I live in the north woods along the south shore of Lake Superior. The first knife I ever made was with a Frosts Mora blade imbedded into a chunk of deer antler when I was around Ten years old or so. I grew up in the woods using knives and axes to build forts, carve sticks into spears, build deadfalls and snares, and bows and arrows. All of those experiences instilled an appreciation for good tools, especially a good knife! Later I learned how to make a traditional Finnish Puukko from a book on the traditional uses of the birch tree. Again I used a blade from Mora of Sweden, birch bark and birch wood for the handle. That was the big inspiration to start making knives as a hobby. Over the following years I continued to buy blades from various makers in Scandinavia and handling them with materials I foraged wile guiding sea kayak and dogsled trips. As time went on I started to grow bored with making the handles and sewing sheaths, I needed to find a way to challenge myself and continue learning. So I started to forge my own blades. I had learned some basic blacksmithing as a teen and always loved working with fire and steel. At this stage I felt it was time to move forward and graduate from hobbyist to professional bladesmith. As I continue to learn and grow my skills I also invest much of what I make into improving my tools and workshop.
Traditionally knife makers would work together allowing each maker to perfect their craft. The smith would forge the blade and then pass it on to the handle maker and then on to the sheath sewer, this was not always the case but it was a very effective system. While I do fallow the more modern approach of making the entire knife myself I also participate in the old tradition with my fellow knife maker and close friend Paige May over at Wilderness Effects. I forge and grind the blades and then Paige finishes the process by creating excellent traditional scandinavian style handles and sheaths.