Evil D wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:10 am
I feel like this topic has a kind of peer pressure involved....because someone out there is buying those wild damascus/jewel encrusted knives and they never use them, so surely someone out there does value form/aesthetics over function at least some of the time. I've seen some customs that are pretty impressive from a build quality and material perspective that would probably be horrible to use (no sense in calling out any brand/maker here, I'm sure we've all seen them). Those knives obviously have a market or nobody would make them. As an artist myself, I can appreciate almost anything that's designed to just be admired, so I'm not exactly bashing those who buy and enjoy knives like this, but at the same time I feel like people are almost embarrassed to admit that they like and buy those knives.
I would agree. The question is kind of difficult to answer honestly even to myself. There is a lot going on within the question and the deeper you dig, the more complicated it becomes to answer.
The simplest answer to the most superficial view of the question is “I want both, of course”. “Why would I choose one over the other when there are so many knives out there that tick both boxes for me?” And that would be a straight answer. I think it’s rarely that simple though, whether you are choosing a design from a catalog or trying to create one in the shop behind your house. There are always subtleties that will affect the decision. “This one looks way cooler” “I’d probably use this one more” “Will I give up a tiny bit of functionality for a design I vastly prefer aesthetically?” “Will I put up with this weird looking design feature for a knife that looks like it will have much better functionality?”
The most interesting part of the discussion to me is to entertain WHY I find certain designs beautiful. What is it that defines beauty for me? Some people will look at a knife and see beauty in it’s function. Some will look and just see beauty in its pure artistry. Most folks prefer a knife to have a bit of both but the ratios vary greatly with each individual.
I can tell you this. Anyone who has ever created or designed a knife with the intention of trying to sell it to other people has considered these questions, and the temptation to sacrifice function (to one degree or another) for what might sell better is real. Everyone maker has their place but the world needs companies like Spyderco who aren’t afraid to get a little weird sometimes in the quest to build a better mousetrap. (you know, like drilling a crazy hole in the blade)