Работы Charles Bennica настолько прекрасны, что с ними даже французское солнышко играло в сентябре этого года :)
А если серьёзно, то повторюсь: ножи от Бенника весьма оригинальны и их сложно перепутать с какими-то ещё.
Путь Мастера был долог.
И, как довольно часто происходит, обычный мужской интерес и хобби стали делом всей жизни.
Родился Шарль на Сицилии в 1949 году.
В семилетнем возрасте уже жил во Франции, куда иммигрировала его семья.
Свои первые ножевые работы сдал делать в семнадцать лет.
А в 39 лет Бенника уже открыл свою настоящую и серьёзную мастерскую по изготовлению фикседов на заказ.
Но, рынок требовал и фолдеров. Шарль к такому повороту событий оказался готов.
Первый фолдер был представлен на выставке в Тьере в 1992 году.
Запорный механизм, полностью интегрированный в рукоять, общий дизайн и качество изготовления складных ножей Шарля, не могли оставить многих равнодушными.
Работает Мастер со сталью RWL 34, использует кораллы, золото и перламутр.
The Artistic Process
When I began making knives in 1988, my background as a tool and die maker helped a lot in starting the fabrication. It had given me a foundation that allowed me to overcome technical difficulties I encountered through my first experiences; and I learned a lot by improvising in my own way. I had for example chosen to make hidden tang knives instead of full tang because of the added strength but also because the cosmetic appearance of the handle seemed depreciated by the intrusion of the steel in the middle; furthermore the cold feeling of the metal in the hand bothered me. But this choice was not facilitating the process and I had to be very ingenious when it came to gluing and assembly issues. Another example is that in my quest of cosmetic and strength perfection, I insisted in adjusting the guard to the blade and not fill the gap with welding. This is how I progress at my own pace in the making of my first straight knives.
As I was technically progressing which is an indispensable quality for a knifemaker, the side I had voluntarily set aside at the beginning was making itself more needed and urgent, I needed to develop a personal style for my knives. When I realized this, I stopped making and focused solely on designing. I sought the critique of my drawings from friends and family; and we were trying to find the design that would identify my style. It was obvious that the ones who had met success, the legends such as Bob Loveless, Ron Lake or Michael Walker, had all created a style, which had imposed itself. I wanted that at the first look at one of my knives, people would say “It is a Bennica”.
The task turned out to be difficult because custom knives have been greatly explored and I didn’t so much aspire at revolutionize the knife designs as making it my own. Back then, as is still true today, I wanted to keep in mind the original function of the knife: in the hand and not only in the collection cabinet. I wanted a line with this idea because the knife is first a tool, from the everyday user cutting a material or food to the hunter dressing an animal. It must be useful to all. I looked for an ergonomic shape for a solid and pleasant grip like a handshake. This led me first to consider a voluminous handle, thick and round, on which the hand would have a strong and comfortable grip. Furthermore, so that the knife would be safely anchored to the user, I wanted the butt end to act as a guard, keeping the hand on the handle.
This was the path I followed even if today my knives are considered more as collector knives than tools. On this path my line was carved, that which identifies me in today’s custom knife world. In fact this is so true that a new challenge arises for me to design another “Bennica” which would find its place next to this first inspiration that is still alive 25 years later.
Back then my fixed blades were made with a lot of care (they still are!) but to develop the custom aspect I started making adjustments to the handle materials, separating them in 2 parts. However even through such projects I was not advancing my practice much and quickly found my limits in the fixed knives world. I needed to find a new technical challenge.(c)