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Freedom’s Steel VII – Defender’s Edge

Knife Rights’ Extraordinary Custom Collaboration Knife
Supporting NRA-ILA and the Second Amendment

               Photo by Mitchell D. Cohen – Prairie Digital Photo – Click image for high resolution photo

Knife Rights has donated Freedom’s Steel™ VII – Defender’s Edge Integral Big Bear Sub-Hilt Fighter, a one-of-a-kind custom crafted knife by internationally acclaimed knifemaker Dietmar Kressler with Rick Eaton engraving, to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) to support NRA-ILA’s defense of the Second Amendment. Knife Rights is the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment™.

Freedom’s Steel™ VII – Defender’s Edge Integral Big Bear Sub-Hilt Fighter will be a featured auction item at the NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction to be held at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, the evening of May 4, 2018. Proceeds from the sale of Freedom’s Steel™ VI will support NRA-ILA efforts to defend the Second Amendment. Click here for information on the 2017 NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction. This is the seventh year in a row that Knife Rights has donated a Freedom’s Steel™ knife, raising over $210,000 the first six years.

“Our Second Amendment freedoms have never been at such risk as they are today. We must all be active and united defenders of our rights and freedom or we will see them taken from us. Knife Rights and the NRA have a common interest in protecting our civil rights and specifically the right to own and use tools appropriate for self-defense. Knife Rights is proud to assist NRA in protecting these rights,” said Knife Rights Chairman and Founder Doug Ritter. “We are sincerely grateful for the support provided to us by NRA-ILA as we fight the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment.”

“Since 1871, the NRA has fought to defend the rights of law-abiding Americans. We are truly grateful for the support of our friends at Knife Rights and their continued contributions to our ongoing efforts to preserve our freedom,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.”

Ritter noted, “we are indebted to these incredibly talented artisans who contribute their valuable time, talents and materials to support Knife Rights by creating this extraordinary knife.” Each craftsman’s efforts and every component of Freedom’s Steel™ VII was donated to Knife Rights to support its efforts to defend and enhance our right to own and carry knives as tools used daily by millions of Americans and at times wielded as an “arm” in self-defense.

Freedom’s Steel™ VII – Defender’s Edge Integral Big Bear Sub-Hilt Fighter was conceived of, and sponsored by, Knife Rights expressly to benefit NRA-ILA.

Dietmar Kressler of Germany is internationally acclaimed for his extraordinary integral knives. Integral means that they are created from a solid billet of steel by carefully removing steel until all that is left is a blade, guard (hilt and sub-hilt in this knife), tang and butt cap, all one solid piece. Kessler sets himself apart from many integral knife makers in that he uses no computer controlled (CNC) machinery to remove all that metal; it is all done painstakingly using conventional tooling. Kessler’s Big Bear Sub-Hilt Fighter is the pinnacle of his integral knives, his most difficult and desirable creation.

Kressler spent time in America as a young man and was a member of NRA. It was early in his knifemaking career and he says he often thought he should donate one of his knives to NRA to support the cause of freedom. Many years later when the opportunity offered itself, he jumped at the chance. Living in Germany, he notes, “you really appreciate the freedom and safety American’s enjoy because of the NRA.”

This extraordinary Freedom’s Steel™ VII – Defender’s Edge Big Bear Integral Sub-Hilt Fighter has a 7-inch double hollow hand rubbed blade of RWL-34 powder metallurgy high carbon stainless steel. It features a tapered tang for improved balance and is 12. 875 inches long overall.

Defender’s Edge crossed the Atlantic three times during its creation. After Kressler finished it to final shape, it was shipped to Montana for engraving by internationally celebrated knifemaker and FEGA Master Engraver Rick Eaton.

         Photos by Mitchell D. Cohen – Prairie Digital Photo – Click image for high resolution engraving photos

Eaton’s engraving features a sophisticated and intertwined design with deeply sculpted and French gray primary leaves from which originate both bright finished stainless leaves and 24k Gold stems and fine shaded 24k Gold leaves. The background features Eaton’s trademark fine matte finish which provides excellent contrast to the sculpted leaves for an eye-popping result.

The knife was shipped back across the Atlantic where Kessler heat treated the knife and carefully fitted the highly-figured 10,000-year-old Mammoth Ivory handle scales. Finished to his signature hand-rubbed finish, it was shipped back across the Atlantic to Eaton for final installation of the 24K Gold inlay and inking. Freedom’s Steel™ VII – Defender’s Edge™ Integral  Big Bear Sub-Hilt Fighter was finally complete and ready to be part of some lucky person’s collection.

 

 

About The Collaborators
Knifemaker: Dietmar Kressler
Engraver: Rick Eaton
Photographer: Mitchell D.Cohen – Prairie Digital Photo
Sponsor: Knife Rights
Recipient: NRA Institute for Legislative Action
(See details of each collaborator below)

 

 

Knifemaker: Dietmar Kressler
Achim/Baden, Germany
www.KresslerKnives.com

Dietmar Kessler is a member of the German Knife Makers Guild, The Knifemakers’ Guild (U.S.), the Japan Knife Guild, the Corporazione Italiana Coltellinai, as well as the Art Knife Invitational, the world’s premier invitational fine cutlery show.

Kressler spent time in America as a young man and was a member of NRA. It was early in his knifemaking career and he says he often thought he should donate one of his knives to NRA to support the cause of freedom. Many years later when the opportunity offered itself, he jumped at the chance. Living in Germany, he notes, “you really appreciate the freedom and safety American’s enjoy because of the NRA.”

Kessker’s awards are too numerous to list, but include virtually every major award by virtually every major knife show throughout the world. His knives are collected by many of the world’s most discriminating collectors. His knives have been featured in magazines around the world.

 

 

Master Engraver: Rick Eaton
Broadview, Montana
www.eatonknives.com

Rick Eaton started scrimshawing in 1979. He made his very first knives in 1982. He began making handmade knives in 1984 after learning from his father. He started engraving in 1983. Since 1993, Rick has been engraving and making knives full time.

He learned the skills to create quality mosaic Damascus steel from American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Shane Taylor, Steve Schwarzer and Rick Dunkerly. His knifemaking work includes high-quality art folders, daggers, and Bowies for which Eaton has sole authorship.

His fine engraving includes scrollwork, gold inlay, full relief, banknote, and Italian bulino. Bringing together all the elements of a knife – heat treatments, steel creation, engraving, and the final finish – to make a beautiful, well-crafted piece is what Eaton loves most about his art. In 2005 he enjoyed a Master’s Engraving Class with one of America’s most renowned Master Engravers, Winston Churchill.

Eaton was voted into the The Knifemakers’ Guild in 1997. He has won awards for his knives and engraving at cutlery shows worldwide. Eaton is a member of Art Knife Invitational, the world’s premier invitational fine cutlery show and the only winner of The Knifemakers’ Guild’s Cronk Award with a folding knife. He has been an engraving instructor for the GRS Training Center since 2005.

 

 

Photographer: Mitchell D. Cohen – Prairie Digital, Inc.
Northbrook, Illinois
Gallery: www.prairiedigitalphoto.com
Contact:  mitchell@prairiedigital.net

I’ve been in the photography business for the last forty plus years. Started my career in an art museum taking photos for exhibits and publications, then as a catalog photographer for a series of large Chicago studios. Twenty one years ago I started my own studio, Prairie Digital Inc.

As a commercial photographer I’ve shot everything from tour buses to microchips – but my passion is photographing custom knives.

Every knife I shoot challenges me to go beyond just “taking” a photo to making an illustration that communicates something extraordinary about that knife.

 

 

 

Sponsor: Knife Rights, Inc.
Doug Ritter, Founder and Chairman
www.KnifeRights.org

Knife Rights is America’s grassroots knife owners organization, forging a Sharper Future ™ for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice to influence public policy. In the past eight years, Knife Rights has passed pro-knife legislation repealing knife bans in 20 states and stopped anti-knife legislation in 6 states. In Congress, Knife Rights’ Knife Owners’ Protection Act would repeal the Federal Switchblade Act and protect knife owners traveling throughout the U.S. Knife Rights also leads a federal civil rights lawsuit against New York City and the New York District Attorney over their persecution of knife owners. Knife Rights is the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment ™.

 

 

Recipient: National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
www.NRAILA.org

The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying arm of the NRA. Established in 1975, ILA is committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While NRA is a single-issue organization, ILA is involved in any issue that directly or indirectly affects firearms ownership and use. ILA is also involved in educating the public about the facts concerning the many facets of firearms ownership in America.


Knife Rights’ Donated Collaborations Benefiting NRA Institute for Legislative Action
2017 Freedom’s Steel™ VI – Victory’s Edge Bowie™
2016 Freedom’s Steel™ V – Liberty’s Heritage Bowie™
2015 Freedom’s Steel™ IV – The Jefferson Bowie™
2015 Freedom’s Steel™ Damascus Pistol
2014 Freedom’s Steel™ III – Shall Not Be Infringed™
2013 Freedom’s Steel™ II – Never Forget™
2012 Inaugural Freedom’s Steel™

Knife Rights’ Donated Collaborations Benefiting NRA Women’s Leadership Forum
2016 Lady Liberty’s Steel™ II – Fires of Perseverance™
2015 Inaugural Lady Liberty’s Steel™ – Freedom’s Flame™