Williams, Lonnie (Bare Foot Forge)
I'm a twice wounded Vietnam vet who grew up under a father who was a machinist and compulsive fabricator and as they say, "the nut doesn't fall far from the tree". I started making knives in 1993 as a natural progression from building muzzle loading rifles, with big blades and tomahawks being part of the black powder culture and charisma. Before long, I discovered I loved folders more then I did flintlocks and had the extreme good fortune to meet two great people and great talents, Butch and Rainy Vallotton. They helped me as I struggled along and were even generous enough to share their table with me at my first OKCA show here in Oregon. With their inspiration, I built mostly autos until 2008 when Vietnam caught up with me and I couldn't handle the big crowds at the shows anymore. In the spring of 2018 however, the bug re-bit me and now I find it therapeutic to be in the shop or out on the hydraulic press. I enjoy forging my own Damascus and experimenting with my own patterns. My long term plans are to return to what I love doing, building one of a kind folders... one at a time. God has been good to me.