The Forge de Laguiole
The FORGE DE LAGUIOLE was founded in 1987. The founding of the association “LE COUTEAU DE LAGUIOLE” was its predecessor, called into being by a group of knife manufacturers. This group was aiming at the rehabilitation the level of quality the knife once had.
In order to put a clear sign the French architect and stardesigner Philippe Starck was appointed to design the new company building. He created an unusual building having a huge blade on its roof looming 18 meters into the sky. Since then the LAGUIOLES are being fabricated here according to the rules of old and traditional handicraft. When being produced industrially a knife is passed on from one workman to the next.
In the FORGE DE LAGUIOLE each knife manufacturer is responsible for the fabrication of his knife from the first step to the final step. Each singular step from forging the steel , working the blades until giving it the finishing touch is done in the workshops. Each LAGUIOLE is a handmade individual knife which cannot be confounded.
Throughout the last years the building which is completely covered in aluminium has been enlargened three times to 2500 m2. Annually the 100 workmen produce more than 250.000 knives by manual labour. Most of them are being exported.
Virgilio Munoz Caballero works in his atelier in the FORGE DE LAGUIOLE. The Spaniard has been honoured as “Meilleur ouvrier de France” ( best craftsman in France ). He manufactures a LAGUIOLE to highest demand. Each of his individual knives is signed with his initials “VM”. Collectors around the world are willing to wait for almost twelve months in order to receive one of the unmistakable masterpieces in the art of forging made by his hands.
The FORGE DE LAGUIOLE was awarded the PRIZE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION” in Sevilla 1992 for their entire production. This prize has only been awarded to three European companies for their outstanding and modern achievements.
Every Thursday visitors of the workshop can experience how blade slugs are forged at a temperature of 1000 C with a pressure of 300to and with such a loud bang that the foundation of the basalt pedestal is shaking.