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"Many Knives by Many Makers"

Barry Dowe was born, raised, and has lived most of his life, in Northeastern Illinois in communities halfway between Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The second of five children, his father, Alfred Dowe, was a gifted physician and surgeon. His mother Mary was an involved and outgoing force of nature.
Wanting for little, he attended private schools even into College where he was a Carmelite Seminarian. After his association with that seminary ended, he graduated with a degree in History and began working for photography studios as a portrait and wedding photographer.

He married the love of his life, Kathy Altman in 1981 and remains so today. He has fathered two extraordinary children, Allison and David. He has owned his own photography studio since 1988 and with the help of his wife, has supported his family in that venture ever since. He is also a private pilot.

Around the same time he was learning to fly he began making knives. In 1992, Barry received a piece of "junk mail." It was a small blue pamphlet entitled Make the Knife you Carry. It peaked his interest. He began buying supplies and books from one of the suppliers mentioned in the text, Blades-N-Stuff, in California. He learned to hand sand the hardened blades to a mirror finish and how to attach handles to them. Contenting himself with this activity for a few years he continued to read knife making books, magazine articles, and watched videos by different makers. During this period he began grinding and modifying existing blades to his own design. Possessing more woodworking tools than metal working tools he began to perfect his handle designs, first on sheath knives, then in 2002, on folding knives. Making between 20 and 30 folders a year since then, all have sold as soon as they were offered to the public. While the quality of his knives has improved with time, and an expanded tool inventory, Barry is by no means resting on his laurels, but continues to improve. He experiments with different materials and media to perfect his unique knife designs.

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