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I'm Erik.  On the most raw level, I am driven by passion for creating and exploration.  I am inspired constantly by incredible works of art of all types made with dedication, focus, and emotion.  I also embrace the science, numbers, and graphs required to make an airplane fly, or indeed heat treat a knife optimally.  I worked as a musician and songwriter for much of my life thus far, but have always made things with my hands too.  My connection and attention to human story I think helps me better connect with my clients and channel their ideas into something special.  Knives have been a fascination since childhood, there is an undeniable, primal connection to the ancient form of the simple knife.  In equal parts useful and beautiful, making them has been a true revelation for me in combining my passions.  I now pursue constant betterment through new difficult challenges, working with new techniques and materials, and embracing learning from failures. This craft truly kindles me constantly, and my fire constantly grows.

The chat and 'two words'

To begin the design process, I like to have a video or voice chat if possible.  This allows me to do my absolute best to understand where you're coming from personally, how you use your knives, and what kind of aesthetic vibe you're going for. First we talk through specific spec and steel requirements.  Depending on your knowledge I can work with your specifics or talk you through a number of options.  I work a lot hand-forging various high-carbon steels, and can also do stainless and premium damascus or san-mai/cu-mai steels.  Handle materials are also quite the open book and we will explore this as well!

Then, we get on to the story part of your knife.  I ask for two words that you'd like to embody your design.  Every part of the design process is inspired by this simple spark, so go with your gut instinct!  The words I've gotten have been so varied and it is one my favorite parts of the whole build process trying to incorporate shapes and material combinations that tastefully hit your brief.  

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The Making

Once your time in the books comes, we fire up the forge on your project!  If interested, I can send in-progress media of the knife making process directly to you.  I really enjoy this as I think it gives you more insight into all the little details that I notice and work on.  Every knife follows these general steps:

  • forging/grind refinement to shape

  • maker's marking

  • Evenheat kiln thermal cycling

  • normalizing

  • grain refinement(where applicable) and stress relieving heat cycles

  • pre-heat treat anneal(or softening) to ensure the steel is in the most ideal state for hardening

  • Hardening in oil/water/between large aluminum plates.  Depending on  your steel the temperature can range from high 700C to 1100C

  • immediate tempering cycles to dial back some of the hardness for a tougher steel

  • grinding of any remaining bevels including thinning behind the edge and straightening the edge

  • any hand-sanding/polishing required on the blade

  • any etching cycles required

  • handle preparation and pre-finishing of bolsters

  • handle glue-up

  • handle truing and shaping

  • hand-sanding of all facets of the handle to an even finish

  • final buffing required of handle or blade 

After I've got a finished tool, I will sharpen it by hand with tradtional methods on a combination of water and oil stones, finishing on a fine leather strop for absolute sharpness and consistency. 

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