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Local Knifemaker Sells Work Around the Globe


Charlie Ellis To see what the marriage of creativity and functionality might be, look at the artwork of knifemaker Charlie Ellis. His work culminates into functional pieces that are true works of art. The details and patterns blended with the exquisite craftsmanship are complemented by the perfect knife handle.

Ellis began taking bladesmithing courses at 14 while vacationing in Maine. After moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina, he learned about the blacksmithing and bladesmithing opportunities at Haywood Community College from instructor at the time, David Burnette. He immediately began taking classes under Burnette, who became a mentor to him.

Working with other bladesmiths for years, Ellis decided it was time to open his own shop and make a living at it full-time three years ago. With two kids at the time, it was very important to create a successful career out of his passion. Now, Ellis shares what he has learned with beginning bladesmiths.

While the average knife takes between 30-40 hours to make, the end product is a beautifully crafted piece that sells all around the globe, from Australia and Taiwan to Germany and Norway. “I enjoy the potential of each piece,” Ellis explains. “There’s hardly any limit to what you can accomplish.”

Ellis describes bladesmithing as a combination of woodworking, leatherworking, machining and metallurgy. “There’s a lot of skills involved,” he says. “I am always learning new techniques, experimenting and trying new things.”

For more information about Charlie Ellis or to see his work, visit 


HCC and The American Bladesmith Society, Inc. will offer the following classes at HCC:

Camp/Hunting Knife-April 8-10

Slip Joint Folder-May 2-6

Handles and Guards-June 6-10

Knife Sheath-May 14-15

Chef Knife-July 15-17

Introduction to Bladesmithing-August 5

Introduction to Bladesmithing-Sept 26-Oct 7

To register or for more information, please call 828-400-7815 or email, or visit


Photo by Suzanna Moses


Haywood Community College (HCC) is part of the North Carolina Community College System and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1965, it is an open-door institution with the mission of serving the educational needs and economic growth of our community by promoting lifelong student learning and success. This includes programs for Haywood County high school students through Career and College Promise and Haywood Early College. The college campus, a designated arboretum, boasts one of the most beautiful college campuses in the state with an iconic mill pond, seasonal dahlia and rhododendron gardens, an 18-hole disc golf course and a walking trail.