About Rick

RickDunkerley

Rick was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and graduated from high school in Hermitage, PA in 1977. Rick then spent four years in the U. S. Air Force, stationed mostly at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he trained guard, drug, and bomb-sniffing dogs. Rick first started making knives in 1984, and after moving to Montana in 1985, his interest in the craft increased. He made stainless steel hunters and utility knives until 1991, when he began forging carbon steel knives and creating damascus steel. Rick joined the American Bladesmith Society a year later. Since receiving his jouneyman smith rating in 1995, Rick’s main focus has been damascus steel, particularly mosaic and composite bar blades.

Rick attained the American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith rating in 1997, and in 2002 was selected to the Board of Directors of that organization. He has been a full-time knifemaker since 1996, except for the two month’s each fall that he operates as an outfitter in Montana’s Scapegoat Wilderness. Rick now specializes in damascus folding knives, and also enjoys making Bowie or Persian style straight knives.

Rick has earned many awards for his one-of-a-kind creations including the following:

Date Awarded By Award
1996 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Bowie Fighter
1997 Oregon Knife Collectors Association Best Damascus
1997 Blade Show Best Damascus
1997 Blade Magazine Best Handmade
1998 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Folder
1998 Blade Magazine Best Handmade
1998 Blade Show Best Damascus
1998 Montana Knifemakers Association Best of Show
1999 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Damascus
2000 Krause Publications Wooden Sword Award
2000 Oregon Knife Collectors Association Best Folding Knife
2000 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Folder
2000 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Art Knife
2000 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Of Show
2001 Oregon Knife Collectors Association Best Damascus
2001 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Folder
2001 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Damascus
2001 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Of Show
2002 Oregon Knife Collectors Association Best Hunter Utility
2002 Montana Knifemakers Association Best Folder
2003 Oregon Knife Collectors Association Best Damascus

Rick’s knives have been featured with photos and articles in knife publications worldwide, including appearances on the covers of Blade and Knives Illustrated magazines.

Rick has been highly sought-after as a teacher of the art of forging damascus steel, and has instructed classes for the following entities:

  • Massachusetts College of Art
  • Artist Blacksmith Association of North America
  • Jim Batson’s Bladesmithing Symposium
  • Saskatchewan Western Development Museum
  • Northern Minnesota Blacksmith’s Association
  • Northern Rockies Blacksmith’s Association (2 classes)
  • Western Canada Knifemaker’s Symposium
  • Texarkana College/Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing (3 classes)

Date

Awarded By

Award

1996

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Bowie Fighter

1997

Oregon Knife Collectors Association

Best Damascus

1997

Blade Show

Best Damascus

1997

Blade Magazine

Best Handmade

1998

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Folder

1998

Blade Magazine

Best Handmade

1998

Blade Show

Best Damascus

1998

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best of Show

1999

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Damascus

2000

Krause Publications

Wooden Sword Award

2000

Oregon Knife Collectors Association

Best Folding Knife

2000

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Folder

2000

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Art Knife

2000

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Of Show

2001

Oregon Knife Collectors Association

Best Damascus

2001

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Folder

2001

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Damascus

2001

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Of Show

2002

Oregon Knife Collectors Association

Best Hunter Utility

2002

Montana Knifemakers Association

Best Folder

2003

Oregon Knife Collectors Association

Best Damascus