Custom Knifemaking vs. Customizing Knives by Ronald Cline


Ghostown Knives
Knives pictured designed and produced by Gary Gudnason.
A lot has been said and written about our many talented knifemakers, but very little about the customizers, which include Engravers, Scrimshanders, and designers specializing in silver, gold, copper, nickel, and brass. Many work with metal plus all types of minerals and semi-precious gem stones. These customizers are artists in their own discipline.

I have acquired knife examples in all the disiplines of custom and customizing. With sixty years of knife collecting you might think you have seen it all, but every day I run in to something different. Like many knife collectors, especially early on, we go in one direction but seem to circle back to our love of a certain make or designer.

My son has a restaurant in Sedona, Arizona, and while visiting, I ran into Gary Gudnason of Ghostown Custom Knives, at that time, located in Pine, Arizona. Gary had a store in an actual Ghost town ! That would draw any ones attention. After seeing his designs, I was totally taken with them. Gary was the founder of Ghostown Knives.

Gary served in the Navy and had several other occupations until his talent could support his family full-time. Along the way, Gary studied jewlery making and design, as well as instructed lapidary classes.

Ghostown has offered a truly unique dynamic to the world of knife customizing for over forty years.

Sadly, Gary passed away in 2012 and is very missed. He was always secure in the idea of providing each customer an original design. The customer often offered ideas of his own. If you could think of it, Gary could design and make it.

I have purchased over fifty knives from Ghostown Knives, all original, one-of-a-kind, and all exceptionally high quality. Not once was I disappointed. The following illustrates a few examples of his work.
Ghostown Custom Knives has moved forward with the very capable hands of Gary's son, Huckleberry. Not only has Huck carried the family legacy on, but he has added even more bespoke products and designs. Huck studied with his father and worked with many fantastic artists and craftsmen along the way !

Huck offers; lapidary stone inlay, custom tooling, checkering, serrations, scalloping, jimping, custom jewelry and accessories, and much more. Huck has also made many different styles of hand-forged and hand-made survival and tactical knives. All of the products he creates include a lifetime guarantee.

The following is a creation Huck designed for me, and is my most recent, and cherished acquisition.

Ghostown Custom Knives Huck Gudnason Knives
Knives illustrated designed and produced by Huck Gudnason - 2nd generation of Ghostown Custom Knives.

If you are in the market for a truly custom design that is absolutely different, with very high art and design options, then you found your Huckleberry.
Web: Ghostown Custom Knives


Article by Ronald Cline
Photos by Tony Pugliese
2016 - Sarasota Knife Collectors Club

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