Simon Maillet makes high quality kitchen knives, working to his own original designs. The Sheffield-based bladesmith forges each of his knives individually, using locally-sourced carbon steel and wood. The durability of the carbon steel means owners can keep their knife for life. Simon has been developing his technique over the last six years. Using just a hammer and anvil, he maintains an elegant yet minimal aesthetic, emphasising the functionality of his product. His knives are first and foremost tools, not decorative pieces. He wants to see them used, and maintained over long periods of time.
No one appreciates this mission more than Simon’s core clientele, working chefs. A chef himself — drawn to it so he could better understand the needs of his customers — Simon knows firsthand the difference a good knife can make in the kitchen. Like many modern day artisans, Simon had another life before taking up his current craft. With a background in urban ecology and landscape design, he met a bladesmith while travelling by bike in 2009, who inspired him to take a different path.
Having relocated from his native France to Manchester in 2017, he was ultimately drawn to live in Sheffield due to the city’s long history of steelwork and blacksmithing. He considers it a privilege to be part of that community and ongoing history.
Taking inspiration from the Japanese ethos of wabi-sabi, Simon is adamant that “knives can be beautiful, but need first and foremost to be practical.” Simon understands the centrality of food to life — and how using a quality knife can enhance the joy and quality of one’s cooking.
Favouring the sustainability that using durable, locally-sourced materials lends his products over the disposability of their mass-produced equivalents, Simon is passionate about the value of investing in tools that last.
Hailing from a family of craftspeople, using his hands helps him to feel connected to his home, to the land, to the community of knifemakers and knife appreciators he is building around him.
Sheffield knife sharpening
Graphic designer, England