Chris Williams, founder of Williams Knife Co.; four “Edisto” oyster knives. Photographs courtesy of (Williams) Catch 1 Films & (knives) Williams Knife Co.
DECEMBER 4, 2013
Clean Cut Meet Williams Knife Co., maker of finely crafted cutlery
written byKinsey Gidick
I believe it was Big Bird who first taught me, “Everyone makes mistakes.” Wise bird. In this case, the mistake was mine. Last week, our December 2013 issue arrived and with it the “Delicious Gifts” spread, featuring some of the best local food, drink, and kitchen items available in the Lowcountry. But there was a problem. I credited a gorgeous oyster knife by Williams Knife Co. to the wrong craftsman! I won’t bore you with the details of how this happened; instead, allow me to introduce you to the man behind the knife you’ll see on page 153 of this month’s issue, as his work deserves your attention.
James Island resident Chris Williams started Williams Knife Co. just four years ago, but he’s been fiddling with the art since he was a boy. “I grew up watching my grandfather make knives. One of 13 kids, he used to make them for his family and it fascinated me,” recalls Williams. Fascination turned into a passion and the then-investment banker began to tinker with the trade in his off-hours. “Making knives was my release from corporate America,” he says. Soon, messing around in the shed produced beautiful pieces. “Suddenly I had all these orders. That’s when I had this crazy idea to throw away the tie and suit and make knives full-time,” he says.
And it’s lucky he did, as repeat shoppers such as Toby Keith, Davis Love III, and Harry Connick, Jr. would attest.
Today Williams Knife Co. ships pieces around the world and sells everything from workhorse kitchen cutlery to fillet, chopping, and pairing knives. The “Edisto” oyster knife ($300) we featured in the magazine is made of curly maple dyed brown to highlight the wood accented by a Himalayan rams horn bolster. If that doesn’t class-up your oyster roast, we don’t know what will.
To order your own Williams Knife Co. piece, visit williamsknife.com.
For our entire “Delicious Gifts” guide, click here.