A charred Oak handle gives a rich patinated look to this compact vegetable slicer with hammer textured finish and inaka styling.
A friend of mine grew up on a small island the size of a fishing village right off the coast of Shoudoshima. There are about thirty families living there, each bringing in a daily catch to feed the family. There are no vehicles on the island and the locals park on the main island and travel home by boat. When we spent time there, I saw the hard used but well cared for utility knives along the wharf for repairing nets and preparing fish. They were simple and hardy, designed and made by the blacksmiths of yesterday in small local workshops.
This compact little nakiri has many uses but is best suited as a vegetable slicing knife. The design inspiration comes from an inaka style Japanese utility knife but the shape and size is similar to a kyosaki unagi boucho. The blade was hand forged from a piece of a concrete cutting saw blade and the handle is made from a piece of scrap Oak. It was created as part of a pair but one of the blades did not survive the intense stress of the water quenching stage.
Blade construction is muku and the cross section is a left-handed single bevel sharpened with a koba edge. It has been given a hammer texture on one side which helps keep the sliced food from sticking and a has very hard temper as is the Japanese kitchen knife tradition and will hold a very keen edge. The simple oak handle has been hand shaped, charred, brushed, and coated with pure tung oil for a totally natural finish. The blade is about 3.5″ long and the overall length is 7.5″.
Material: Reclaimed concrete saw steel, reclaimed Oak
This piece is in a private collection in New York.