pocket jewelry

NOT JUST COINS AND CELL PHONES

There was a time when everyone had a pocket­knife. Women, men, young, old, everyone—the difference was mostly the number of blades. For instance, children’s knives often had more than just a blade, because it was something useful for play. For girls or boys, they were called jackknives or penknives. Old folks, especially men, had whittling knives or vest pocketknives, often with a single blade, used for pipes or food—it didn’t matter. Women had knives too, carried in purses, wrapped in head scarves, or stuffed in dress pockets.

Pen, jack, or pocket, these knives were always practical, and often they were beautiful. All are forgotten now, because we now think that if you carry a knife you are carrying a weapon. Currently, the favorite is a single action flip blade pocket clip knife—which has more to do with drama than design or a skilled craftsman’s control of his materials.

However, a simple folding blade (known as a friction folder) has been used since Roman times and was always viewed and valued in everyday life. It never was, nor in this context will it ever be, a weapon. It is an eternal tool. It never needed to be complex, only concerned with performance and representing the old ways: skill, tradition, and design. Always small, a piece of well executed pocket jewelry.

You don’t need a large blade, you need a well-crafted blade, from where, by whom, and made of what, all account for its value in the endless needs of the day. It is wonderful to carry something that is well made and feels great in your hand.

Pocket jewelry should be a demonstration of skill, or a representation of a tradition or story. It needs to be small in size so it can be a carried in the pocket or purse. A truly well crafted presence is not always available and seldom of practical personal use at the same time. However, something small, something beautiful, something that can be useful—well now, that deserves some consideration.