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Meet Primeaux.

The people that make it possible.

Primeaux is a group of close friends and partners who all met through an appreciation for design, culture and experimentation. East Tennessee and shared experience are the lens for understanding these ideas and each member brings a unique background of influence to form the collective vision.

John Phillips


John Philips is the founder of Phillips Forged and Primeaux. He’s a father, artist, gardener, craftsman, outdoorsman, friend, and chef living in Knoxville, Tennessee. John's artistic influence comes from living immersed in the rivers, forests, and mountains of East Tennessee and Appalachia. He's the beating heart behind Primeaux. His pursuit of refining the craft of knifemaking and creating quality goods sets our tone. Before working as a cutlery blacksmith, he owned and operated a high-end concrete fabrication business, and worked as a maker of fine wooden instruments, a sculptor, a cabinetmaker, and a welder.

Kate Wiggeringloh


Kate Wiggeringloh is the backbone of Primeaux. Working quietly behind the scenes, Kate is the team’s integrator, business manager, and support staff, transforming ideas into action and keeping things running smoothly.

Kate's adventurous spirit extends far beyond the workshop. With experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail, kayaking the Colorado River and backpacking through India, Sri Lanka, and the Himalayas, she brings a fresh perspective to every project. When she's not driving our team forward, you'll find her enjoying life's simple pleasures— savoring a 'forged steak', tending to her herbs or exploring the great outdoors.

Cameron Kite

Product Development

Cameron is the behind-the-scenes product development and engineering side of Primeaux. He’s also a sculptor and met John working at a local blacksmith and metal fabrication studio. His role focuses on process R&D and 3D design prototyping within the company. As a lifelong learner, he’s enrolled in engineering and design courses and earned a machining certification from the ORNL Material Research Lab through the Department of Defense. His background includes working on programming 3, 4, and 5-axis CNC machines, designing and building boats, railings, 3D printers, rolling mills, and pneumatic production systems, and he has extensive experience as a welder, machinist, and woodworker.

In his own words:

“I’m a serial hobbyist. I come from a family of machinists, engineers, chemists, teachers, knitters, quilters, and lawyers.  There was never a moment where anyone I knew said, 'I can’t figure this out.' I grew up poor, and the only way I had nice things that worked was to get broken things and fix them."

Outside of working at Primeaux and spending time with family, Cameron prefers to daydream, collect Stanley block planes and learn about math. He also loves a good black bean soup.  

Grant Waldorf

Content Creation & Production Assistant

Grant is our wizard behind the lens at Primeaux, seamlessly blending his innate creativity and love of knives into all that he does. Living just outside the vibrant hustle of Knoxville, he thrives in the tranquility of his rural home, where he balances his life as a dedicated husband and father of two. His love for the great outdoors shines through his hobbies of hiking and mountain biking, and he shares his adventures, love for knives and insights on his YouTube channel, Knox Knife Mods.

In the Primeaux workshop, his meticulous attention to detail and robust work ethic ensure that every task, from capturing the perfect shot for our social media to fine-tuning on our latest project, is executed with precision and care. He brings a positive spirit to the team, fostering open communication and ensuring a harmonious work environment. His role is crucial not just in the creation of visual content but also in the physical crafting of our products, where he assists in everything from assembly to the final stages of sharpening and shipping.

Whether he's behind the camera, at the CNC machine, or putting the finishing touches on something new, he ensures that every piece not only looks exceptional but is ready to perform at its best.