Today I’m happy to post the profile of Joonas Kallioniemi. His work is of the highest quality both in design and workmanship which makes it stand out. There is a certain natural elegance in his work that is timeless in it’s simplicity. Always willing to answer questions and send photos Joonas has been a great help and inspiration for this blog. While Joonas doesn’t have a website he can be found posting his new work on Britishblades.com Occasionally he may offer one of his puukkos for sale in the Maker’s Sales Forum but if you happen to see one there, act fast. It won’t be there long!
“I am now 23, a young man some might say, but I have already had an interest for puukko knives for many years. I can try to summarize a bit how I have gotten into this madness.
My father made some puukkos before I was born, and I remember that as a kid I admired those knives and always wanted to play with them. So it is very likely that part of my enthusiasm comes from there. I guess I was around 15 or 16 when I really got interested in puukkos. At the time I was very much into woodcarving and the outdoors so a good puukko was always in my dreams. Many of the handmade knives from respected makers seemed so damn expensive to me at that time, they were out of my reach. And today I’m lucky that they were. I used a lot of factory made puukkos but I quickly realized that there was a huge lack of quality in them.
I first built some puukkos with blades from one other maker and even with factory blades, but I soon got bored. I understood that a good blade was the most crucial part of any puukko, and that if I was to become a maker I would have to learn bladesmithing. I was at high school at the time and managed to find a place where I could start forging my own blades, or at least practice doing so! The only information that I had was what I had learned from books and the Internet. My skills were weak at best but the forging experience was the final step in getting me addicted.
After high school I was already so hooked to the craft that it had most of my interest. It seemed natural to go to a metalworking school and become an artisan. There I learned a lot about forging, machining and various other metalworking techniques that I could adapt into my knife making. One of the turning points in my making was when around those times I got some sound advice from master puukko maker Pekka Tuominen. It was then and right then when I started to think more about the shapes and proportions of puukkos, and especially the traditional lines that are present in most of the old puukkos. I also started to sell my puukkos part-time during studying. After graduating I had to go the army, so knife making was over for a while.
After that the commissions kept piling up and I had collected a good amount of tools so I decided to start making knives full-time. It seemed like the natural thing to do. It’s been about a year now and I know I did the right thing. Every day when I get up and go to my workshop I still get the same thrills that I got when I first started forging blades. To be able to turn my thoughts into physical objects with just the most basic tools and materials, it does the trick for me.”