Thanks for taking the time to look into my webpage. My name is Michael Miller.
In the following lines, I will attempt to give you a brief look at who I am.
I've been interested in rocks and gems since I was about seven years old. In the early seventies,
I learned the art of gem faceting and began my career as a cutter. I expanded my knowledge of gems through
courses offered by the Gemological Institute of America, and settled into a local jewelry store to practice
jewelry appraising and lapidary arts. For the next ten years, I provided appraisals, gem identification
and custom gem cutting services to my local community.
All of my life, I've had a desire to help people. I was trained in special education techniques
in the late 60's but didn't really do anything with the training until the 80's. In 1985, I was presented
with an opportunity to work with young people who hadn't been doing so well in life or in school - kids
in trouble. I accepted the challange and dedicated the next 17 years to working with troubled teens.
Somewhere around 1998, I was looking through a box of magazines that had been donated
to my school and found a couple of copies of BLADE Magazine. I was extreemely impressed by the craftsmanship
displayed by contemporary knife makers. I was fascinated by modern Damascus steel, in particular. Here
was a field where a number of my talents and interests could come together to produce a single product.
I had a little "spare" time on the weekends, so I built a forge, acquired some coal and talked some
of my boys into hammerin' steel with me. I was determined to master the art of forge welding and make
Well, two years and a new, gas-fired forge later, my skills had advanced
to where I could stack and forge weld several peices of steel into a single billet, then fold it and
weld it as many times as necessary to achieve the number of layers I wanted for a knife blade. I learned
a lot about steel, about forging, and about knives in those two years - and I learned that the more you
learn about this craft, the more there is to learn.
The school closed its doors in June
of '02. Since then, I have been making knives full time. I enjoy the freedom of spontaneous creation
- most of my knives are made that way. Though I may have a rough idea of a size or shape when I begin
a knife, the final blade is always created "in the moment".