written by Melissa Dalton | photo by Claire Thorington


Thirty six years ago, Michael Moses Lishinsky was living in Southern Oregon and routinely woke to the sound of his neighbor. The man was a traditional blacksmith at work in his forge. Whereas others might have considered him a nuisance, Lishinsky was intrigued. He soon apprenticed with the blacksmith to make a birthday gift for his brother.

“I just loved every second of it,” Lishinsky said. That experience led to a longer apprenticeship, and now, he uses that training to craft traditional carbon steel kitchen knives at his Ashland workshop, Wildfire Cutlery.

After World War II, stainless steel became the ubiquitous metal for mass produced knives, replacing carbon steel in kitchen drawers. Carbon steel, however, is revered among chefs for its ability to hold a sharp edge. Lishinsky makes every style blade, from a set of steak knives to a Santoku to a Mezzaluna.

He cuts the blade shape, heat-treats the metal, carves the wood handle and affixes it with brass rivets and bolsters. He also takes custom commissions via email, modifying the handle, spacers and rivets for a truly unique fit. After decades at his craft, he’s still keen on it.

“I love the process tremendously,” he said. “I’m basically hitting my stride as a knifemaker and a person right now, and I enjoy every minute of it.”

Share
Published by
admin

Recent Posts

A mother-daughter duo writes a YA novel set on the Oregon Coast

interview by Sheila Miller Kim Cooper Findling and her daughter, 14-year-old Libby Findling, seem to have pulled off a near-impossible…

3 weeks ago

An architect and interior designer fashion a modern Tetherow home befitting the high desert

written by Melissa Dalton In this house, the formality of a traditional enclosed entryway is a thing of the past.…

4 weeks ago

Summit Arts Center’s creativity stems from a desire to preserve history in Government Camp

written by Catie Joyce-Bulay photography by Daniel Stark Most people head to Mount Hood for the epic skiing and hiking,…

4 weeks ago

A solar apiary combines solar power and pollination

written by James Sinks Honeybees dance and dip among the lightly shaded wildflowers in this patch of Rogue Valley farmland,…

4 weeks ago

New Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett seeks to broaden marketing and season

What I'm Workin On interview by Sheila G. Miller The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced earlier this year that its new…

4 weeks ago

My Workspace — Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center

Rehabilitating wildlife is a way of life for this former vet tech written by Catie Joyce-Bulay photography by Joni Kabana…

4 weeks ago