Barry Gardner at Gardner Knives

About Barry Gardner


In 1995, Barry Gardner, a man who had yet to discover the world of handmade knives, found himself at a knife show in Adelaide. Walking among the exhibits, he marveled at the craftsmanship displayed by individuals who had crafted the knives on display, challenging his perception of knives as mere store-bought items. Enthralled by the artistry, he decided he wanted to try his hand at knife making.

At the time, Barry was employed in road construction for 18 years, growing weary of the daily 7-to-5 routine. Intrigued by the possibility of becoming a full-time knife maker, he sought guidance from a knowledgeable individual he had met at the knife show. Over the next couple of years, he persistently asked questions, delving into the intricacies of the craft and conducting extensive research to acquire the necessary skills.

Fuelled by a desire to create knives that people could appreciate and enjoy, Barry embarked on a journey of learning and experimentation. Despite facing challenges and the need to work other jobs to meet financial obligations, he remained steadfast in his pursuit of becoming a full-time knife maker.

Having nurtured the seed planted at that initial knife show, Barry always knew in his heart that he would realize his dream. Encouraged by his mentor to craft each knife to the best of his ability, he faced the difficulties head-on, gradually bringing his dream to fruition.

Today, Barry takes pride in his unique and distinctive knife designs, with a preference for forging carbon steels like 1095, W1, W2, 52100, and occasionally using 440C stainless steel. His workshop echoes with the sounds of the anvil and the roar of the forge as he hand forges materials like 1075/15N20 and L6 and 01 steels to create his own Damascus. Barry finds joy in recycling old files, car leaf springs, and large timber mill saw blades, turning discarded materials into high-grade steel for his creations.

His current focus is on crafting a range of unique kitchen knives with a Japanese influence, drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese-style knives such as the Deba, Usuba, Gyutou, and Nakiri. Barry's passion extends to using Australian timber, from Gidgee to Lace Sheoak, Vasticola, and Mallee varieties, enhancing the aesthetic appeal and tactile experience of his handmade knives. Barry encourages those interested to collaborate on their own knife designs, believing in the joy of creating functional and well-made products that stand the test of time.

Gardner Knives at Sepppeltsfield

Gardner Knives specialises in producing handmade, artisan kitchen knives and hunting knives. All of the knifemaking action takes place in the studio at the JamFactory Seppeltsfield, located in the iconic Seppeltsfield Estate, Barossa Valley. For those keen to get close to the action, regular knifemaking workshops are held throughout the year. Participants can register for one to two full days in the studio, forging a knife for themselves

Venue Features

  • Food Available

  • Wheelchair Accessible

Opening Hours

Monday - By appointment

Tuesday - By appointment

Wednesday - By appointment

Thursday - By appointment

Friday - By appointment

Saturday - By appointment

Sunday - By appointment

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