Welcome to Knifesculpture

•July 6, 2012 • 1 Comment


The purpose of this site is to show my knifesculpture. Work that is anchored in the traditions of knifemaking  but more and more finds itself colliding with other worlds.

By removing the the day-to-day functionality of a knife I hope to encourage the viewer to re-examine and challenge their own expectations and preconceived ideas.

Depending on the hand that holds it… the knife is both a tool and a weapon . A Shakespearian slayer… or one of many utensils in constant use in the home and kitchen.
However by combining this history and these traits with unpredictable images and idiosyncratic associations I set out to transform a knife into something that might make the viewer see our oldest cutting implement in a new light.

Barry Salter

Contact: knifesculpture@sky.com


Rye Art Gallery Summer Show

•June 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Looking forward to the latest Summer Show at the Rye Art Gallery….where several of my works will be on show and for sale .

6 JULY 2013 – 1 SEPTEMBER 2013



Who’s A Pretty Boy Then ?

•April 13, 2013 • 1 Comment

It’s interesting in the animal kingdom and particularly with birds
that the male is the brightest and most colourful of the species.

Darwin thought that these colour differences between sexes in birds ( known as sexual dichromatism) result largely from female preference for brighter colours and decoration in males.

I’m not sure judging by some of the large alpha male specimens in my local pub that this holds true in the human species
but It certainly does look like the theory holds up with this pair of Little BUGRs who I hope to will stay together in harmony for the rest of their lives…who says romance is dead.

The male is made from O1 steel………with a Corian body and glitter powder suspended in clear epoxy in the random drilled holes.
Corian is also used for the base, bolsters and support arms.
The decorative sandwiches were made from pewter and ebony veneer and the hexagonal uprights are made from stainless steel.
The females body is a bit of stabilised wood I have had for several years… it is very attractive but I have forgotten what it is
hopefully someone will come along and remind me .

Barry Salter

PBpair master

pretty boy master2
click to enlarge pics

Weasels Ripped my Flesh

•April 8, 2013 • 2 Comments

One of the great things about 12inch vinyl as opposed to CDs was that there was a superb area on the rather large sleeves for powerful images and way back then a great Album cover could really add real flavour to the music inside…….far more so than the much smaller cassettes and CD packaging that followed.

Back around the late 60s Frank Zappa contacted the artist  Neon Park to discuss the cover for a forthcoming album. Zappa had found a copy of a 1956 magazine called Man’s Life and was rather taken by the cover illustration for a story called “Weasels Ripped my Flesh” He asked Park if he could develop the idea as he was going to use the magazine story title as the name for his forthcoming album.

Man's Life - 1956 09 Sept - Weasels Ripped My Flesh-8x6

Original Magazine cover


Park then went away and illustrated his version of Weasels Ripped my Flesh and created what still is one of my favourite Album covers of all time. When I first saw it as an Art student I loved the album name and I loved the illustration…The Album was released in 1970. Though it’s not my favourite Zappa music……… the “Hot Rats” album still gets most plays but “Weasels” is for me by far the best Zappa record sleeve.

Neon Park’s superb Cover

( For those who don’t know his work ,if you like bluesy/rock/jazz check out Zappa’s guitar solo on Willie the Pimp on Hot Rats… which made one of the top 100 guitar solos ever by Rolling Stone magazine )

Park who’s real name was Martin Muller went on to have an illustrious career as an artist and illustrator producing work for Little Feat, David Bowie, Dr.John the Beach Boys and lots of superb work in other genres.

I dug out ” Weasels” the other day and  sporting a smile as big as the guy on the cover I wondered what the illustration would  look like with a weasel cut throat razor rather than an electric one.

So going back to my creative method of overlaying knife ideas with other stimulating things…this one was obvious and rather simple..the creative light bulb lit up almost instantly .Substitute the electric weasel razor with a weasel traditional razor…it had to be a cut-throat .

I decided I  had to make it . The album and cover had always meant a lot to me…so in a small way this is an homage to two of my heroes.

Both Zappa and Park are no longer with us…….both died in 1993…….but if they are up there looking down I hope they like it.

Barry Salter

folded 1
open 1
click to enlarge

A Flying Knife

•March 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment


I have always thought of my knives as magical objects but this knife adds to its inner strengths the potential of flight… creating an unusual and powerful image .There are however downsides to owning a flying knife for in the middle of the night with a full moon smiling and the wind in a favourable direction this knife might just decide to migrate.

The knife was made with O1 steel and features a Wharncliffe style slotted scandi blade. Corian is used for the handle and bolster and was also used for parts of the stand and the base.. A random pattern of small holes along each scale was filled with clear resin impregnated with irridescent powder. This makes each “spot” glitter when the light catches it.

The decorative sandwich inserts sitting behind the bolster were made from pewter and ebony veneer.

A matched pair of Starling wings sit either side of the handle and are held onto the knife with strong magnets. This allows the angle and position of the wings to be altered very easily, and also enables complete removal for any upkeep or cleaning. The wings have areas of irridescent green on them which almost glow in the right light.

Starlings are now a protected species in the UK…so these wings were sourced from Veniard Ltd who have been supplying top quality fly tying materials since 1923.

The knife sits on a small pin which protrudes from the top of the hexagonal stainless steel upright which was left with its natural distressed patina. The pin slots into a small hole in the underside of the tang and is further balanced and held horizontal by an ajustable bar.

The finished piece is 19cm high and the same width.

Many of my knifesculptures use shackles and transluscent yellow monofilament to seemingly hold various bars upright. Rather like the slotted blade they have no essential physical function but in my mind they do add a visual dynamic as well as bringing an interesting sense of anchored stability and control.

Barry Salter


Drawn Quartered & Hung

•March 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Not a medieval form of torture however this knifesculpture does share those essential traits even if the drawing was done with a pencil.

I looked at various ways of deconstructing and cutting up a knife … I liked the irony of the idea but needed an interesting way to display it.

Eventually I decided on a hanging mechanism that allowed the 4 knife sections to adjust and align in space yet at the same time to integrate it visually as an essential component of the whole concept.
Knife is orange Corian and O1 steel….pewter and ebony sandwich
with a Corian bolster. The stand has a  Corian base with a Perspex milled top
with stainless steel hexagonal uprights and brass details.
I  used yellow monofilament to create interesting angles to link the adjusters to the heavy slabs of the knife .
The sculpture is 8inches high … and nearly 10 inches wide. The knife is approx 7 inches long.
Influenced by Damian Hirst’s suspended sharks with a hint of Liquorice Allsorts and harking back to my own Pinto Punk it’s definately an Ugly BUGR… but strangely… considering it is in 4 parts… it does seem to exude an overwhelming desire to be whole again.
drawn hung 2 small
drawnhung 3 small
click to enlarge

Barry Salter

The Porcupine

•January 29, 2013 • 1 Comment

porcupine knife
click to enlarge

Like the animal itself this knife should be shown a certain respect when approached from the rear.

I managed to obtain some quills from Thailand which were the right shape and colour and attempted to recreate the classic chevron pattern often used when quills were utilised, often with ivory, to decorate ornamental boxes mainly in Ceylon and India from 1850-1900.

Sitting on its stand it looks as if its doing 50mph…….

Some facts about Porcupines…….the quills are very sharp……….they grow back….and the collective noun for Porcupines is a Prickle !

01 steel…….Corian bolster…decorative sandwich make from ivory and pewter.
3 layers of quills one each side….and a third row sitting between the other two for the back third of the knife.

Barry Salter

Baby Gangsta

•January 29, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Continue reading ‘Baby Gangsta’

Another Hairy Knife…Teasing Trevor Two

•October 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This is a big knifesculpture……the knife blade is over 2.5 inches deep and the whole piece stands 10 inches high and over 9 inches long.  I wanted to develop a method of adjusting the teasability as well as to use a much hairier body than I had used in the first Teasing Trevor .

I stayed with the Bassetts Liquorice Allsort teaser as it seems to create maximun frustration as well as being visually enticing. Everyone has their favourire Bassetts Allsort this is mine. The sweet can be moved closer or further away from Trevor by turning knobs…giving adjustable teasability.

The Blade is stainless steel  and Corian is used throughout along with other stainless and anodised components.

This fur is  artificial but is of an amazing realistic quality. Working with fur is challenging and I wanted to create the natural flow that animals have from front to back to create a level of realism.

I’m sure I saw Trevor Two wiggle last night and he certainly enjoyed being in front of the camera !

Barry Salter

Click to enlarge

Teasing Trevor

•October 13, 2012 • 1 Comment

This Knifesculpture features a knife called Trevor who sits on a stainless steel rod… fixed and unmoving. Trevor is being teased by having a tempting bit of confectionary hovering a short distance in front of him.

I tried a variety of edible treats….cake…cheese and sausage and different sweets to see which one was most frustrating. After much testing I decided to use a Liquorice Allsort. My favourite one has always been the round one covered in “hundreds and thousands” Eventually this was the one I decided to use.

However the sweet is easily removed and can be replaced with other delicasies …I hope Trevor’s new owner will experiment.

I have been pondering  the idea of a Fur handle now for some time they feel so nice in the hand…however no animals were harmed in the making of this knifesculpture as the fur used is artificial.

The Blade is made from O1 tool steel……. and the base and the orange bolster is made from Corian.

Barry Salter

Triple BUGR

•July 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Someone wanted a Little BUGR knife but at the same time hankered after a knife sculpture.  I decided to give him both , and  created the Triple BUGR .


The top BUGR features stabilised Alder root with orange Corian

The centre BUGR has 14 brass pins connecting both sides the black Corian handle

The bottom BUGR uses Pewter and Ebony sandwiches to divide the colour sections

It also uses a wingbud washer.


Barry Salter