Handmade Knives from Albacete
José Antonio Herreros Gómez is a well-known Handmade knives folding knife and pocket knives who started working at Albacete when he was only 13 years old.
At the beginning, when he was just a kid, he started working with the famous cutlery Viuda de Ricardo Zafrilla, from Albacete.
He worked more than 10 years with the Zafrilla family, during that time he learnt everything related to the cutlery and the passion for the cutlery started to grow deep in his heart.
Once the Zafrilla’s family decided to close the company, José Antonio Herreros Gómez found a new place to keep developing his skills.
He started to work with another of the greatest families of the artisan and handmade cutlery from Albacete, Expósito. Expósito is one of the finest cutlery and handmade companies from Albacete, in fact it’s still on the business thanks.
Back on the day, Expósito had a really small workshop on Tejares street (one of the most famous streets on Albacete), next to a bar called “Los caracoles” (the snails)
Folding knives and pocket knives artisan
José Antonio suddenly started being famous on Albacete and the most important cutlery factory on that day, Castañeda, hired him in order to keep developing Crowning. The famous knives and pocket knives brand from the 70s.
Unfortunately, Crowning disappeared 3 years later when Castañeda decided to retire.
Due to this, he decided to open another workshop in his mother-in-law courtyard. He managed to survive thanks to his skills during that time. Nevertheless, it didn’t take long until another company was interested in his skills. That company was “Cuchillería el Abuelo” (the grandfather cutlery products), José ended working there more than 10 years. Cuchillería el abuelo is still a cutlery brand but they don’t manufacture knives or pocket knives anymore.
After he left “Cuchillería El Abuelo”, the Spanish cutlery sector went downhill. It was really bad days for the Spanish cutlery as a lot of companies suddenly disappeared (Ramirez, Andujar, Crowning, Halcón, etc…). You could only find a job on the sporting cutlery companies which used the latest technologies and tended to be more industrialized
For that reason, José Antonio moved by the passion and love he felt for the cutlery didn’t hesitate when he founded an improvised workshop on the trunk of his van, a Volkswagen LT 35. He traveled around all the Spanish geography (especially the Mediterranean coast of Barcelona, Benidorm, Alicante, Valencia, etc.) grinding and fixing kitchen knives from the local people.
He even managed to improvised a little workshop in his van’s trunk where he made a few of his more iconic pieces, he was pretty famous those days among the tourist who surprised of such a quality product didn’t hesitate to buy them as a souvenir.
Nowadays, Jose works for the most premium quality cutleries from Albacete, meanwhile he manages to manufacture pocket and folding knives at the weekends.
José Antonio Herreros has earned a good reputation during his career, he has won quite a lot of awards as a master artisan. He has won a lot of awards given by APRECU (acronym for association for cutlers and third parties from Albacete, in Spanish). Jose’s creations can be found on the most famous Spanish knives and pocket knives museums.
Jose is still famous nowadays for assist to the biggest craftmanship shows on Spain.
In order to conclude we would like just to add that during his entire life he has worked for the finest and most famous cutlery brands such as Peralta, Miguel Nieto, Expósito, Cudeman, etc.
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Video taken from ACM (Albacete Cutlery Museum) website