I am pleased to present a post by Jukka Hankala, one of Finland’s finest puukkoseppäs. Jukka is a master smith, one of the seven puukkoseppämestari, or master puukko makers of Finland. His work is very clean and elegant and displays the highest level of skill and design. Jukka has been a smith for many years and offered these thoughts:
“I was born on my family farm and I grew up there, becoming a seventh generation farmer. Our farm always had a workshop, which was used for repairing and crafting new agricultural tools. That old smithy is now dismantled and only the anvil, the hammers and the tongs are left. In this area there is no special blacksmith tradition, there have always been blacksmiths in the villages and farms co-own forges. Farm cooperatives don’t have forges today, though.
As a young boy I have done repair works and learned from them. I also studied one year of metal work and worked for five years in a metal firm, then I returned to live on my farm. Later, I made a new workshop and put the modern machines. I started making knives in 1992 and nearly full-time in 1995.
I have always tried to achieve a simple design in my works, still it is not always so simple, as it displays errors easily. Also, I craft some jewelry for my wife, when I’m not making knives, as I was interested in jewelry when I was younger. I was also interested in drawing. I do not have a specific inspiration for my works, or if you think of it, the nature of this place gives me great ideas. I have named almost all of my knives with regional names.”
Some photos of Jukka, his shop and his work.
Thank you to Jukka Hankala and Federico Buldrini for this post. You can see more of Jukka’s work at http://www.hankala.com/