Francesca Wilburn-Ritchie is the daughter of Mastersmith Aaron Wilburn. From a young age Francesca has been fully immersed in the world of knives. Spending time in her Father’s workshop, watching his finely tuned skills at work, Francesca developed an eye for detail and appreciation for the art of knife making. At the age of 15 Francesca made her first knife, starting with a bar of steel and a block of wood, she forged and ground her way to a fully functional and aesthetically appealing hunting knife.
Throughout the years Francesca has pushed to develop and refine her art. In 2015 Francesca and her Husband Zach prepared to welcome their little girl into the world, starting with a knifemaking hiatus.
"After having Olivia, I knew that most of my time would be in the house with her, but I also had this insatiable artistic itch and that's when I started ordering in leather hides and slowly acquiring tools and practicing on some crazy idea that had popped into my head. It's crazy how many random projects I completely failed on, but more and more often my projects were really coming to life. I spent my free time learning all that I could about leather, and my love for it grew, along with my artistic vision."
As of 2020, Francesca is a full time Leather Artisan, specializing in custom sheaths, hand dyeing and commissioned high end custom projects. She produces a limited batch of knives every year for her collectors.