Summer 2011 (Issue No. 52)
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
If you are interested in a Mudd Sharrigan Knife, give Mudd a call at the
number in the ad above.
The Mudd Knife pictured on this page
is the one that I own. Mudd makes other models and does custom designs.
TED WOULD HAVE LOVED MUDD SHARRIGAN
When I was a kid, I had the good fortune to have a few good role models
in my life, one of which was "Uncle Ted". He was actually my great
uncle, married to my mother's aunt. Ted was a true craftsman when it
came to woodworking, but his interests were many. He also loved to
indulge the hobbies of his loved ones. I recall my sister expressing in
interest in painting once, and suddenly easels, fine brushes, and tubes
of oil paint appeared. Ted didn't have kids of his own, and he didnâ€™t
skimp when it came to his grand nieces & nephews.
Fishing was in interest that Ted and I shared, and he was my main
supplier of fishing gear when I was 8 & 9 years old. I remember
afternoons at his house poring over this yellow catalogue that was as
thick and pulpy as a phone book. It wasn't so bad having the pictures of
hooks and sinkers in black & white, but you really had to use your
imagination to see the colors of the lures. Ted would fill out the order
form and write the check. Weeks would go by, and then I'd get "the call"
to ride my bike to his house. The package had arrived.
One of these orders included a spectacular Norwegian steel-bladed
fishing knife with wooden handle and a sheath -- for me. (Ah, those were
the days when you could give a 9 year-old kid a four inch blade without
giving it a second thought.) It said "Norway" right on the steel. That
was about as exotic as it got back in the early 1970's! Naturally, Ted
also sprang for the whetstone; he was insistent that your equipment be
maintained meticulously. I'm not much of a fisherman these days, but
that knife is still one of my prized possessions 40 years later. I call
it my "boat knife" now. After all, having a good knife on board is a
I've never felt the need to replace my Uncle Ted knife, but recently I
found one that was such an example of craftsmanship and artistry that I
decided to get a second "boat knife." I drove up to the Maine Boat
Builders Show in Portland in March. I was making the rounds when I
spotted the Mudd Sharrigan booth. I've seen Mudd's ads in "Messing
About...", and WoodenBoat magazine had just done a great article about
his knife-making. A crowd gathered at Mudd's display table, and I spent
enough time there to overhear a few wonderful conversations.
There were people admiring his work, seeing it for the first time. There
were others who were current owners of Mudd Sharrigan knives who stopped
by to just say hello. There was the young guy from the Maine Maritime
Academy who did not own a Mudd knife yet, but definitely planned to get
one as soon as his finances would allow. He told me, "Mudd makes the
best knives." One other fellow had received a Mudd knife as a graduation
gift from his father, but had broken it -- quite a feat. He was too
embarrassed to tell Mudd how he had done it, and Mudd let him off the
hook offering to fix the knife for him. One young man talked about
having given Mudd knives to all the guys in his wedding party. He
insisted each recipient give him a coin as 'payment' to counter the
belief that a knife given as a gift will sever a relationship.
BLACK WALNUT "MINI-RIGGER" with SHEATH & MARLINSPIKE
I had to have one. I tried to order a knife at the show, but Mudd told
me to just call him in 5 weeks and heâ€™d have a bunch made up by then. By
the time I arrived home, I knew that I could not wait 5 weeks. I wrote a
letter detailing the knife that I wanted -- a "Mini Rigger" and
marlinspike combination with a black walnut handle and, of course, a
leather sheath -- and enclosed a check. I told him that I was not in any
particular hurry; I just wanted to secure my place in line. A handful of
weeks later there was a notice in my PO box that I had a package that
would not fit. When I saw the return address on the box the clerk handed
me, I felt like I was 9 years old again getting "the call" from Uncle
Ted that a new shipment of gear had arrived. I opened the box right
there in the Post Office to show the ladies behind the counter my new Mudd Sharrigan knife. I'm not sure why, but they were not nearly as
excited about it as I was. (by David Irving) (See Mudd"s ad left col.)
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