Darlington teen gets to pointy end of bladesmithing

Flynn Sharp of Darlington at work in his workshop. Pictures: David Baylis d481779
Flynn Sharp of Darlington at work in his workshop. Pictures: David Baylis d481779

A DARLINGTON teenager is sharp by name and sharp by trade.

Nineteen-year-old Flynn Sharp, ironically, makes sharp knives.

The bladesmith started making “scrappy knives” when he was nine before turning his hobby into a full-time profession about a year ago.

Since then Flynn has made about 180 knives from his household shed, with 170 of those “good enough” to sell.

The first knife he was happy with was a utility tool he made at 11 years old that was sharp enough to shave the hair off his arm.

From then on, and after a chance meeting with renowned knife maker John Hounslow in Tasmania, Flynn said he fell in love with the artistry.

Flynn Sharp of Darlington at work in his workshop.

“I love making knives as an art form for the aesthetic side, there’s so many different styles to make,” he said.

“I equally enjoy the challenging problem solving side to it with developing/learning new techniques, and the scientific side to the design, geometry and heat treatment, among other things.”

As well as knives, which take an average of 10-15 hours to make, Flynn has made coat hanger hooks, gas forge burners, dough scrapers, chisels, hammers, pendants, leather/wooden sheaths, herb choppers and cheese boards.

Flynn Sharp of Darlington at work in his workshop.

With bladesmithing an “old world artisan” style of work, Flynn said it was important to practice and pass on the skills of the trade.

“It’s amazing to think in years past that everything around the house was made by someone not too far from where you lived, this has very much been a part of our culture for thousands of years and only in maybe the last 100-200 years has it started to shift towards mass production,” he said.

Flynn Sharp of Darlington at work in his workshop.

“Lately though there has been a movement back to artisan made products which is great for people like myself, not just to make money off it, but to fund the continued practice of such skills and to be able to afford time to teach others and hand those skills down.”

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