Our HistoryJuan José Fernández, Telesforo Fernández, Manuel Fernández Panades and Manuel Fernández Rovira.
Fernández Cutlery is a small, fourth generation hand-made knife shop which has been located in the province of Albacete since 1995.
Juan José Fernández Martínez was the first knife maker of the Fernández family in the year 1933.
Telesforo Fernández Expósito, artisan number 43693, followed in his father’s footsteps, beginning to work in the profession in the year 1965.
Manuel Fernández Panadés, Master Artisan, wanted to continue this family tradition, and decided to set up an artisan’s shop in the year 1995. That shop is called FERNANDEZ CUTLERY.
Manuel was born into a family of knife makers in 1951. His great grandfather, Juan José Fernández Martinez “El Carretilla” (“The Pushcart”) began to work in 1925 in the workshop of Ricardo Zafrilla on Cruz Street, where his father Telesforo Fernández Expósito also worked until 1947. It was at that point that Telesforo began to work with his uncle Bartolomé Expósito López and his sons in a workshop on the Camino de Miraflores.
Eight years later Telesforo went out on his own and opened his own workshop on San Justo Street. This was an ample space of some forty square meters (approx. 130 sq. ft.) situated above his grandmother’s family home. There Telesforo placed a 1 ½ horsepower motor to turn two grinding and polishing stones, and a bench with three vises, a forge and an anvil. A few months later he incorporated a drill press, a shear and two more bench vises. Together with Telesforo his cousin “El Pijolilla”, “El Mojama” and two other craftsmen also worked. It was there that Manuel Fernández Panadés was to begin his early apprenticeship at the age of eight, helping his father in the forming of the blanks used for blades. The rest of the brothers also contributed their labor to the family business, although, over time, Manuel was the only one who remained in the business.
In this workshop the Fernández’ classic Albacetan folding knives of horn and “teja” closure systems along with other special models like, for example, the Bowie knife were produced. Those were difficult times and the ferrules were made from the tin from milk cans and other canned goods. Production was destined for the warehouse workers of the two Zafrilla families: the workshop on Cruz Street and the establishment of the widow of José Zafrilla on Salamanca Street. Nevertheless, toward the middle of the sixties, Telesforo solicited a permanent location in the rings of the fairgrounds and some of the production was sold there.
Following the death of Telesforo the workshop was closed and his son Manuel interrupted his activities as a knife maker for fourteen years to dedicate himself to sales. However, in 1990 he recovered a good part of the machinery and he set up shop on the ground floor of his residence in the “La Estrella” (“The Star”) neighborhood. His inscription in the Register of Industry soliciting authorization for an expansion of the shop would be the last request registered in the 20th century. It is in this place on San Quentin Street where he has perfected his work day by day, becoming one of the most prominent artisan knife makers of the local scene, with numerous prizes in different competitions of craftsmanship, fairs and contests.
In the year 2004 he was awarded the Title of Master Artisan granted by the Community Board of Castilla La Mancha. One outstanding element of his work is the perfect synthesis achieved between the traditional methods and endless search for new materials, especially for the end pieces and the handles of his knives.
Since then this shop has not stopped creating true works of art, and one of a kind pieces.
Currently, Manuel Fernández Rovira, artisan number 0200470 is the one who continues this family tradition.
His initiation in the sector began in 1999 in the Cutlery School with a course in die-stamping. Two years later he began experimenting with acid etching which he enjoyed and excelled at.
He decided to help his father decorate the knife blades which he made. Years later he decided to enlist in the Air Force of the Armed Services but he never stopped producing etchings on folding and other knives.
In the year 2008 his father Manuel became ill which obliged him to close the family business. Manuel decided to leave the military to dedicate himself to knife making and to continue the saga of artisans, as the fourth generation in his family. For some years he learned with his father.
On the 14th of May, 2011 Manuel Fernández Panades died and his son Manuel continued the legacy alone until the present, producing Spanish cutlery, antique reproductions, and artistic knives in the same manner as his father taught him, incorporating his etchings, winning various prizes in different national competitions and travelling the world teaching his inherited art.
This is the story of the company, which we hope will endure, satisfying true lovers of good cutlery throughout the world.
Parte de los Premios Obtenidos a lo largo de Nuestra Trayectoria Profesional.
1990. 2º Premio pieza original
1991. 1º Premio pieza original
1993. 2º Premio cuchillo de monte
1995. 1º Premio navaja clásica
1996. 2º Premio navaja clásica
1997. 2º Premio navaja clásica
1997. 2º Premio navaja tema libre
1998. 2º Premio navaja tema libre
1999. 1º Premio navaja clásica
2000. 1º Premio reproducción navaja clásica
2001. Mención Honorífica I Concurso Regional Pieza única
2002. 3º Premio navaja Tema Libre
2002. 1º Premio Navaja antigua de Albacete
2002. 1º Premio Navaja Conmemorativa 25 Aniversario
2003. 1º Premio Navaja Tema Libre
2004. Premio «Paco Alarcon» Reproducción Navaja antigua albacete
2005. 1º Premio Reproducción Cuchillo Puñal Antiguo
2006. Premio reproducción Cuchillo Puñal Antiguo
2006. 2º Premio Navaja tema Libre
2007. 1º Premio «Obra artesana» Feria Artesanía Cuenca 07