Mike Linnell grew up on Clear Creek in Leo, Texas. As a child he explored the wooded canyons and prairie tops of southwest Cooke County with his basset hound Toby. Mike was raised and inspired by his mother who previously worked at Capital Records with a deep background in music in California. His father was a machinist, welder, skilled knife maker, and gunsmith who made beautiful handcrafted flint lock rifles.
Mike grew up in a farming and ranching atmosphere that included country music, Native American culture, pioneer culture, photography, gardening, and the art of survival while growing up in the country. Mike excelled in art at an early age having a natural artistic ability with charcoal portraits. He was well know for his artistry throughout high school at Era and won numerous art contests and awards while in college.
Mike learned the art of knife making from his father while working in his machine shop as a child. Mike studied flint knapping while in college out of curiosity trying to figure out how paleo humans created the flake scars on artifacts he had found on Clear Creek as a child. Mike is a self thought flint knapper and has been practicing the art of knapping for the past 8 years. Mike has been making custom knives as a hobby for three years and recently selling his knives due to the increased interest and demand for his artistry in knife making.
Today, Mike hand crafts custom knives where he knaps the blades out of a variety of stone such as obsidian, jasper, antique whiskey bottle glass, and agates. The handles are carved and polished out of whitetail antler sheds found in southwest Cooke County and elk antler from Colorado. Mike inlays the handles with copper and turquoise.
Mike is a huge supporter of the art community and is proud to display his touch of artistry at Vantage Point Art Gallery.