Coutellia: a key event celebrating traditional pocketknives and more!
Ever since its creation, cutlery manufacturers have been wholly committed to saving the date for Coutellia, a major event that lovers of traditional pocketknives and luxurious knife collections flock to annually. Each year, this convivial event allows exhibitors, visitors and companies that supply raw materials - such as steel and materials for creating handles – to network and find amazing deals on cutlery items in an exciting ambiance.
Coutellia is living proof that the artistic cutlery field remains to this day a dynamic sector, which is constantly reinventing itself to correspond to the desires of its exacting clientele by creating innovative cutlery articles.
An American-inspired project is born
Coutellia, was created by seven individuals living in Thiers, France who are still members of the Young Economic Chamber (Jeune Chambre Économique): Denis Chambon, Marie-Sol Gonzalez, Nadine Guilloux, Agnès Razet, Gilles Richard, Dominique Tournebise and Maryse Trempon.
Organizing an event featuring artistic and traditional pocketknives
These seven individuals dreamed of creating an event that showcased the city of Thiers’ rich cutlery history. In the midst of their planning they met artisan cutler Jean-Pierre Treille, who suggested that they organize a trade fair dedicated to artistic cutlery based on American knife shows.
In the past these American trade fairs were held in hotel lobbies and reflected the spirit of 1960s soldier reunions. These knife shows grew from a military tradition in which army men gathered to personalize their combat knives. These customized knives gained in popularity in the U.S. in lockstep with an increasing market demand.
The 1990s: Thiers creates its trade fair dedicated to traditional pocketknives
In the 1980s, the concept of knife shows arrived in Europe; the first show was held in Berne, Switzerland followed by a show in Germany.
In 1991 a group of individuals from Thiers began to envision their own project drawing inspiration from these European knife shows. The very first Coutellia trade fair gathered approximately thirty exhibitors and was a huge success.
Artistic cutlery gains popularity in Thiers!
From that moment on, the Young Economic Chamber (Jeune Chambre Économique), a branch of Thiers’ Industry and Commerce Chamber (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie), organized all future artistic and traditional cutlery trade fairs held in Thiers.
The knife show that would later be known as Coutellia cemented its place as an annual event with its show in 1993.
1995 marked the event’s 5th anniversary and to this day it remains one of the its most memorable years; thousands of visitors enjoyed browsing the stands of more than 50 artisanal cutlers and had a chance to meet approximately one hundred cutlery professionals. This year the Thiers pocketknife, which symbolizes the Thiers region, was unveiled!
The Confrérie du Couté de Tié
In 1996, the knife show was renamed the "Artistic Knife Festival” and was organized by an association called the Confrérie du Couté de Tié. This group set up demonstrations about forging and creating traditional pocketknives.
In 1998, this association created a book, Le Thiers, about the secrets behind the knife manufacturing process. They also organized a workshop on how to assemble a knife where participants created their own knife.
The association also organized a competition called the Trophée du Fair Play, which takes place at several artistic cutlery trade fairs around the world.
Coutellia is officially established
In 2008 the knife show was officially established under the name Coutellia. In 2010 this ever growing trade fair gathered 150 exhibitors for its 20th anniversary, including the biggest names in the artistic cutlery world such as: Charlie Bennica, Wolf Borger and Franck Pitelet, who have been annual invitees since the event’s conception!
Coutellia: an artistic and traditional cutlery trade fair of international stature
In May 2011, the Chambre de Commerce d’Industrie Territoriale du Puy-de-Dôme took charge of organizing Coutellia. That year 13 countries where represented by various knife manufacturers who gathered in Auvergne for the trade fair. These knife manufacturers came from the following countries: France, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Japan, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the United States of America.