Joonas Kallioniemi WIP

Five years ago today I began Nordiska Knivar with a post featuring a puukko by Joonas Kallioniemi. It was a gleaming black ebonite puukko with dovetail joints, a beautiful perfect knife. Now five years and 113 posts later I’d like to thank everyone who has made this blog possible, all the puukkoseppä who have been so generous with their time. There could not be a blog without you. Thank you to Bill Lecuyer for the gift of the Aito that opened my eyes to the perfect and elegant form of the puukko and a special thanks to Federico Buldrini whose scholarship and hard work have raised this blog to a higher level.

To all the puukkoseppä, there is a tremendous interest in your work. At this moment there have been  223,282 visitors and 730,035 views of your work from 180 countries and territories of the world. Thank you again for your willingness to contribute and answer my questions and requests.

I thought it would be fitting to feature my friend Joonas on this fifth anniversary post. As usual he has provided a beautiful puukko and WIP for me. Thank you Joonas!

Joonas Kallioniemi:

“Some time ago Mike mentioned that this blog would soon reach the respectable age of five years. His first blog post featured a black ebonite handled puukko of mine, so it seemed only fitting that I could give my respects to the blog by showing the building process of a recent puukko.

Here’s what I start out with: some k460 steel (O1 equivalent) round stock for the blade, some stainless flat stock for the bolsters and a block of ivory paper micarta for the handle. I had a vision of this puukko some time ago and Mike’s idea of the blog post was the final step. This knife had to be brought to life! At this point I have a clear image of the finished puukko in my head.

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This is where the making always starts. You can see me heating the steel to forge the blade to shape.

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Here is the roughly forged blade next to the raw material. I get the basic shape of the blade ready. It is vital to get the shapes right but at the same time I must not spend too much time being overly precise.

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I just quickly descale the blade to help the grinding process.

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I also give some touch ups for the profile before grinding the bevels.

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Here you can see me grinding the blade. With properly forged bevels the grinding process becomes easier.

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Blade is rough ground with the shoulders filed in. I’m ready to heat treat the blade.

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I sometimes bounce from one task to another to get a fresh look at things. I do some roughing of the stainless fittings on the mill.

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After the milling and heat-treating this is where we are.

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I finish the blade grit by grit. I try to avoid polishing my blades, as has been the case for some years now. I am more satisfied with a slightly more matte, clean finish, and that works very well with this project as well. I don’t want this knife to be shiny. I also do some testing of the blade before finishing to make sure I have a sound blade.

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The fitting of the front bolster to the blade. Patience is the key here. What I lack in skill I can compensate with patience. A good fit here is one of those things that separates a well made puukko from cheapo knives. Stainless steel is one of the materials that I have tried to avoid as it is not an easy material to fit, but now it was just what I wanted.

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Fitting is done! I also add my name to the blade. Now it is visible who is responsible.

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Now I can sit down and have a think about the handle. Paper micarta is something new to me.

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After various steps of cutting off excess material and drilling some guide holes I can start fitting the blade to the block. I use various hand tools to get a good fit.

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I try to get a combination of a good fit but with some room left for epoxy. A good puukko would stay together with just a well peened tang and good fit, but epoxy is a nice addition to the structure.

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The roughly made upper bolster needs some handwork at this point.

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Notice one detail that you rarely get to see as it is not apparent on a finished puukko. Once the bolsters have been roughly brought to shape I groove out the back end. This makes a small grippy pocket for epoxy and also with less surface area it is easier to get a very good fit to the handle block. This is one of those small details that I like.

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I guess I’m ready to start putting things together.

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The parts have been put together. I peen the tang to get a tight fitting package, with epoxy in between to get added structural strength. This is the point when those various pieces suddenly form a knife. I know, not a very comfortable knife. But still, a knife.

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The peened end of the tang is visible here. It will get much cleaner as I finish the handle. But not bad at this point.

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When I start shaping the handle I always first shape the side profile and then the upper profile.

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Then when I feel that the dimensions look good I take out the corners.

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And after that I take out more of the corners. It is important to be systematic here to keep the shape in constant control. If I lose my touch of the shape I have a really hard time getting it back to my reach.

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With proper planning and systematic work it is then easy to start rounding everything up, and before you know it you end up with the shape ready!

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After shaping it is a matter of having the patience to go trough the steps of refining the surface finish. Here you can see I’m getting close.

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Once the puukko itself is more or less finished I can start working on the liner that goes inside the sheath.

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I use plywood as it is easy to work with and it is strong and stable.

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Next step is to cut the leather for the sheath. Leather work is something totally different when compared to making the blade or the handle. It is refreshing to get to work with so many different materials.

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Now I have the leather thoroughly wet and stitched around the sheath. I have also cut the belt hanger. From this point on I need to let the leather dry, but while I do that I must give care and attention to the sheath from time to time…

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…so that as it dries out the shape and surface finish comes out just right.

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With the leather all dried up I give it some leather grease and wax polish. I also make the rivet and ring for the hanger. When I make a puukko I get blinded by my work. I don’t really see the puukko itself as I focus on the craft. But at this point it is starting to be clear to me that the knife is almost ready. I can only smile when I realize that as I put the final pieces together the puukko is ready! This will be a refined, classy looking puukko.”

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Joonas

Ryynänen and Jaakonaho Puukkos Review

 

By Federico Buldrini

These two puukkos were crafted by Jani Ryynänen, residing in Kullaa and Pasi Jaakonaho, residing in Inari.
Ryynänen is a hobbyist maker, part of the newer generation of rising knifemakers whose work is current as well as utilitarian in style.
Jaakonaho is one of seven Finnish puukkoseppämestari or master bladesmiths. Being a teacher of Sámi crafts and devoting much time to the construction of silver jewelry and wooden artifacts, knife making is mostly a hobby for him as well.
Both handles are fixed by tang peening and oven heating.

(Both puukkoseppäs have been profiled on this blog, see the Index Page.)

Jani Ryynänen

blade
length 95 mm
width 22 mm
thickness 3 mm thick at the spine; 5 mm at the bevels
tang 7×4 mm
steel Krupp 80CrV2
bevels flat
edge angle 20 °, with small micro bevel
hardness ~ 60 HRC at the edge

handle
length 110 mm
width 29 mm max.
thickness 21 mm max.

weight
knife 115 g
with sheath 152 g

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Overview

The blade was forged with hand held hammer from a bar of 80CrV2. It has a rhombic section, slightly tapered in height. After annealing and normalization it was heated in the forge, quenched in oil and tempered in an electric oven. During the quenching the tang and the spine were kept off the oil so to make them softer than the edge. The bevels are brought to 20 °, polished by hand and the edge has a small micro bevel.

The handle is made of birch bark flaps compressed between two 5 mm brass plates. It’s sanded to a fine grit, it’s slightly tapered in height on both sides. The thickness, however, diminishes clearly from the center towards the blade. The section is almost oval in the first 2 cm near to the pommel and then gradually becomes a teardrop.

The 3 mm thick leather sheath, is hand sewn and holds the knife tightly. Inside there is a birch liner. The belt loop is fixed with a brass ring which, compared to the triangular ones, slightly loses in stability of the sheath during the carrying, but without becoming boring. The loop itself it’s closed by a brass rivet.

Pasi Jaakonaho

blade
length 97 mm
width 20 mm
thickness 4 mm at the spine; 5.5 mm at the bevels
tang 5×3 mm
steel Böhler K510
bevels flat
edge 20 °
hardness ~ 60 HRC

handle
length 104 mm
width 25 mm max.
thickness 18 mm max.

weight
knife 100 g
with sheath 140 g

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Overview

The blade was forged with hand held hammer from a bar of Böhler K510. It has rhombic section, slightly tapered in height. After annealing and normalization it was quenched in oil and tempered in an electric oven. During the quenching only the tang has been kept out from the oil, the blade is thus uniformly hardened on its entire height. The bevels are ground to 20 ° and polished by hand.

The handle is made of birch bark flaps compressed between two brass plates, 3.5 mm the collar and 5 mm the pommel. It’s sanded to a fine grit and has a hint of taper in width and thickness, in both directions. It has an acute teardrop section and its proportions are pretty slender and thin.

The half-tanned 1.5 mm thick leather sheath is hand sewn and holds tightly the knife. Inside there is a birch liner. The belt loop is fixed with a brass D ring so the knife is still very free to swing on a belt, a bit less than with a round ring, but still more than with a triangular ring. The loop itself is closed by a leather string.

In use

Out of the box the Ryynänen puukko was sharp, but not perfectly shaving sharp. I then touched it up with DMT 1200/8000 and stropped with Bark River black and green compound. In ten minutes it was hair popping sharp.
The handle, in spite of being stocky, responds well and I didn’t felt it “stiff” due to the greatly executed gradual section transition.

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The first thing that struck me in the Jaakonaho was the handle, much shorter, thinner and with a much stronger section compared to what I am used to. After an hour of carving on elderberry, just to get familiar with it I found some microchips near the front bolster and on the edge belly. They were reduced with a couple of minutes of stropping with green compound, thus adding also a hair of micro bevel.

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During the carving of the elderberry spikkentroll, the Ryynänen showed good bite and penetration. However, because of the blade wide proportions, I felt like if it was slightly suffering during the pull cuts during the first phase of finishing. Comfortable handle, nothing to report. At the end of the work the blade had a few rolls in the central part of the edge and shaved with some effort.

During the spikkentroll carving the Jaakonaho has been very aggressive and at times the penetration was such as to get the blade slightly stuck. During the roughing cuts I felt the handle a tad small. At the end of the work the blade had lost some bite, still shaved but with some effort.

During the carving of the silver fir spatula, on the other hand, the Ryynänen proved itself more agile than what I expected and a very balanced performer, with good bite, good nimbleness and accuracy both during roughing and finishing. I perceived no bite loss during use, it always was easy to achieve tiny tight curls and the knife has always left a glossy finish on the wood. At the end of the work I detected three microrolls at the center of the edge and only its curved section was still shaving. The flat section didn’t shave anymore, but was still biting.

During the carving of the spatula, the small measures of Jaakonaho’s handle were much more perceivable, but without being insufficient, conveying the feeling of a minute but very lively knife. The blade, on the other hand, got often stuck during roughing cuts due to its own thickness and bite, making the work more strenuous. During the finishing cuts, though, it showed all its potential allowing great working speed, creating extremely fine curls and leaving a high gloss finish on the wood. I perceived no bite loss. After the work I found some rolls along the edge, which still shaves but with some effort.

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Conclusions

Let’s sum it up.
The Ryynänen, showed very homogeneous performance, being more comfortable on medium sized jobs. Its proportions and dimensions are a bit over sized for very small projects, but given the agility demonstrated it’s easy to get used to. Its very size makes it probably more appreciable by those with large hands.
The steel tends to roll rather than chip. 80CrV2 at 60 HRC doesn’t have an exceptionally long edge holding, but still plenty enough, gaining in resilience and ease of sharpening.

The Jaakonaho has instead proved to prefer smaller jobs. Not surprisingly its proportions makes it preferable to those with small hands. The handle, although thinner and shorter than what I’m used to, was never uncomfortable, but its small size were absolutely perceptible.
The blade, combining great thickness with a very acute edge often acts like a wedge, thus tending to get stuck. A thickness closer to or slightly less than 5 mm would have been probably better. The steel tends to microchip more often than rolling, has a bit superior edge holding compared to 80CrV2, and still resharpen easily.

 

 

Johannes Adams

In this post I am proud to show the work of Johannes Adams, a very talented young pukkoseppä from Hatten, Niedersachsen, Germany. He forges very fine blades and makes beautiful puukko and leukkus. I will let his work do the talking for him. 

To contact him: www.adamsmesser.de

Johannes Adams:

“My grandfather on my father’s side was a blacksmith, mostly doing work like gates, hinges, fences etc., but I never learned from him. My family is full of craftsmen, my father is a master gardener, woodworker and master bowyer and my uncle is a very good carpenter. My inspiration for knife making in the early part of my life came from my father, who always kept me working with him in his shop, making many different things out of wood, so I understood the value of a sharp tool at a very early age. He also kept me interested in a variety of subjects regarding history, so I was always very impressed with the metalwork of the Vikings, Knights, Samurai etc.

When I was about 14 years old he bought a coal forge, some tongs and an anvil. I can’t think of a better way for a 14 year boy to spend his time than making any bladed object he wants from steel. So we started forging more and more, we forged nearly everything with an edge. We forged hunting knives, axes, hog spears, kitchen knives, puukkos, you name it.

It was about at this time that my father gave me a puukko he got from his father when he was young. It was a Marttiini and I loved it, so I started getting deeper and deeper into making blades, I learned different forging techniques, like laminated steel and damascus and I never had to buy a knife again.

When I was 18 I started an apprenticeship as a joiner and I was then able to buy a hunting license. Hunting became a big part of my life and we went on many big hunts for wild boar and roe deer, so a good knife was an absolute must. After I skinned some wild boars with my puukkos I was impressed by their performance, so I started making more of them which brings me to today.

My inspiration comes mostly from mother nature, her forms, expressions and colors. I regret using plastics or stabilized woods. My father played the biggest role in terms of inspiration, he showed me many native tribes in my childhood and I always wanted their clothes, knives and tools. For me the Saami people are one of the most inspiring nations on this planet, they embody the perfect coexistence with mother nature.

Last year I got to know another very influential person in my work, his name is Jean-Jose Tritz. He is an exceptionally fine blade smith, specializing in kitchen knives and a former apprentice of Ulrich Gerfin and Havard Bergland. I learned  many new techniques from him and he also widened my horizon of knife making by teaching me traditional folding knifes and his way of making kitchen knives, which I incorporated into my arsenal.

I do of course have some other hobbies too, one is making traditional wooden bows, which I learned from my father. I had my first bow when I was about 5 years old and then I was always in the woods playing “hunting”. I also forge axes and other wood tools for myself as a hobby, just because I sometimes need to make something bigger or different, it keeps me on track when I need to work very fine and delicate on puukkos.

I do forge puukkos because I think they are the perfect knives to work with, whether you are in nature or in your shop, a puukko is always handy. Although my puukkos are most of the time a little bigger then the originals, that’s because I like very tough tools. My main focus is the perfect function, followed by a perfect finish. that also includes a perfect peen and bolster. Puukkos have become my main focus over the years and I love to make them more and more as time goes by.”

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Mikko Heiskanen

In this post I would like to feature Mikko Heiskanen from Kuopio, Finland. Mikko was influenced at a young age by his grandfather Mr. Tuomas Juntunen who was a village blacksmith. I admire Mikko’s work, hand forged blades and beautiful clean lines featuring traditional as well as modern materials.

Visit his website at www.heiskanenknives.com

Mikko Heiskanen:

“My grandfather was a blacksmith in a small village called Jyrkkä which is situated in Sonkajärvi municipality in central Finland. He started his career as a blacksmith in the 1950´s when farming was the main source of income in Finland. It must not have been easy, there were no books or other sources of information available to get the needed information for steel processing. Of course, there were other blacksmiths in nearby villages, but they kept their knowledge to themselves.

Looking back I can see the reasons why I became interested in knife making. First of all, I have always been a very passionate hunter and fisherman and as a result of that knives have followed me my whole life. Secondly, I lived my childhood’s summers mainly in rural environments which means that you need your puukko at least in every 10 minutes to cut or whittle something. Besides that, being a man in farmhouse requires a knife hanging from your belt at least from 8-years old boy´s point of view.

As a child I used to listen to the hammering sound that echoed from my grandfather’s dark and smoky smithy. The process where the steel is quenched was a very accurate work process and I was allowed to watch it only from the doorway. I think I was strongly influenced from my childhood’s atmosphere and as a result of that I have followed my family heritage of blacksmithing.

(A photo of Tuomas Juntunen  and the wood pile for making charcoal. Because blacksmiths needed charcoal to ensure their livelihood, they had to make them by themselves. They made a pile from wood and buried it under peat. The pile would burn slowly for many days because the amount of oxygen was regulated and the charcoal-master was guarding it day and night until  the end of the process.)

 

I always knew that someday I would make a puukko of my own, it was only matter of time. I graduated from the forestry school in 2005 and after that I spent many busy years at work doing only some carpentry in my spare time. After awhile life steered me and my family to Kuopio near my childhood home and the vision of a new lifetime hobby started to grown strong.

Finally in the summer of 2015 it was time to dig my grandfather’s old and rusty anvil from the smithy and begin to learn the old tradional knife making methods. I started from scratch using a well known method called learning by doing. Naturally the quencing and tempering were the most difficult parts at the beginning. There is not much to tell about my first knives but never-ending persistence was rewarded when pieces started to finally look and work like puukkos.

After fifteen knives I am still at the beginning of my journey as a knife maker but I have learned a lot. Unfortunately I didn´t get the opportunity to learn all the blacksmithing methods from my grandfather, so I have done a lot of self-study in knife making. Luckily there is lots of information available in print and on the internet, so starting was far easier than in the 1950´s I believe. Nowadays my daytime job and my family keep me very busy, so my biggest challenge is to find time for knife making as much as I want.

There are plenty of excellent knifemakers in Finland and many of them are still quite young and ready to learn new methods and maintain the traditional ones. Because of many talented knifemakers I believe the roots, traditions and blacksmithing methods of Finnish puukko are largely preserved. That is something what makes me happy.

When it comes to my own knifemaking I am not making a large number of different kinds of puukkos, but I am trying to produce as high quality puukkos as possible. Every puukko from my smithy has some kind of story to tell, why the design and what the main use of it is. My puukkos are typically very simple and I am trying to keep the lines as clear as possible. I believe preference for simplicity is a national trait in Finland and part of the circumstances in which we live here.

For my eyes the handle is made only from one material and sheaths are done without patterns. You could call it Scandinavian style, although that phrase is nowadays almost a cliché.

I forge all of my blades from 12-14mm steel bar by hand. It takes time but in that way I get exactly what I want. In my previous work I have used mainly birch bark and curly birch as a handle material, besides that I have used some more exotic materials like ebonite and micarta.

I think the most satisfying part of knife making is making the handle, because in that moment the puukko is getting its spirit and starting its life as an object. In puukko design my leading principle is that handle and blade are forming an unbroken wholeness together in a way that the handle is like an extension of the blade. To be honest, that happens only every now and then and that is the main reason to make a new puukko and try again.

If I put my puukkos in a Finnish category I believe they mostly represent Tommi style puukkos. It´s no wonder because the Tommi-style puukko is the most used model in the Savo region where I live. As a knifemaker I am always looking for new working methods and challenges, there is still plenty to learn.”

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Mikko Heiskanen

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Fredrik Prost: Saami Craftsman

In this post I would like to feature the superb craftsmanship of Fredrik Prost of Kiruna, Sweden. Fredrik makes traditional Saami knives and other objects. For more information or to contact him visit his website at http://www.fredrikprost.com/ .

Fredrik Prost:

“I became interested in knives as a small child when I saw the beautiful knives people had in their belts during hunting and reindeer herding. Both practical and beautiful seems to be a theme in our handicraft. When I was 14 I made a knife with the help of an old man in our village who was a knifemaker. The knife was really ugly (even I could see that) so I wanted to make another one and another one after that. I had just simple hand tools and worked in my father’s old shed. I am glad I had that start and still use some of the tools from back then.

One of my first influences was Per-Anders Hurri who was an old Saami handicraftsman from my village. He had the traditional knowledge of our handicraft traditions and was very glad to share his knowledge with me, I still admire his style and the feel of the knives and other objects he made. My grandfather’s brother, Niila Prost, is also a big inspiration to me. He was completely blind and still made knives, cups and all sorts of Saami handicraft with simple hand tools out in the wilderness.

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A knife made by Fredrik’s grandfather’s brother, Niila Prost alongside a knife Fredrik made as a tribute to him.

I went to the Saami school of traditional crafts in Jokkmokk which is in the north of Sweden. I applied on the encouragement of Per-Anders Hurri and he even wrote a personal recommendation letter for me. I went there for three years and at the school I learned from the best Saami handicrafters of all fields so it was really rewarding and the only proper school that has ever given me anything useful.

The art of forging damascus blades I learned from Roger Bergh who is a world renowned blade smith from Dalkarlså in Sweden. He was kind enough to take me in for a short period to show me the craft and his workshop. Damascus blades are not part of the Saami traditions but something that I wanted to try to introduce with my knives because it’s possible to continue the design with the blade.

My favourite knife is the Saami wooden knife which has a sheath made entirely from a bent piece of wood and covered with soft leather at the top. It is without doubt the best utility knife there is. It is my favourite for hunting, fishing and reindeer herding.

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The Saami wooden knife which has a sheath made entirely from a bent piece of wood and soft leather.

I like to use all natural materials. I use all sorts of wood I can collect myself from nature including reindeer and moose antler of course. So in that sense I am very traditional. We use the antler and the skin from the reindeer and moose too and wood from the forests of our ancestral lands. All the knives I make are traditional Saami knives but if I were to chose one it would be the wooden one which is most common amongst hunters and reindeer herders.

I try to be pretty free in my designs and never have a finished sketch or anything like that in advance, so I go a lot by feel. It is crucial for me though to still stay within the borders of the Saami traditions which can be a bit tricky. I can spot a “fake” Saami knife from miles away. Non Saami who make Saami style knives don’t have the cultural knowledge to make them properly so to us Saami those knives, however well done, are almost always a mish mash of a lot Saami patterns and design of things, I guess you could say that is what people who make “Nordic” knives mostly do.”

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Fredrik Prost

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Náhppi. A náhppi is a large cup used for milking reindeer. It is made of a single piece of birch wood with inlayed reindeer antler for decoration. Diameter about 250 mm.

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Čoarveroahkk. A buckle for our traditional clothes made from reindeer antler. The engravings are made with a small knife and then dyed with birch bark.

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Doassu. A small box made of moose antler. Top and bottom made from Birch Wood with inlayed reindeer antler.

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Nállogoahti. Needle case. A needle case for safe keeping of the needles and a traditional sami woo gift. The needle case is made of reindeer antler with silver rings as decoration. Length appx. 14 cm. without the leather strap. Photo: David Nutti
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Njiskkun. This is for weaving beautiful bands for the traditional Saami costume. It is made from reindeer antler and is a really big project for which you need first class materials. Length 34cm. Height 9cm.
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Making a damascus billet Photographs by Hans-Olof Utsi

A Visit To Finland

When my friend Federico Buldrini told me he was going to Finland to visit Pasi Hurttila I asked him if he would take some photos and write something for Nordiska Knivar. Here is his report. Thank you Federico and also to his brother, Fabrizio Buldrini for taking the photos.

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 We’re going to hike in the Hammastunturi wilderness area. This area, spreading within parts of the three provinces of Inari, Kittilä and Sodankylä, was declared protected in 1991, after having been for centuries a wintering ground for reindeers bred by Inari Sámi and having being the scene of one of Lapland’s gold rushes, in this case from 1868 until the 1920s, with a few gold diggers still present today.

Pasi parks the van, we take our backpacks, he puts Pyry on the leash, makes Kumu wear a radio collar with GPS and we hit the trail. Actually there are no trails in this part of the reserve, so we proceed in a straight line on peaty soil, dotted with moss and streams and surrounded by pine trees.

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Moist, clean air, cloudy sky. Kumu runs away and after a while we hear him barking and yelping. When we reach him, he’s frantically digging and biting into the ground, where we find the remains of a lemming. Kumu has a bloody lip: the rodent hasn’t reached Valhalla without a fight.

Bogs, mosses, lichens, streams, pines, birches.

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While we continue the ascent we reach a clearing. A rusty saw hanging on a branch, a plastic sheet on the ground, strainers, pans, blankets and thermal trunks scattered.        It’s a local gold digger that has made his camp here.

We skirt a small river, we continue to ascend, and after half an hour we find a good place to make camp in a small clearing, a few meters from the stream. We are on top of a fell and within a circle of pines.

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Feathersticks and the fire flares up.

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While we eat it starts to rain softly and the wind rises, but the softshell and the raincoat are more than enough; the rain also doesn’t last more than fifteen minutes. Again on the trail while the sky clears and the sun rays fall.

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After half an hour we reach the summit, and we dominate a solitary and majestic landscape, sprinkled with birch trees and glacial erratics, kissed by the grazing light of the approaching autumn.

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The temperature rises slightly as we begin the descent. Bogs, streams, birch and pine. We are now in a slightly marshy valley, surrounded by forest and tunturit.

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After a woad we walk again among the trees, but the soil is still peaty and kind of elastic.

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We continue to go down, each one absorbed in his own thoughts…

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and around 6 p.m. we reach the road and the Toyota parked nearby. While we are loading the van with backpacks, collars and so on, with perfect timing, it starts to rain again.

 

22/8/16

 As decided yesterday, today’s program includes a visit to the Sámi Siida in Inari and a second hike.

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Upon entering in the museum you are greeted by the ticket office and the gift shop: books, plush, silver jewelry, knives etc. We walk along a ramp and reach a room with a chronological table that tells the prehistory and history of the Sámi, next to known major events of the rest of the world.

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The main room is divided in two and the themes are addressed through large explanatory panels, artifacts and some simple dioramas. On the outside it explores clearly and in detail the geology, flora, fauna and climate of Lapland, also illustrating the variations in hours of light, temperature and landscape throughout the year. In the inner part it explains crafts, hunting and fishing – conducted separately and exclusively by distinct Siidas (or tribes) the different costumes between a geographical area and another, the transition from nomadic to sedentary life. All this is achieved in a simple but very accurate way and, above all, without ever falling into the false “touristic” romanticism that the topic could easily inspire.

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Outside there is the original museum, composed of both originals and reconstructed buildings, which tell the life changes after the resignation from the nomadic life. Houses, farms, a court, a food storage cabin lifted off the ground, which was also the first installment of the museum at the time of its foundation, in the 50s. A little afar there are also few medieval looking traps for fur animals.

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After the visit we go back to Pasi’s cottage, we take our backpacks and step into the woods. The weather is grayer and more thoughtful than yesterday. Again we walk on a path covered with sphagnum, moss and peat areas. The forest here is a bit more disordered than on the Hammastunturi and on a couple of points the march is hampered by fallen pine trunks. The terrain itself is frequently wavy.

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After about an hour and a half, we pass yet another ripple and arrive on the shores of Lake Saarijärvi. Long lake, with jagged shores covered with sphagnum and dotted with small islands in the distance, hence the name. Everything is wrapped in a light mist. Autumn is breathebly in the air.

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We collect a bit of wood, we light the fire and prepare some tea with strawberries, embraced by the sweet moist and silent air of the taiga.

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Shortly before leaving, while the fire is dying out, we pick up a beer bottle that is already colonized by mosses, a clear sign that it has been abandoned there for several months

We keep up the ascent and get over the ridge of a hill.

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Pasi plans to continue in the forest to the cottage, but shortly after Kumu starts to chase something, maybe a fox and ends on the road. We follow him, and when he makes the move to even chase a group of reindeers that roam the forest edge, Pasi calls him back and decides to stay on the road

We conclude the hike walking the last stretch on the road.

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Pasi Jaakonaho: Work In Progress

Pasi Jaakonaho is a puukkoseppämestari– a master smith, and teacher  in Inari in Northern Finland, whose fine traditional knives evoke the spirit of the north. He is a craftsman who also works in wood and antler and makes silver jewelry.  You can read his profile by visiting the index page and visit his website at    http://www.pasijaakonaho.fi/linkit.htm to see more of his work or to contact him.

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