An interesting predicament


New Member
I am a new knife maker, I plan on making a name for myself and I have the drive to do it (or so I like to think :)). I recently talked to an older gentle during my arduous search for scrap metal to build my new forge (he gave me a cut up coil spring, about 5 lbs of steel for free), anyway, he mention that one of the best makers in the area actually had my last name. Unfortunately, the maker has since passed on. I'm just curious, if and when I do manage to make a name for myself, how am I supposed to keep my name and his separate? His last name was Gartman, anybody heard of him?


Well-Known Member
As you make a NAME for yourself, It will take care of itself!

If you like? You can put No relation to....... If you think that will help?
I personally haven't heard of this man,
But that doesn't mean he was not a well know maker in your area?

I wouldn't worry about it! Keep your focus on your knives!

Welcome to the pack.

Josh Dabney

Never heard of him either.

It's great that you've got a vision to make a name for yourself in the knife world. I think we all do to some extent anyway.

Making a name for yourself will most likely take time, hard work, and dedication to your knives. Name recognition is earned generally over years but that will be different for all makers and based on your skill, your knives, how you conduct yourself in the community of makers and collectors, and how well you market yourself and your product.

Here's a good read from Mastersmith Ed Caffrey that very clearly answers your question. Specifically the paragraph titled "choosing your mark" -

I'd also recommend that you change your name on the forum to your real name as opposed to a "Handle"

Take care- Josh


I knew a knifemaker from the Gatesville tx area. Donnie was an accomplished maker and mastered slipjoints and folders. I went to visit his shop with a friend and talked Mr. Gartman into taking me on as an apprentice. That very same evening Donnie Gartman had a heart attack and passed away.... Donnie was trying to get all his christmas orders done and he told me soon as he got caught up i could go to work......I still have some steel he gave me to practice on......


Mike Carter

Well-Known Member
There could be some confusion. There are a couple of well known Carters in the knife world so I always made it clear that my knives are by Mike Carter and use a distinctive mark and signature that would not be confused with the other Carters.