a. “First of all - thank you for sharing your story. First of all, how would you describe your knife?”
b. “I myself would describe it as very pretty and unique. It is the first knife I have ever owned (pocket knifes aside), so I am rather protective of it. After a glass of wine during cooking I might even catch myself calling it my precious. You might also want a more objective description; I cannot tell the type of knife but it has a rather broad blade. Originally it was made by Fiskars although the previous plastic handle has been removed and replaced with a handmade green wooden handle.”
a. “Borrowing an analogy with human relationships - How did you “meet” your knife?
Did your eyes meet across the room, or was the knife introduced to you by someone?”
b. “The altered knife (I have never seen it with its original handle) was a birthday gift and maybe a subtle invitation to improve my cutting skills. My boyfriend had been showing me how to properly work with kitchen knifes for some time, his present seeming to be the final part of that education. Knowing me, he did not give me just any knife that could belong to anybody, but he worked on the knife, making it my very own unique tool.”
a. “How long have you been together?”
b. “Almost a year I think. Seems longer though. Now when I cook in somebody else's kitchen, using their knifes, it feels weird. I cook almost everyday, plenty of cutting to get familiar with the weight, the feel of the handle. Also blunt knives bother me a lot more now than they used to.”
a. “Is this your first knife or have here been significant othes before? What were those 'relationships'
like? What did you learn from them? Did you have any bad experiences?”
b. “This is my first knife. Although we cooked a lot at home, nobody cared too much about the quality of knives, we only had a bunch of different small ones. When they were new, they weren't supposed to go into the dish washer but mistakes happened and after some time all of them were blunt. Thats why back then I would simply prefer the toothed knives, because they would cut the easiest still. So I dare say this is my first serious relationship, everything before was just on and off really.”
a. “If you would choose one word to describe how you feel about the knife, which would it be and
why? Lover? Friend? Stranger? Or an enemy?”
b. “Pet. Maybe because I miss my cats, maybe because I own it in a way I could not own a person. I guess if a pet, it is more like a dog though. Cats cannot really be owned either. A dog requires attention and care and it does not leave your side for no reason. Funny enough, I feel a dog is not elegant enough for that pretty knife, but well I guess it is as close as it gets. It might be a greyhound.”
a. “Many of us are intimidated by knives and haven´t always had a good relationship with them.
Can you describe how you overcame this barrier, or what you think you need to do to overcome it?”
b. “I would like to get back to the analogy with relationships here, to the physical part of it: it might be all good fun to fool around; but if you want more, it is important to get to know your partner same as yourself. Once you know how each of you works, and more how both of you work together the experience will get a lot more pleasant compared to what it might have been at the start. Same with knives I dare say. When I started to use only that one knife I had my issues and it felt weird at first since I haver never had such a knife. It takes some time and effort to get used to a tool, to get a feel for it, there might be the second cut within a week and you wonder whether it will actually get better in time. But if you get through that little awkward phase in the beginning it is worth the trouble and you can enjoy the simple satisfaction of cutting a tomato in slices.”
a. “In human relationships we often talk about trust. How important is trust in your relationship
with your knife and what is the source of the trust for you?”
b. “The source of trust is myself I guess. My boyfriend might chuckle at this having seen me cut things in ways that can be called unsafe. I did cut myself in the last month but with a different knife (ironically a toothed knife, those that I preferred to use before I got this one). So I would say I trust myself with that one knife because I got to know it and I feel like I know what it is capable off.
There is one trust issue though; my boyfriend spends some time with my knife too; he is responsible for sharpening it. I guess the final step would be to trust myself as much as to sharpen it myself. For now I am too scared thinking I might ruin it.”
a. “Another ‘pillar’ of relationships is communication. What part of your interactions with your knife
would you consider as communication? How does your knife communicate with you, and how do
you communicate with your knife?”
b. “When I cut something familiar you might compare the knife to an old friend I can sit with without much talking. If I cut something more unusual its more of a lively conversation because there is more to talk about, more to consider and discuss.”
a. “In some relationship there is privacy or intimacy. Which interaction, habit, skill or moment of using
your knife do you consider as private or intimate?”
b. “Cutting. It gets very close to me, so close it could potentially hurt me. That does not have to be bad, it just means I have to be careful, considerate and very present; I focus on the knife and what I am doing. I would call that intimate.”
a. “In life we lean to others for advice in relationships so once again borrowing the similarity - What
would you recommend/tell to someone who has a bad relationship with his/hers kitchen knife?”
b. “Use your knife mindfully instead of seing cutting as a necessary evil. Enjoy the way you can shape your food the way you want it to be shaped - if your cucumber cubes look wonky at first, do not despair just try it again. And if it still looks wonky after months but you actually enjoyed cutting it - embrace the wonky cucumber cube cutting style.