with Primal Concepts’ Jamie Ehl

So where did Primal Concepts come from?
All my life I’ve been building and modifying, and I was needing a new creative outlet. I have a bent to create unique work — Do Cool Things is my mantra. I made my first bat last summer. It was the Big Nut, and was soon followed by the BAT15 and Spike.

Social media loved our bats. We were blindsided by their popularity. By October we had started a website and named the company Primal Concepts. “Primal Concepts” embodies the attitude of our company — raw, basic, simple.

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What is the philosophy of Primal Concepts?
We are regular people that are tired. We want fresh air, to be left alone, to have quality things that aren’t made of plastic. Sometimes we want to smash things with a hammer, and we don’t appreciate failure.

Our products are pretty but brutal, well-crafted, and handmade in our shop with attention both to aesthetic and functional detail. We want everything we do to look beautiful doing what it is designed to do.

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And what’s going on in the shop today?
This thing has been bigger than I ever imagined. I expected to sell a few bats here and there and have a fun hobby, but the demand has been way more than that.

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So every day I am making bats and tomahawks and streamlining production. Finding ways to keep up with demand while not cutting corners on quality. We’re also active on social media and doing a lot of photo shoots, having a blast coming up with creative things to do with our products. I also leave time for what I call creative R&D, time for exploring imagination. I’m constantly looking forward to what other products fit into what we do. What other products fit into people’s lives that are basic, beautiful, and functional.

So what’s coming up for Primal Concepts?
I’m most excited about our mini cleavers that just launched. I have a thing for cleavers. They are iconic. They are the heaviest-hitting, most brutal knife in the knife block. So this is a quality product, made with quality 316 L stainless steel. We hate Chinese stainless steel. The cleaver has a handcrafted, hand-stained handle, unless you choose a paracord option, and we decided to build a box for it to make an even better product. All built entirely from scratch right in our shop.

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And we’ve got t-shirts in the works too, with original art created just for us, so people can identify with Primal. All products featured now and later will be handcrafted by us or just for us.

Tell us something primal you did today.
So just tonight I took a mesquite log and cut it down to a block. Put it on the lathe in a first attempt at a small bowl. I’m just learning how a lathe works.

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Unfortunately, it didn’t work out this time because the wood split, so I just need to find the right piece of wood. Ultimately, I thought it would be fun to make a cocktail set from wood — two cups, a bowl, a muddler. That’s my Primal. How are you Primal?

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