Jim Schmidt was an extraordinary knifemaker, and beyond that, an extraordinary man.
Refusing to accept the mundane or the ordinary, he dedicated his life as an artist to striving for the finest in quality, fit and finish, form and function. Jim used only the finest in natural handle materials and his own flawless Damascus steel.
His body of work bears testament to the high ideals that Jim championed, including his strong belief in the concept of sole authorship.
Jim was a father, mentor, artist, and role model for many in the knifemaking community and in life. Always willing to assist others, to share knowledge with those genuinely interested in furthering their knifemaking skills, he was a teacher, critic, and great friend. His personal character shines through in the exquisite knives that he left behind and in the lives that he touched. In the knives themselves, the beauty, charm, and incredible craftsmanship have set a standard for others to emulate.
Remembering the way that Jim lived has motivated others to follow the course that he charted.
Jim-Schmidt-book. The purpose of this book is to pay tribute to the life and the work of Jim Schmidt, providing those who knew him and who have admired his craftsmanship through the years with a comprehensive volume that captures the essence of his philosophy of life and of knifemaking while also presenting his body of work in vivid, revealing photographs and lively text. Although he is no longer with us, Jim's spirit lives on, and in some small way it is hoped that this book captures something of that unique person, something of the life and legacy of the great master, the gentle giant, the incomparable Jim Schmidt. A outstanding custom knifemaker in his own right, Francesco Pachì has established himself as one of the world's premiere photographers of custom knives. His use of light, shadow, and innovative backgrounds provide unique, stunning visual perspectives on the works of the great custom knifemakers. Francesco has dedicated his time, talent, and treasure to the production of this book commemorating the life and work of the incomparable Jim Schmidt. On these pages, he has done admirable work in capturing the unparalleled beauty of the great master's legacy. Mike Haskew has written books and articles for magazines, and newspapers during a journalism career of more than 30 years.
During this time, he has been a regular contributor to Blade Magazine, the Knives Annuals, and numerous other publications. He has also been privileged to know and to interview many of the legends in the custom knife industry. His admiration for the life and work of Jim Schmidt is reflected in the text prepared specially for this book.