Our People

THE MAKERS


NICK WATSON - Lead Knife Maker

Nick Watson grew up with a love for knives. He and his mother shared a collection that grew with every new place they visited. Over the years, this affection evolved from collecting, to making -- in hopes that the owners of a Monolith knife will feel the same pride in ownership as Nick does about his collection and creations.

 Nick graduated from the University of Virginia in 2015 completing with two degrees, studio art and environmental science. The following year, Nick completed a 5th year fellowship in the arts, where he continued his concentration in sculpture and metalwork. Nick joined the Monolith team after a three month internship.

Nick applies his knowledge of art and design, as well as the steady hand acquired as a sculptor. He has brought a fresh look and some new ideas, improving on the products offered by Monolith Studio. Nick's sculptures can often be found on display in regions across Virginia, Maryland and his birthplace, New York. 

"Each knife is more than just a tool; it is a personal, meaningful part of our lives and the lives of the people who own them."

— Nick Watson

 

 

 

ZACK WORRELL  -  Founder, Creative Director, and Knife Maker 

Zack grew up surrounded by a talented and creative family of entrepreneurs and artists from Virginia. Each of them creative, progressive, and successful in their endeavors.  As a child, he spent countless hours building cities and machines with legos, later transcending into everything from building tree forts, large fish aquarium projects, elaborate stereo systems, modifying motocross dirt bikes and mountain bikes, customizing cars and vintage motorcycles. All things he learned working with others, or just by trial and error. As a young entrepreneur, Zack gained knowledge of technology and business through exposure to his family's 50 year foray into newspaper publishing.

 

 “I come from a family of men and women who were adventurous, entrepreneurial, thoughtful and creative. These folks were Virginians through and through, and their sense of pride, history, creativity, culture, and “can do” attitude has given me the tools and traits that have led me where I am today.”  - Zack Worrell

 

His exposure to working artists, visual art, design, architecture, music, and culture through travel developed and informed his world. As a young graduate of Elon University in 1995, he turned his eye to desktop publishing and graphic design which later transformed into an interest into more hands on work such as industrial design, photography, film and music production. In 2006, he co-founded a community arts organization named The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, which seeks to bridge diverse communities through the arts. They promote dialogue and discourse using art as the catalyst.

The work in the nonprofit arts sector inspired him to pursue his own goals as a working artist, to make a career as artisan and operate at a professional level. His love of materials like wood and metal collided in furniture making and eventually evolved into the craft of knife making and forge work. 

"I just make stuff, it's what I do." -Zack Worrell 

In 2013, Zack formed Monolith Knives from a vision which he had maintained for many years. It began with the concept of building modern furniture and home goods, but quickly shifted with his first exposure to the process of knife making. From there he fell in love with the culture of blade smithing and the craft of making handmade products for everyday use which were also objects of beauty. His quest has been to make everyday objects and tools with purpose and performance, coupled with the honesty, soul and beauty. This philosophy has extended through his work at Monolith and is a core value of the company. The thought of handcrafting an heirloom quality tool, which could transcend generations, continuing to be both useful and beautiful, is truly captivating to Zack and created a unique challenge which to pursue.  Zack strives to build meaningful and lasting relationships with the end user to fulfill his desire to share his craft and experience with others. Zack continues to find this work full of new challenges and rewards, learning how to refine the products and capabilities of Monolith. 

“It is my desire to leave people with more than just a purchase, but to build a more direct relationship between maker and user. I want to fulfill the promise of commitment to quality and service, and restore some level of doing fair and honest business, in a time of threes second sound bites and online consumerism. It is for this reason that we warranty and service our products for as long as we continue to make them.”  -Zack Worrell

 

Ryan Evans At Monolith ShopRYAN EVANS - Assistant Knife Maker  Ryan grew up less than a mile from the Monolith shop, always working with his hands and helping with projects around his family home. Ryan has been active in the Boy Scouts of America since kindergarten and after earning his Eagle Scout rank in 2014, has transitioned in to a leadership role in his troop. His first blacksmithing class was at age 11! This interest was fully realized in 2016, when he received his certification in architectural blacksmith from the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing.  Between his scouting and camping with family, his love of knives both as a tool and as art was instilled at an early age. Ryan now spends most of his time learning and assisting in the art of knife making, if not fishing, while also pursuing his Bachelor’s degree at Piedmont Virginia Community College.