Born and raised in Susquehanna, PA, Jay spent many of his days as a youth hunting and fishing the endless mountain region of Pennsylvania. It was at this time that he developed his love of knives and handcrafted bows and arrows. In 1974 he seriously started making knives, while pursuing a career in telecommunications at IBM. Jay became a full time knifemaker in 1987 and received his Masters Certification in 1989.
Jay was one of the ABS members instrumental in the planning and formulation of the W. F. Moran School of Bladesmithing in Washington, Arkansas and the Bladesmith Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been teaching the basic bladesmithing course at the school since its beginning. Prior to this, Jay taught ABS classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY for five years.
Jay has made knives for people in many countries but one of the highlights of his knifemaking career was to forge Kukri Knives for King Hussein of Jordan.
Last year, Jay celebrated his 25th year in knifemaking. He prides himself on making knives the traditional way, doing everything by hand and eye coordination, using minimal machinery.
Jay's knives have been featured on the covers of Knives Illustrated, La Passion des Couteaux, and Knives '99. Jay makes all styles of straight knives. He makes his own Damascus, does all of the handle treatments, and creates and hand sews his own sheaths.