Charcoal forged classical tanto & fusion style takedown knives crafted by hand from reclaimed steel and natural materials using traditional techniques.
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“My goal as an artist is to explore transformative process by creating knives from natural and reclaimed materials.”
“My approach as a craftsman is to work within the creative constraints of the classical tanto form and nihonto handle mounting technology, building on the foundation of 13th century Japanese swordsmithing aesthetic and technique.”
The Elevator Pitch
“I make knives for folks who wish they could take things home from museums.” (2014)
“The world’s slowest recycling program.” (2011)
Inspired by the Japanese art of swordsmithing, Dave began making knives in 1990. His approach brings together a fusion of cultural and artistic styles from his experiences in Africa, North America, and Asia.
Highlighting the potential for creative transformation in discarded objects, most of his raw material is sourced from worn out tools, farm machinery, and sawmill equipment. Even the softwood charcoal that fuels the forge is hand made in small batches from scrap wood.
Based out of Crossed Heart Forge in central Vancouver Island, Canada, Dave hand forges reclaimed carbon steel into blades, using techniques of the Japanese classical tradition to turn rusty scrap and natural materials into collectable heirlooms and timeless works of art.
Photos are presented here in the approximate order they would appear in the process of making a knife from start to finish (though several steps are missing). Brief captions provide some accurate terminology and a description of the process, image file is linked below each photo as are additional views or similar photos. Many of these images are also available in print resolution. (Web photos are generally between 1170px and 1600px wide at 72 dpi. Print photos are between 3000px and 5000px wide at 300dpi.)
Representation in Private Collections
Alberta – Calgary, Edmonton, High River, Westlock, Youngstown
BC – Courtenay, Errington, Gabriola, Nanaimo, Nanoose Bay, North Vancouver, Parksville, Qualicum Bay, Qualicum Beach, Spider Lake, Surrey, Tofino, Vancouver, Victoria
Northwest Territories – Fort Smith
Ontario – Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo
Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington
Australia, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine