An event showcasing kitchen knives is being held as part of an Art Trail and people are not happy.

Anti-knife campaigner Courtney Barrett labelled the Koivu Knives, Artisan Knife Maker event in Walthamstow “absolutely unbelievable”.

It is due to take place 10am-6pm every Saturday and Sunday between June 1 and June 16 at Walden Studios in Lynmouth Road, Walthamstow as part of the E17 Art Trail 2019.

The Art Trail has been running in the area for nearly 15 years and all events are supported by the authority and the MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, among others.

The event is being held in a borough that has seen multiple stabbings since the start of 2019, including the killing of 14-year-old Jaden Moodie, which Ms Creasy campaigned on fervently in the months following, calling for an end to knife crime.

The event is described in the E17 Art Trail programme as “a display of bespoke, handcrafted kitchen knives, produced using local materials with unique heritage. Meet the maker, learn about knife making or sign up for one of our courses.”

In a Facebook post, the advertiser wrote: “Knives available to purchase including our Waltham Forest edition and discounted prices on bespoke knife orders placed during the Art Trail.”

Courtney Barrett, who volunteers with friends to get blades off the borough’s streets, is worried this event is glorifying knives and making them more readily available in the borough.

Mr Barrett, as part of his campaign Binning Knives Saves Lives, uses an amnesty bin that he moves around the borough and chats with young people and their families about the dangers of knife crime to discourage it.

Over the last bank holiday weekend, 19 blades were handed into Courtney’s amnesty bin, including a meat-cleaver, in just four hours. Courtney funds all activities himself and is calling for more support from the council.

In a Twitter post, Courtney wrote: “Wow, whilst the rest of the country tries to rid itself of knife crime, Waltham Forest Council promotes knives.

“Yes, let’s take our kids to the Art Trail to look at all the knives… and you can buy them at a discount price too. Absolutely unbelievable.”

Mr Barrett added: “We at Binning Knives Saves Lives are appalled to learn that Waltham Forest Council promote knives. They obviously have no interest in the safety of the community and its residents.

“This coupled with their statement saying that amnesty bins don’t help to reduce knife crime, is absolutely reckless and irresponsible by the council, and makes us wonder how we are going to deal with knife crime if the council themselves endorse the sales of knives and don’t see a problem with knives on the streets.

“I’ve had 1000s of messages from people asking questions and every one of them is incredulous and we all feel totally let down.

“What’s really going on with Waltham Forest Council?”

Those running the event said: "The E17 Art Trail team did consider the inclusion of this exhibition very carefully. We are extremely mindful of the current situation locally.

"This is a craftsperson making exceptional tools. They are displayed behind locked cabinets. The kitchen knives are sold to order only. They are not sold and taken away immediately, but a considered purchase. Regulations governing the sale of knives are carefully observed.

"The E17 Art Trail is a biennial celebration of the creativity, talents and community in Walthamstow. This year 8,500 people are showcasing their work.

"The E17 Art Trail has become a respected and trusted celebration of our vibrant, creative and diverse area of London."

The artisan knife maker behind the event said: "I was born in Walthamstow and have lived here my entire life, as a result my studio is based here. I consider myself to be extremely mindful of the current situation locally.

"I had previously contacted a local youth violence charity ‘Chaos Theory' to discuss knife crime and how I may be able to support them in their work. I am a craftsperson making exceptional kitchen knives with price tags you would expect from bespoke, high end craftsmanship.

"Each kitchen knife takes several days to create with prices typically range from between £200 - £300.

"The Walthamstow edition mentioned was designed in celebration of the arts and crafts movement and incorporate materials that have a history relating to Wiliam Morris.

"I am a craftsperson that manufactures every day cooking utensils and I feel that I have been unfairly targeted to create media attention to promote someones personal and political agenda.

"I have had nothing but positive responses from all those that have been to my exhibition and have seen my work."

A spokesman for Waltham Forest Council said: "The E17 Art Trail is an independently organised event by Artillery CIC that has taken place for over a decade.

"Waltham Forest Council does not have control of any of the participants and contributors to the trail. The display by Koivu Knives as part of the trail has not been created using funding from Waltham Forest Council, however we do provide core funding for the organisers of the E17 Art Trail to make the overall project possible.

"The E17 Art Trail features the work of 7,500 makers, artists, creators and Waltham Forest residents."

Stella Creasy did not respond to a request for comment.