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As Jason Robson polishes each knife that leaves his shop to a gorgeous sheen, he imagines the
patina each particular blade will eventually take on. Unlike some artisan bladesmiths, Jason makes
his knives to be used and abused.
“If you're actually using it,
it should turn into what
your life is like,” he says.
“If it blackens out, or gets
dark from a night outside,
or gets wet and then you
clean it off and it has a
tarnish to it: now that's
more your knife, and each
one evolves a little bit with
That’s what I want for each knife. I don't want it to be like, oh, you ruined it because you used it
once. That’s not the point. You know?”
Jason’s perspective of purpose-built blades makes a lot of sense, considering his interest in
knives began with his passion for the outdoors. As a hunter, fisherman, and camper, he
needed specific types of knives for specific purposes, and this took him down the rabbit hole of
researching, collecting, using, and then finally making top-quality knives.
Knifemaking began as a hobby but has now become a significant part of his life and his career.
For over 20 years, Jason’s day job as a tattoo artist has developed his creative talent and
attention to detail. Known for traditional work, realism, and portraiture, he tattoos from the shop
he owns in Worcester, Massachusetts. When COVID forced the closure of tattoo shops a couple of
years ago, he used it as a chance to grow his knifemaking passion and business. The name of his
brand, Blood Creek Knife Company, comes from a story of the Mi'kmaq tribe of Novia Scotia, of
which Jason’s family descends.
Jason works with a partner to cut blade blanks with water jets using a CNC machine. Though he
has experience forging metal, he prefers the water jet method for the practicality of strong, perfect
blanks every time. Then, from his garage shop, he creates and mounts beautiful and utilitarian handles
and trim of premium wood and brass. Finally, he creates custom leather sheaths made to suit
each particular knife. For him, this element was a must, as the poor-quality, ill-fitting nylon
sheaths that came with factory-made knives always left a bad taste in his mouth.
While Jason admires some of the other knifemakers
out there who create ornate and artistic blades meant
for display or to be put away in a drawer, that’s not
what Jason’s all about.
“I tell everybody that buys something from me, dude,
bang on it. And tell me if there’s anything wrong
He appreciates intricate design, but he finds the most
beauty in clean simplicity.
“There’s a lot of detail in my knives,” he says. “But I
don't need to go in there and etch everything and make
everything all crazy. If I can get the wood polished
down to where I want it, I can let the wood speak for
itself. If I pick the right cuts and the right grains, I can
let the metal do its own thing.”
Look at photos of Jason, and in addition to knives and
tattoos you’ll see motorcycles. He collects and builds
old bikes, and he views these three aspects of his life
as intertwined, as passions that are tied together.
“I’ve got really bad idle hands; I need to be doing
something all the time,” he says. “All three things help
each other, because it's all the same types of people
that are into them. People that are getting tattooed,
they ask about the bike thing. The bike guys ask about
the knife thing and vice versa.”
All three passions stem from a desire to be in total
control of his own path in life.
“It all stems from not wanting to be under someone's
thumb,” he says. “I really hate the idea of being a
pawn in someone's grand scheme. It's a lot of work.
But I earn my keep and I do what I can do, and then I
can afford what I can afford. And I can push harder
or push less, and just control my own destiny. It's
nice to be able to not need anybody to do anything. I
can just live my own life,