Article from the Fort Collins Courier.
What brought you to straight razors?
My first straight razor came to me when I was in college. It was a yellow handled German hollow ground blade I found in my Grandpa’s garage. I quickly found that the ritual and closeness of a straight shave was incomparable. Thereon, I kept collecting and restoring antique blades as a hobby, and years later, started blacksmithing and grinding my own line of razors.
There is a great amount of detail that goes into your craftsmanship – what does it mean to you to work with your hands on a daily basis?
My work takes my mind and puts it into my hands. How I feel at the time is a direct result of what I craft. There’s a great deal of respect involved. Often I’m restoring someone’s great grandfather’s blade, or putting the finishing touches on a razor that will be around for 100 years after I’m gone. It’s humbling and rewarding.
How would you describe straight razor shaving to a beginner?
With a straight it’s all about ritual. Shaving becomes an event, fun, and exciting. You take your time, enjoy the scent of the leather strop as you true your blade, and you learn that shaving cream can smell botanical and natural. It kick-starts a healthy perspective to start your day. There’s great satisfaction in wiping away hair with keen steel you’ve maintained for years. With a bit of practice, using a straight becomes second nature – the shaves get quick and smooth. Eventually, you get good enough that you can take a whole beard clean off in one swipe.
What have your clients and other members of the straight razor community taught you about shaving?
Everything. My customers are among the best people I’ve encountered. We share life stories and I often catch up with them like an old time barber. I would have never thought that taking the time for a close straight shave could have such a positive impact on my life.