Handmade Knife Magnets: Turn your Kitchen into an Art Gallery

PARK CITY, Utah — New West KnifeWorks makes cutlery that, The New York Times called, “as beautiful as it is useful.” When your knives are this stunning, why keep them in a drawer? New West’s gorgeous mixed-media knife magnets are the perfect frame to show off their “knife art.”

New West’s head of production, Erin Hemmings, experimented with new methods for combining different materials to make the distinctive Resin Knife Magnet series. Made from wood and resin, these magnets display knives while keeping the blade clean, dry, and safe on the wood material. Traditional knife magnet bars house the knives directly on metal, which can wear away the edge.

Hand-finishing a Resin Magnet. Photo: Todd Williams Photography.

In New West’s Idaho production facility, the magnets are made by two talented artisans Liz Peet and Evan Simms.

Peet is an artist by trade and has sold her work at Jackson Hole art fairs where she met New West’s Founder, Corey Milligan. She brought her glassblowing experience to work on the Resin Magnets. “I love working with transparency and color”, she said. A many-year veteran of the art fair circuit, Milligan has carved out a custom workshop in the New West factory to foster and benefit from the talents of fine local artisans.

Simms makes all kinds of things. She’s involved with metalwork, welding, fabrication, reconditioning, and furniture making.

Both artists enjoy creative vision and freedom with each piece they design. “We get to make what we want, what we think will look interesting, not necessarily just making things we think will sell the best,” said Simms.

That artistic latitude lends itself to the makers working with the natural beauty in the wood. Each piece of raw material is studied and the layout of the next Resin Magnet gets based on the grain pattern. The production shop sources a variety of woods including slabs of black walnut, cherry, and even some tropical hardwoods.

“We look at the wood and decide what we want to highlight. Does it have a live edge? Maybe there’s a color change in the wood. We look at the whole slab and plan out how we want to use it,” said Peet.

For example, Simms recently made a piece built around accentuating wormhole patterns in the wood. A piece of wood that would be rejected in most other projects, turned into a natural piece of art. Using clear resin, the wormholes draw the eye towards the wood.

These makers bring their precision skills and artistic talents to each piece, knowing it will elevate someone’s kitchen and home. Each one is handcrafted and sanded to perfection.

“When you see one come out of the package it looks like a standard item, but we make every single one of these here individually,” Liz explained.

World class handicraft made in America, right down to the backing bar.

Shop the unique collection of Resin Knife Magnets online, or stop by 625 Main Street to see unique pieces not featured on the website. Custom magnets can be made to match a specific vision or color scheme, by reaching out to orders@newwestknifeworks.com.

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