Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Some history on the hairing knife from Paul Burnett

I received an email from Paul Burnett after I made the post about the hairing knife and I got his permission to share it here. I thought some of you might be interested in the history of this tool. Thanks Paul for sharing this. If any of you don't know who Paul is, check out his Painting Cow website. Paul is an amazing leather artist and teacher. 

"I developed this tool in order to make my life sized birds. Needed something that would actually split the edges of some feathers.  I taught a class in Cleveland on making a 3D life sized cardinal and that is where Robb and Robert learned of the tool.  At the same time I introduced them to the modified F910 to the shape of the F902 which is another tool I modified to make better feathers, mainly splits and edges.  How I did that is illustrated in my “American Kestrel Wildlife Study”.  The “Robb and Robert Show” (as they were affectionately  known) even gave the two tools names:  “Ike” and “Mike”.   I tried to get Leather Factory to make one where the blades could be easily replaced but they didn’t see the need.  Randy Knutson invented the concept of putting the blades in a swivel knife and sold them.  They could use 2 to 8 blades (I think).  I think Robb might have sold them for him?  I know Randy sold them to Hidecrafters for a while and also to the Japanese tool company.  Randy may still have some for sale?  Just a little leather craft trivia I thought you might want to know.   Paul Burnett"


Unknown said...

Clay just want to add that I was not suggesting the Robert was taking credit for my idea. I believe you said he told you where he first saw this tool and gave me credit. As regards to the modified F910 I suggested to Robert when he first started making tool to add this to his line and he did. It was perfectly made and he still offers it. I have one he made and use it often.
Also at this time I suggested to the Leather Factory they make a pencil-like hairblade holder which I had designed. They did and introduced it as the Paul Burnett Hairblade Pencil. Tandy/Leather Factory offers it today but has long ago drop my name from the product.

ClayB said...

Paul, The modified 910 was the first tool I ever bought from Bob and I really like it. If I could only keep one of his tools, that would be the one I'd choose. Glad you got him to make that one. I've also got a pencil type hair tool from him that you drag to draw hair. Not quite like your design, but something similar. Thanks for the comments on this post. I'm always interested in leather history.