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Author Topic: Reflecting on Collecting  (Read 3993 times)
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PhilL
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« on: February 13, 2007, 03:35:11 PM »

I was on chat with radicat the other night and he asked if I had seen this new forum Collectors Corner? I said I had, but I didn?t consider myself a collector of any of the categories or brands listed. I really didn?t feel I had much to bring to the table. My friend Pat who was also on chat said that he thought that my collecting was a lot more focused than his was. Well, that made me stop and think, about focus and about my collection.

The focus of my collection since I started has been primarily Stag. My collection with stag handled knives isn?t huge, but it gives me a great deal of satisfaction. From the beginning I didn?t care if a knife was production or custom, fixed or folder, new or old. If I liked it and it fit within my collection I bought it. My collection was built very slowly, I didn?t make many impulse buys. Maybe because I acquired my knives so slowly is one of the reasons I never fell out of love with a knife. I?ve never sold or traded a knife from my collection.

My advice to anyone starting to collect is to go slow. I know that when you first discover all of the knives that are out there that you want to own them all. You can?t. The quicker you acquire the more likely you are to lose interest in those knives. Which is one of the reason that so many knives get sold or traded, usually at a loss. Take your time go slow, do your homework. Enjoy the journey.

You?ll often hear, ?Buy what you like and can afford?. Good advice, but in the beginning you?re going to like just about everything. You?re going to be listening to people who feel very strongly about knives that they like, and you?re going to want to follow the herd. That is going to lead you to buying what someone else likes or what they tell you that you should like. It?s sometimes hard to avoid this pitfall, but if you want a collection that reflects your taste you?re going to have to.

I can?t tell you what you should like or collect. I can tell you some of the things I learned that may help you. When you look at knives you?re going to find certain knives that just grab your attention. It doesn?t matter if it?s in a store, online, at a knife show or something that a friend owns. Try to ignore the hype or the reasons someone else likes that knife and look at each knife for it?s own appeal to you. One of the great things about being online is that you can start by building a collection of knife photos. Over time you?re going to see a direction of where your taste in knives is going. Some you are just going to look at more and some you?re not even going to want to keep the photo saved to your HD. That could have cost you some money if you had just bought that knife and got tired of it later.

Next, before you buy I think it?s a good idea to get your hands on the knives that are the stars of your photo collection. Sometimes those knives will be better than you expected, sometimes they won?t. You?ll be glad you can remove those knives from your Want List without having it cost you money. Of course sometimes you?re not going to be able to handle the knife before you buy. My suggestion is to study that knife even more. Buy from a maker or dealer you trust so that if not what you want you can return it. I personally have never returned a knife.

Another great thing about being online is that you can compare prices, or track the direction of the knives that you?re most interested in. If you find an exceptional deal on one of the knives in your photo collection, that?s the time to jump. I?m a firm believer that you can afford any knife you want, as long as you?re willing to give up something else to get it. If you focus on quality rather than quantity, you should be able to build some real worth to your collection. Although I have never sold or traded a knife from my collection, I know that all of my knives will be sold at some point, probably by my wife. I?d like her to be pleasantly surprised as to what the value of my collection is at that point.

If the focus of your collection is custom knives the best advice I can give you is to become friends with the makers you most admire, it?s easier than you think. Nothing adds value to a knife in your collection than knowing it was made by a friend. Besides do you really want a knife from someone you don?t like?

One of my joys with my collection is sharing it with others. For me that means mostly with people online. Most of my family and friends have no interest in knives, so my collection doesn?t mean much to them. But, online there are thousands of people I can share with. For me that?s photographing my knives, having an album site so that I can post photos them in forums like this one here.  So for me the start of collecting starts with photos and the end product in most cases ends with photos. Funny how that works out.

For anyone that wants to view my collection go to my album site at:
http://www.picturetrail.com/phil0496

scroll down to My Knives and My Knives II, to see my babies.    

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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 04:08:13 PM »

That is one nice collection Phil, real beauties and your taste in knives is obvious. Today you have brought a new apprecaition for stag to my thoughts. Your photographing skills do them justice and allow you to share your true emotion that is manifest in every photo.

Thanks for sharing!

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PhilL
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2007, 04:27:35 PM »

Thanks Ed,
You know I love your work and every part that makes a Pronghorn a Pronghorn. I love sheephorn and if you never made a knife from anything else that would be fine with me. But, I have to admit that the knives that made me orgasmic were the stag handled collaborations you did with Joe Szilaski. Pronghorns in Stag! And one a folder, too good to be true.

I don't know if you noticed or not, but there are two knives in my stag collection that were attempts to do a Pronghorn style knife in stag. Both were made by JA Lonewolf from my drawings.





Damascus, turquoise and stag, but still not a Pronghorn is it.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 05:19:43 PM by PhilL » Logged

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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2007, 08:56:04 PM »

Did you ever consider stag and sheep horn? Maybe I got a plan. We can discuss it at Blade Show!
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radicat
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2007, 12:48:43 AM »

     Thanks for sharing such a treasure Phil. It's easy to see why you keep them all.

     I also want to thank you for all of the good advice. Your collection reflects your wisdom.

     I will visit the album often. You inspired me to get off my duff and take all of that new digital camera stuff out of the box. You might be proud of me for having a collection of Camillus pictures that I've been getting off ebay and others. But, they're just for reference.   Clay     
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PhilL
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2007, 01:29:18 AM »

I think those two Lonewolf's deserve some new photos.
What I'm showing above weren't photographed they were done on my scanner.
I think I can show them much better.
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PhilL
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2007, 03:43:18 AM »

I photographed my Lonewolf's today.
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radicat
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2007, 05:10:18 AM »

Phil, you are quite a talented photographer.
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PhilL
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2007, 12:21:39 PM »

Phil, you are quite a talented photographer.
I hope I'm a talented teacher as well and that I inspire you to break out your camera.
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Harold Locke
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2007, 02:02:19 PM »

Phil,

Rest assured you have teaching skills that match your other skills. As Ed pointed out your presentations here and on your websites show that you are driven by passion in all your intrests. I hope that you can see that in me as we continue our relationship on this forum. Don't go easy on me in your expectations.

Harold
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