The trade fair held in Thiers featuring artistic and traditional cutlery was full to the brim
Approximately 6,000 visitors attended Coutellia!
A wide variety of knives were showcased at the Coutellia trade fair: artistic, traditional, collectable and futuristic knives, those made of carbon, steel, Damascus steel, pocket knives, those with handles made of mother-of-pearl, ivory… This year the Coutellia trade fair, a major event showcasing artistic and traditional cutlery, celebrated its 26th anniversary, providing the most passionate knife collectors with an extremely diverse selection of knives.
Each year professionals and non-professionals alike attended this two-day trade fair held in Thiers, France at an expo center that spans approximately 21,527 ft2. This year’s overall attendance records were very impressive; over 5,600 visitors were counted (3,200 on Saturday and 2,400 on Sunday).
Every year the number of knife lovers and collectors that attend this event in Thiers increases. Coutellia’s aura has placed this event amongst the forerunners of European cutlery trade fair events.
An impressive statue will be erected in the center of Thiers
220 exhibitors and artisanal cutlers from 20 countries showcased their works and creations to an audience of loyal and passionate individuals. This year’s visitors also learned about the cutlery field by participating in diverse workshops and demonstrations covering a wide range of topics including: assembling and forging knives, gastronomy and professional cutting techniques.
During the Coutellia trade fair Thiers becomes a networking hotspot that gathers the biggest names in the artistic cutlery field as well as the best international and French knife manufacturers. It goes without saying that TB Groupe was one of the leading manufacturers present at this event!
Several well-known artisans began creating a giant statue on the inauguration day of Coutellia. This statue stands approximately 11 feet tall and represents three blades with a map of the world balancing on their points. The map indicates the cities that participated in the first Global Cutlery Meetings (Rencontres Mondiales de la Coutellerie). This statue will be installed in Thiers’ city center, Place Chastel.
The fair as experienced by curious visitors and professionals
A few words from passionate individuals
Thiers’ reputation shines well beyond the department (Puy-de-Dôme) and the region (Auvergne) in which it is located. The city’s position as the capitol of French cutlery is solidified by its success and its name is famous around the world.
For several centuries this city’s manufacturing process, whether it be for producing kitchen knives or collectables, has remained timeless. The number of individuals that are interested by artistic cutlery has also been steadily increasing.
A woman attending the trade fair from Mâcon stated that she was “looking for a rare piece in order to complete my collection.” Another man, impassioned by beautiful knives, said that he “owns approximately thirty artistic knives, from small simple ones that you can put in your pocket for cutting sausage to ones that are kept in a glass display case.” He added that he comes to Thiers “to see beautiful works of cutlery.”
It should be noted that artistic cutlery has rapidly gained in popularity in France ever since the pocketknife became a trendy item in the United States during the 60s. The American fad of offering knives as gifts travelled overseas to France twenty years later.
At first pocketknives were very common items among those living in the countryside. The market for pocketknives is no longer aimed at individuals living in rural areas. The market has expanded its horizons to encompass urban dwellers. Manufacturing collectable pocketknives is now prevalent throughout France, making them readily available to a wide array of individuals.
David Ponson, who was displaying his knives at Coutellia and who owns a shop in Thiers, recounts Thiers’ history as a cutlery manufacturing hub rather eloquently: “The knife is our past. When an individual is born in Thiers, knives are our roots, our genes […] People visit Thiers just for the knives, just like people visit Saint-Claude to buy a pipe!"
In Thiers, artistic cutlery is created by both artisans and professional experts
The Générale de Découpage (GDD), a symbol of excellent cutlery, enjoyed the media coverage that was provided by Coutellia in order to present some of their areas of expertise to the public. GDD is TB Groupe’s subsidiary and works as an industrial subcontractor for several knife manufacturers. The company specializes in many different areas within the knife-manufacturing sector.
Over the past several years GDD has worked continuously to innovate and diversify its areas of expertise in order to satisfy its clients.
One of GDD’s main areas of expertise is forging bolsters that will be used to create high-end knives. GDD also specializes in forging techniques that use bar turning technologies, forging springs for embellishing pocketknives and foldable knives. GDD’s company philosophy is anchored in a passion for the cutlery field that is reflected in all of its work.
These stainless steel specialists displayed their knowledge about the artistic cutlery field at the latest edition of the Coutellia trade fair. This company, located in Thiers, officially announced that they have created knife blades and spring mechanisms for pocketknives with flies forged into them.
This company is equipped with tools that utilise cutting-edge technologies capable of producing high-end works such as these new creations.