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Stephen Olszewski

Stephen Olszewski

Since I was a young boy I have always had an interest in art, and especially carved work and sculptures. I have always had a great love for the outdoors and nature. This has greatly influenced my style of work. All through school art was always my main focus and my goal was to go to college for art. I'm a Navy Brat and my parents always told me to plan on the Gov't. to pay for my college ed. When the time came in 1971 when I grad. high school they told me that the Gov't. would not keep their promise. I was devistated and went into the working world but always did my own thing in the arts. In my early twenties I became interested in leather work and taught myself all phases of this craft from clothing to pocketbooks to wallets as well as fully carved and dyed and framed art pieces. I pursued this as an occupacion. This was when I first me George Dailey as he was doing the same thing and selling his wares in the malls at Christmas time.

My leather portfolio got me a real job as an apprentice jewelry modelmaker. I did this for five years working under some of the industry's finest. I went on to be a one man show at a smaller company for two years and then 15 years as a full time freelance modelmaker. Then I took a position once again at a large firm as a modelmaker and supervisor. One day while out deer hunting with a friend he showed me a couple of handmade knives which really intrigued me. I was on a new mission. I built fixed blades for about a year and got bored, so I thought I would try my hand at folders. As I was putting the rough pieces together I found myself on a bus to the NYCK Show. All the way there I handled and worked the rough pieces and thought about how to make my first lock back work. This was thes second eventfull encounter with George. I marveled at his work and showed him my meager attempt. He encouraged me to pursue it and told me that he also had been making jewelry models for the past 15 years. Off I went with my interest peaked even more. I met Bill Mchenry and Jason Williams early on and they invited me to their shop for some pointers.

The rest is history as they say. I have met a lot of wonderfull people in this industry and have learned a lot. I continue to strive to excell in my work and intend to continue my endeavours as a full time knife maker utilizing the talents that God gave me because He is the one that enables me.