Rory Conner

Rory Conner

Ballylickey, Bantry,

Rory Conner, an artisan cutler, has a studio crammed with rusty blade forms, drill presses, and grinders' wheels, carpeted with metal dust, and looks straight out of the 19th century. The knives themselves are works of art, with handles of sustainable cocobolo and Irish bog oak, their steel blades wavy with the patterns of Damascus steel. Conner counts among his customers local celebs like Jeremy Irons as well as far-off food mavens: Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini owns a custom salmon slicer, and the mail-order-food impresario Ari Weinzeweig carries Conner's cheese knives at Zingerman's Delicastessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But Conner is most proud of the reputation his blades have earned locally - West Cork Fishermen regularly take his knives out to sea with them.

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