Versatile Female Artist Excels In The World of Knives.
I’ve said many times before that there are a countless number of talented bladesmiths in just the US alone. Most of these makers are, unsurprisingly, men. Now while there is a sizable number of female knife makers, both popular and yet to be discovered, it’s hard to find ones who both create knives in their own unique style and who do it to a high level of quality and appeal. Andrea Lisch is one female bladesmith who truly stands out with her own style of knives that are of exceptional quality and design.
Before knifemaking, Andrea Lisch was a skilled metalworker and blacksmith artist and owned her own production forging business for many years. Those skills helped her transition into knifemaking and beginning her career as a full time bladesmith. She began knifemaking in 2012 when she and her husband, David Lisch, created “Preparing for Success”, a mentoring program that taught beginners how to make knives and forge their own damascus. They taught to various people, including a highschooler who stayed with them for three years. She says, “It was a very good and rewarding experience.”
After moving out of Seattle and partially retiring from her production forging business, she started working as a full time bladesmith. Since the beginning, Andrea’s main focus of models have been almost exclusively kitchen knives. Not only does she create exquisite kitchen knives, but they have also all been entirely in damascus. Andrea loves forging her own damascus patterns, “I seem to be obsessed with forging feather damascus at the moment and use it for my kitchen knives.”
Andrea was also one of the many talented bladesmiths who tested and earned their Journeyman ranking with the American Bladesmith Society at Blade Show Atlanta. While she loves the kitchen cutlery world, this experience helped open her interests to expand her models. The process of making the presentation knives for this test “was a catalyst for me to learn how to make knives outside the kitchen world.” And while the journeyman presentation knives must be of plain carbon steel, she is looking forward to getting back to the damascus projects again, and expanding her skills.
Her biggest inspiration and motivation for knifemaking comes from her husband, David Lisch. Andrea says, “I love his work, and him.” They have been working together since 1993 as metalworkers, then blacksmiths, and now as knifemakers. They both forge their own damascus to use in knives and other art pieces. Recently she learned she loves making daggers, and is already getting started on her first damascus dagger after she finishes some kitchen knives. Andrea says her favorite part of the knife making process is the shaping of the guard and knife. She says, “it usually includes a bit of forging, machining, and hand shaping on the grinder.”
Andrea Lisch is usually busy in their shop in Washington, taking custom orders and creating unique art pieces alongside her husband. The best way to reach her is through instagram or email.