We are in the middle of the 19th century and the cutlery industry is in full swing. At that time, the cutlery business occupies 25,000 people. In the valley, the factories beat the iron and the spinning wheels sharpen the blades. In the city, we assemble, polish, trade, repair … Thiers and its surroundings live and breathe knives all day long. One of the specificities of cutlery in Thiers is the manufacture of regional knives, the most famous is the Laguiole (named after a village in Aveyron).
However, nothing predestined Thiers to this specialization. There are no iron or steel mines or sandstone quarries on the site. But there is the forceful river Durolle, whose hydraulic force will provide the energy needed mills and factories cutlers. Not to mention the tremendous obstinacy and motivation of a population occupying a difficult and steep territory. Moreover, from the 17th century, the knives made in Thiers were exported from the ports of Bordeaux and Nantes, via Spain and Italy, to the Levant. But it is truly in the nineteenth century that cutlery will grow phenomenally.
Built along the banks of the Durolle, in what is now known as «Vallée des Usines” also called “Le Creux de l’Enfer”, the workshops take full advantage of the energy provided by the river to produce and supply massively the hardware stores wholesalers from France and Navarre. And this, thanks to a successful organization of work, based on fragmentation: the work is split between a multitude of workshops that only perform a stage of manufacture. So there are as many trades as stages of making a knife. This is work at home governed by a specific collective agreement.
It is here, in the heart of one of these spinning wheels that a certain Blaise Dozorme starts his professional activity as a grinder. Nicknamed “the wolf” by his peers, he acquires an invaluable know-how in the treatment of steel and grind. Taking advantage of this expertise acquired over time, he decided to install a small cutlery workshop in his house. We are then in 1902, the Dozorme cutlery was born…
« At Creux de l’Enfer, one of the spinning wheels where Blaise Dozorme learned the job of grinder » a Dozorme’s picture.
Local memory still remembers the “yellow bellies”, these hundreds of grinders (who give their edge to the blades) lying side by side on the belly above the wheels with their dogs lying on the legs to warm them up. This specific position to the French cutlery business allowed them to support the blade on the sandstone wheel to give it its first edge. A position far from comfortable but certainly the most stable to perform this crucial step in the manufacture of a knife. It must be remembered that the grinder has a primary role and his work is certainly the most prestigious in the production line of a knife. Indeed, this step of grinding the blade to refine it will determine the longevity and quality of the cutting edge of the future blade, the quality of its cut and the ability to rebuild the knife several times after use!
Today, “grind” is always done with great care but is performed in a vertical position, a much more comfortable posture or numerically with high precision equipment.
The Claude Dozorme factory has fully integrated this crucial step by equipping itself with a state-of-the-art, high-performance emulsion machine equipped with digital sensors that measure the wear of the grinding wheel and reposition it in order to obtain an excessively precise and constant grinding on all the blades Claude Dozorme. This is one of the reasons why the pocket knives, table knives and kitchen knives produced by the family factory offer perfect cutting quality.
Photo : The grind of Claude Dozorme’s knives, nowadays
In this hunting area par excellence, nestles a restaurant of the most discreet evocative and symbolic name: The 2 Bécasses. Opened in 2015 and run by 2 women, Hélène Tubach and Sandrine Martinez, the establishment offers a cuisine based on fresh produce that is simple, traditional and seasonal. Focusing on local resources, the 2 Bécasses seeks to find the authenticity of a generous cuisine.
No lack of taste in the room also where the decoration skilfully mixes vintage tommettes, exposed beams, walls of briquettes and lime plaster. A simple and authentic decor, just like their kitchen.
And as here nothing is left to chance, every detail has its importance! Thus, the Laguiole table knives, signed Claude Dozorme, display an authentic woodcock feathers in their sleeve. The perfect final touch!
It must be said that the 2 friends and especially Hélène Tubach, know well, and for a long time, the manufacture from Thiers. Indeed, before embarking on this beautiful gastronomic adventure, the young woman worked for a long time as a journalist for various magazines. It was during her career as a journalist that Helen discovered the family cutlery and met the sparkling Claudine Dozorme.
Pretty soon, she wanted to collaborate with the family cutlery for several reasons as she points out “In addition to offering beautiful knives, very elegant with a perfect edge, Claude Dozorme cutlery places quality at the heart of its concerns. Just like me with the restaurant. It’s really what binds us. ” A collaboration that is not ready to end!
This time not far away or long journeys for Claude Dozorme cutlery. It is here in Thiers, in the heart of its production area, that the family factory will participate as every year in COUTELLIA, International Knife Festival of Art and Tradition, which will take place this weekend, the 19 and 20 may.
Organised by the Puy-de-Dôme Chamber of Commerce and Industry and supported by the Town of Thiers and the Thiers Dore et Montagne community of communes, COUTELLIA is the leading knife trade show in France. Every year, it brings together professionals and amateurs from France and throughout the world in a 2,500m² space in Thiers (Puyde-Dôme), a world capital of cutlery.
For this 28th edition, 230 exhibitors from 22 different countries (from Australia to Sweden via Japan and Russia) will come and present on 19 and 20 May in Thiers (63 – France) their know-how and their passion for knives. A golden opportunity to discover new cutlery trends but also techniques and know-how from elsewhere.
There will be also be events and highlights throughout the weekend at COUTELLIA. Thus, there will be an exhibition of ancient knives, forging and sharpening demonstrations, the assembly of knives, an initiation in the manufacturing of corkscrews and many other delights will be proposed to the public in dedicated spaces. This will no doubt enrich your cutlery culture.
Claude Dozorme cutlery will host throughout the weekend the many visitors expected on a dedicated stand in the heart of Hall 2. The family manufactory will present all of its knives Le Thiers®, Laguiole or Capucin by Dozorme, but also the “outdoor” novelties related to nature, open spaces and hunting.
The opportunity to discover and admire the EOK pocket knife, fresh out of the workshops thiernois. With its imposing size of 24 cm as there are few on the market and its push button that facilitates the opening of a hand, the EOK pocket knife has been specially designed for all adventurers.
Salle Polyvalente Jo Cognet /Thiers
19 et 20 mai 2018
Hall 2 – Stand F21
At Claude Dozorme, nothing is left to chance ! Just as the knife blade has to be absolutely flawless, the h andle is a part in its own-right, carefully designed to give the object its exceptional quality and added value.Whether dressed in noble materials, leather or with inlay, Dozorme’s handles are adorned with their finery.
Today, we invite you to discover one of the most amazing materials that our factory uses for the design of its Laguiole folding knives or Le Thiers® in their luxury version: the mammoth molar or tusk.
Exceptional material, the mammoth molar makes it possible to further enhance our ranges of pocket knives, to bring them both a note of originality and an extreme refinement.
And the height of chic, our mammoth molar knives, entirely made in France, in our factory, are mostly mounted with a Damascus steel blade from Balbach, a specialist whose all secrets will be revealed soon.
An origin that goes back to the beginning of time
Mammoths appeared on Earth 100,000 years ago and were hunted by prehistoric humans for their meat, fur and tusks that they used to make weapons, tools and statues. Disappeared 10,000 years ago, their defenses are currently in permafrost (eternal freeze) in Siberia and Alaska. These frozen lands melt with global warming. Remained trapped in the earth for thousands of years, these tusks have kept their incomparable texture and warm cream color. During their long stay underground, they absorbed minerals that may have colored them. Sometimes the defenses are found in a terrain containing metal oxides. In this case, by millennial infiltrations in the heart of the tusk, the copper oxides give it a blue-green color, while the iron oxides give brown to reddish tones.
This ivory is fossilized, so its trade is perfectly legal (unlike elephant ivory). In addition, mammoth ivory or mammoth molars are not subject to the Washington Convention and therefore do not require a certificate of authenticity.