Aaron Wilburn – California
Aaron Wilburn spent his childhood learning important skills that he would later use in knife making. First, with his father, who was a contractor in building custom homes. Later, with his grandfather and uncle’s (Natives of Peru) in their auto body shop, where he learned welding and machining skills. After high school, Aaron worked for Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes Benz of San Francisco Bay Area, where he developed an eye for detail and a passion for quality craftsmanship.
While living in Florida, Aaron went to knifemaker Cliff Parker’s shop in Zepherhills, FL. This encounter sparked Aaron’s enthusiasm for the world of knives and creating Damascus. Soon after that he became serious about learning all he could about knife making. He associated himself with masters of the trade. Corbin Newcomb taught him to make Damascus and fixed blade knives. Then Aaron joined the American Bladesmith society and Aaron’s knife making skills bloomed.
In 2003 Aaron and his family moved to Redding, CA where Aaron worked as a General Contractor, all the while honing his skills as a knifemaker. In 2009 he gained his Journeyman Bladesmith rank from ABS. Since July 2012 he has been working full time as a Bladesmith, and at the June 2013 BladeShow of Atlanta Georgia he was bestowed the rating of a Master Bladesmith and won the BR Hugh’s award for best knife submitted by a new Mastersmith.
Throughout his years of bladesmithing Aaron has relied not only on other bladesmiths but also upon his family for the everyday critiquing of his work. From the beginning of his career in knifemaking, his wife Anna, has always encouraged and supported him in achieving his dream and passion for developing his creative skills in knifemaking. Aaron is clearly a family man and still boasts that his “greatest accomplishments or Masterpieces are his Son Rocky, and Daughter Francesca.”
Much to Aaron’s delight, his daughter Francesca took an interest in the art of making knives. She has been working alongside her father, as an Apprentice Knifemaker.
Though owning his own business is fulfilling, Aaron says it’s the artistry that keeps him returning to the forge, “I have always considered myself a craftsman. Now I see myself as an artist as well, and the expression I get to put into my craft is so very rewarding.”
With over 500 knives under his belt, Aaron knows what it takes to turn out a high quality knife. Still he humbly acknowledges he will forever be a student of the craft.
Some of Aaron’s favorite styles are: Culinary Knives, Bowies, & Slip Joint Folders. He prefers to use 52100 and W2 for straight carbon, 52100, 1084, and 15N20 for his Damascus. Handle materials that make the top of the list for Aaron are Sambar stag , Ivory and exotic woods.
Where does he see himself in five years? “In 5-6 years time I’d like to add engraving on my work and continue refining my skill as a Bladesmith, always striving to be better.”
Aaron Wilburn Contact Information