Master Smith J. R. Cook is a slim man who proudly wears one of his own forged Arkansas Bowie knives. J.R. Cook is an instructor at the Moran School of Bladesmithing, Old Washington State Park, Arkansas. His knives are made within steps of where the original Bowie knife was forged at James Black's shop.
Why make knives? "I enjoy forging the blades and it is stress relieving for me to make a knife."
What is important in a knife you make? "I want elegance in my knives. The overall shape as well as all features of my knives are important to me."
What is your knifemaking history? "I found a knife at age 14 on the ranch and it was an old Navy knife with a missing handle. I put a handle on it and since then I have been making knives. I strive to make each knife perfect."
Knifemaking as an art? "Personally I feel like it is an art as there is more than one craft in making a knife. Everything about a knife is an art. The lines must flow and the colors must blend."