Audra Draper, Knife Maker

Riverton, WY

Audra Draper

Audra Draper forges all her knives. Since she first started making blades under Ed Fowler’s watchful eye, while working as a ranch hand, forging seemed like the only way to go. She forges her blades from 52100 bearing steel and layered Damascus. Since she started making Damascus in April 1996, this has been a real passion for her. Most of the time her Damascus is made from 1084 and 15N20.

Though Audra makes many different kinds of knives, she most frequently makes using knives such as Damascus hunters with 300 plus layers and blades that range from 3 1/2″ to 4 1/2″.

Each knife Audra makes is tested for flexibility and cutting ability before it leaves her shop. As she says, “A good using knife should look good, but the most important thing for a knife to do is perform.”

Her guards are designed for both comfort and protection. They keep your hand from slipping up on the blade while their smooth, rounded edges are comfortable to hold during heavy use. Her guards are precision fitted and silver-soldered to the blades. She mostly used brass, nickel-silver, and mokume.

Handle materials show a dedication to quality since she uses only the best; rambouilett sheephorn, antlers, buffalo horn, ironwood and other exotic hardwoods are at home on Audra’s knives.

Audra passed her MasterSmith test with the American Bladesmith Society June 2000. She is the first woman to become an ABS Mastersmith.

Twisted Leaves Keris Dagger by Audra Draper


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