Elijah Isham Experiments with Lightweight New Front Flipper

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Elijah Isham’s new project is the Abstruse, a sub-3 inch, pocket-friendly front flipper. Isham envisions the Abstruse as a break from his recent output while remaining committed to the surrealist look.

Isham’s knives always draw the eye. The presiding element on the Abstruse is its blade. A 2.8-inch modified sheepsfoot, its humped appearance deviates from the angular blade silhouettes of recent collabs like the Zeta and the Eschaton. “The idea behind this one was completely experimental,” Isham says. “I really wanted to do the reverse of what I normally do. To use different angles and lines that I don’t often put together.” Isham settled on M390 for the steel.

Produced by Bestech, the Abstruse will be available in both full titanium and full carbon fiber handle configurations. The ti model has a frame lock and weighs 2.4 oz., while the CF model sports an inset liner lock and weighs 2.26 oz. Isham played with the angles between blade and handle to develop a refined ergonomic profile unusual in a knife this size.  “I was able to make the blade higher and the handle lower to get different ergonomics,” he tells us.

Always focused on blending function and form, Isham says the front flipper opens up new horizons for knife profiles. “Not having to worry about a traditional flipper tab really opens you up to experiment with different shapes and line flow.” He also incorporated a nail nick, both as secondary deployment option and nod to his recent passion for traditional design. “It gives it a lot of character, and it ties in with traditionals for a neo-classical look that I’m really interested in right now.”

Isham Bladeworks CF Abstruse

Isham Bladeworks CF Abstruse

Isham explains that the melding of old and new has been a deep well for him this year. “I think to do something really unique moving forward you have to bridge the gap between new and old.” The Blackstar channeled traditional looks and slipjoint construction, while the We Knife Co. Pleroma drew on swayback designs of yore. “I’ve always liked a lot of traditional-style knives but was never a fan of the materials used or the construction, so combining the modern with the traditional is fascinating to me.”

Isham says that the Abstruse’s first run of 400 pieces should be ready early next year.


Knife featured in image: Isham Bladeworks CF Abstruse

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