing timber and land appraisals for the state, then went into wood product sales.

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He got his true start in forging at Tryon Arts and Crafts School, and studied with Walt Meyers, and also studied blacksmithing at Haywood Community College. Today, with over 25 years experience in handcrafting knives, he sells his knives all over the world through the Internet and at gun and knife shows throughout the United States. His pieces have rustic charm, yet are meticulously hand-made and exceptionally well finished. And despite their beauty, these knives are reasonably priced between $80 and $250, and are designed to be used.

He says his “philosophy” on knife making mostly stems from his stubbornness.

“I am retired, old enough to be a curmudgeon, and make knives the way I want to make them. I never take orders that don’t fit into my style, and am fairly reluctant to work with someone else’s design. I make knives that the average guy can afford; very usable but as pleasant looking as they can be made. A few of my knives go to collectors that never cut anything but I really like to see them used as well as collected.”

He currently teaches bladesmithing and axe making workshops at Tryon Arts and Crafts School, which enable students to obtain a good feel for the process, and this helps them decide if they want to pursue knife making as a hobby.

He prefers stabilized wood handles on his knives, and also makes his own sheaths fastened with rivets which make the sheath strong, safe and quick to make.

“I am always looking for ways to make my knives unique and more usable but the basic design will never change,” he said.

Gerry has a sold-out axe-making workshop on March 19, but there is a waiting list, and his work will also be featured at TACS’ Multimedia Show, opening on March 11, with reception from 6-8, and running through April 20.

For additional information visit tryonartsandcrafts.org.

– Submitted by Cathy Fischer