Thanks for your interest in my knives.
I have been making knives full time for twenty-four years. I am a self-taught knifemaker and started full time after graduating from high school. Being an artist, I had thought of other careers, but knifemaking was a totally new way to experiment with creativity.
I have won over 50 knifemaking awards over the last sixteen years, since I first started attending knife shows. You can see some of the awards that I have won by clicking awards.
One of the greatest honors I have received is being voted into the San Diego Art Knife Invitational ( AKI )to be a member of this group is an honor I will cherish all my life. This is a group of 25 knifemakers from around the world and the only way to get in is when one or more of the other members drops out, this very prestigious show is held every other year in San Diego CA.
My knives are one-of-a-kind with flowing designs and three-dimensional looks. I try to make everything look like it is alive. Because I believe strongly in sole authorship, everything is done by me from forging my own Damascus, to engraving, carving, gold-work, and design I also do one collaboration knife a year with my wife Dellana who is also a knifemaker and artist.
I am an artist first and a knifemaker second. I call my creations "designs from the mind with a breath of life from the soul." I do mostly high-end collector knives such as opulent folders and elegant art daggers; I strive to make everything one-of-a-kind and truly unique.
My Statement as an Artist
I am an artist first and a knifemaker second; my artistic and creative capabilities go back as far as I can remember. I have always been an artist.
I have tried many different mediums from which to express my inner creativity. I have been a painter, a sculptor, as well as a wood carver. Painting and drawing were two of the first. These, I excelled in at an early age, but felt very limited as to what life I could breathe into a stretched canvas or a sheet of rice paper. I was the boy in art class who always asked "Why? Why does it have to be done like this? And why can't you do it like this?" The teachers I had early on did not understand that there are no limitations to creative thinking. The creative mind soars endlessly, always questioning, always searching for new ways in which you can share what you have within with everyone else. That's the goal: to let them see life through your eyes and to share your dreams and visions; to give everything you create Life -- part of your life -- something that will live on in the eyes and hands of others as they see and touch what you are.
Though there are many ways I am able to express myself, I chose knifemaking at an early age because this is a starting place for someone to visualize art. They already know what it is so they don't have to guess. They can just look at what you have said through your creation of a recognizable object, one that they never looked at this way before. They can see the fire of the forge burning and feel the heat of the flame. They can see the hours of hand labor, as you formed each tiny pieces to express a vision, to give it life, to let them see who you are, to let them feel the power by just touching the physical existence of your inward creativity. And for a brief moment, they are there with you as you gave the steel life and they can see the beauty that you see and try to share in the world with everything you create. So I go on creating. Molding emotions into physical objects that people will share with each other long after I am gone.
If you would like to order a knife from Van Barnett please send us an email to email@example.com.
Van Barnett is a member of the THE KNIFEMAKERS´ GUILD.
2001 - FACTORY COLLABORATION KNIFE OF THE YEAR (Collaborating with Imperial Schrade Cutlery Co.)-BLADE Show - Atlanta, GA
2000 - BEST MINIATURE OVERALL-BLADE HANDMADE AWARD (Overall Year)
2000 - BEST MINIATURE FOLDER-BLADE Show - Atlanta, GA
2000 - BEST OVERALL MINIATURE-BLADE Show - Atlanta, GA
1999 - W.W. CRONK AWARD -Knifemakers Guild Show - New Orleans, LA
1999 - BEST HANDLE DESIGN-BLADE Show - Atlanta, GA
1999 - BEST FOLDING KNIFE-East Coast Custom Knife Show - Manhattan, NY
1999 - BEST OF SHOW-Florida Art Knife Show - Orlando, FL
1999 - BEST OF SHOW-Solvang Custom Knife Show - Solvang, CA
1998 - BEST ART KNIFE-BLADE HANDMADE AWARD (Year Overall)
1998 - BEST OF SHOW-BLADE HANDMADE AWARD (Year Overall)
1998 - BEST ART KNIFE-BLADE Show - Atlanta, GA
1998 - BEST OF SHOW-BLADE Show - Atlanta, GA
1998 - BEST STRAIGHT KNIFE-Florida Art Knife Show - Orlando, FL
1997 - W.W. CRONK AWARD-Knifemakers Guild Show - Las Vegas, NV
1996 - BEST ART KNIFE-Southeastern Custom Knife Show