Alexandre Chavez, of Los Lunas, received first place in the Creative Arts category for his custom chef knife at the 2019 New Mexico State Fair.
The award-winning knife crafted by Chavez is a K-Tipped Damascus Chef knife. The faceted handle was sculpted by hand and made of multi-dyed/stabilized oak burl with a cyanoacrylate finish.
“Winning a blue ribbon is awesome. It is a validation of all the work I’ve put into learning this craft. It shows I’m reaching my goals of becoming a better craftsman by people who are unbiased,” said Chavez.
Chavez began developing an interest in knife-making during his year-long deployment with the Army National Guard to Kuwait in 2016.
“My girlfriend is a chef, so naturally I wanted to get her the best chef knife I could find for Christmas upon my return, but that quality of chef knife was around $30,000,” laughed Chavez. “I thought maybe that’s something I could make myself instead.
“When I got home from my deployment I met up with knife-maker, Al Trujillo, who shared my enthusiasm for blades and he helped me learn the process to make my first knife as well as give me the process to make a chef knife for my girlfriend.
“Unfortunately, that knife didn’t come out perfect. It didn’t harden properly and I had to do it all over again, but that’s all part of the process.”
Since his return, Chavez has made more than 50 knives, differing in design and utility. This was Chavez’s first time entering any knife in a competition.
For more information on Chavez and to see more of his custom knives, visit his Instagram channel @abc_knives.