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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

Founder

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 Wiggerlingloh

Co-Founder

Kate Wiggerlingloh 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.