About The Artist

I am a knifemaker.

Knifemaking is not yet my vocation but it is certainly my passion.

Back in 1998 I started on this road through the desire to make a simple set of throwing knives. That one act of rebellion against the “just buy it” culture started this strange and wonderful trip.

I have met some of the most interesting and giving people on the journey and have learned a few very valuable lessons on the way:

The knives I make are all one of a kind. I will make a few that are similar but each one is truly unique. Starting with a raw bar of steel, each knife is shaped, heat treated and given the appropriate handle material in my home.

The journey has taken me from the simple, but by no means easy, hunter through gentleman’s knives and fighters, through Art Knives and Ceremonial Daggers to a place where now I concentrate almost exclusively on folders and daggers.

Handle materials have evolved as well. Starting with the basics of Ironwood, Mother of Pearl and mammoth ivory, the journey has led to the discovery of Lapidary, The Art of shaping and polishing rock.

My steels are still 440C but I have added 154CPM for the folder blades and backsprings. Damasteel and other stainless Damascus is still widely used. I use Del Ealy’s carbon Damascus for those special projects that come up every once in a while.

My folders are what I would consider dress casual. They are meant to be carried and used but are also meant to be admired and proudly displayed. I consider them a form of working jewellery and many are given as groomsman gifts. I have been concentrating on slip joint folders since they represent the historic beginnings of folders. A slip joint is simply your old fashioned jack knife that I carried as a boy. The blade lengths range from 2 ¼ up to 3 inches but can be adjusted as necessary for the look of the knife.

I discovered the Dellana Dot grip system in one of the many research books that cover my walls. The lady.Dellana, came up with this system years ago when she neglected to make the traditional nail nick. The three dots that traverse the blade allow for an ambidextrous grip and don’t do damage to your nails.

I would like to thank all those in the knifemaking community who continue to amaze me with their willingness to discuss the secrets of the process.

I also need to thank my family who has endured these many years of my pursuit of the craft.

Thank You

Stephen Vanderkolff




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