I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chelsea Miller, a Brooklyn-based knife-maker (and a neighbor of mine) for Freunde von Freunden. Chelsea's windowless Williamsburg studio, wallpapered in palm trees and festooned with plastic flamingos, is about the size of a toolshed — and it feels like one, too. It's not short on warmth, though, and neither is Chelsea, whose hand-crafted knives are made entirely from repurposed materials – wood from her family’s home in Vermont, old mechanics’ files, horseshoe rasps.
She says, "I wanted to be an actress for as long as I can remember, which is why I moved to New York when I was 19. I wanted to be a storyteller. And I feel that I am, in a way. Knife-making is another form of storytelling. Take a look at a knife – there’s a story behind that wood. There’s moisture in the grain; there are markings. Each one is so different. And since my knives are made from other tools, there’s a story there, too. They belonged to other trades altogether. And, of course, my own personal story is part of each piece. These things have lives beyond what we can see."
Find the interview in its entirety on Freunde von Freunden. Photos by my talented friend Nick Vorderman.
Other recent work on FvF: Nawab Khan / Linda Derschang / Henry Hargreaves. (More, here.)