The people in Wolfville now know that they can find Peter Nowlan, master sharpener on Wednesdays tucked away in the back room of Larch Wood.
Peter is a self-confessed knife geek. This is from his web site.
“I have been fascinated by knives and especially sharpening them for about 35 years. My dad gave me a lesson which ignited the flame and it’s never gone out. At sea, every sailor has a knife so I had plenty to practice on. I started sharpening with oilstones. There was no internet, no YouTube, nothing to really go by except the lessons I had learned. Much later, I discovered the beauty of Japanese Water Stones and have never touched an oilstone since. I had some lessons from other sharpeners, the most important of which was from a Japanese knife sharpener that really had a huge impact on me. I purchased the Edge Pro Professional, a precision-guided device that uses the same stones and has since acquired a good number of very high-quality Japanese Water Stones. These days, almost all my sharpening is by free hand, that is what gives me the most joy in knife sharpening and also produces the sharpest knives. I still get excited every opportunity I have to sharpen a knife, and that happens every day. Around 2007 I was fully immersed in sharpening knives and by this time I had made a full switch to the wondrous Japanese Water Stone World and sharpened as many knives as I possibly could. I decided to open a business to support my obsession with water stones and it took off beyond my wildest dreams. In 2014 I retired from the Navy and I now enjoy the luxury of sharpening knives every single day. I gained the trust of some very well known Chefs and I was fortunate enough to be in the newspaper which truly helped folks know about me and the benefits of using sharp knives. I now run my business from my home and I also teach sharpening to anyone interested and at the Culinary Institute occasionally. In my spare time, I like to write about sharpening for my Blog and for Knifeplanet. My hobbies are reading books about sharpening to get a better understanding of metallurgy and the science behind the steel I work on in order to create not just sharp knives but knives that stay sharp for as long as possible. I plan to continue to sharpen and learn about sharpening until I can no longer do so.
My sharpening dreams include a visit to Japan and to meet sharpening Masters and talk about sharpening until they ask me to leave.”
Peter really leans into his craft. Something we at Larch Wood appreciate and support.
Here is a video of how to apply pressure when sharpening.
Here is a video that works on honing your honing skills 🙂
of course – what is Peters favourite end grain board? You guessed it… Larch Wood!