My name is Lauri Karjunen. I’m 34 years old and I’m from Joensuu, in North Karelia region. Today I live in Hamina, a city in Kymenlaakso region, with my wife and son. I work in the Finnish coast guard, so I’m not really a professional bladesmith.
On my father’s side, my great-uncle was a professional blacksmith in village Ii, about 35km north of Oulu. I believe he has been the only professional smith in the “close history” of my family.
On the other hand, the old puukkos shown below were made very close to my mother’s homeplace, near Koli, a village in North Karelia, by my grand mother’s cousin’s husband’s father.
I have always been interested in Puukkos. My first memories about them is at a very young age when I was learning whittling with my dad. The puukko has always been part of my hobbies, hunting, fishing and so on. My first puukos were Marttiini and Iisakki Järvenpää factory made ones and they worked well enough. It was 2008 when I decided to order my first custom puukko from bladesmith Mikko Inkeroinen, a Tommi. It was and still is a very good utility puukko, but I was very impressed also of how beautiful it was. Materials, lines and sheath were totally different compared to my older puukkos. I remember that I was thinking how great would have been to have that kind of craftsman skills. I would say that I am half selftaught, but I’ve been lucky enough not to learn everything the hard way. In the beginning there have been few older guys who taught me some basic techniques for forging and heat treatments. If I have to name one, it would be bladesmith Tapani Eskola. But learning takes a lot of time and plenty of repeats to get good results. Internet is also very helpful in these days.
My favorite puukko model is the Tommi puukko. I like to use the same kind of lines in my works too. Rautalamminpuukko is the most beautiful and Kokemäenpuukko is the most fun to make. Sami knives are also something I would like to learn more about.
I get my inspiration from nature and my other hobbies. If I wouldn´t hunt or be interested in the outdoors, I would never have started knife making: I see that these activities are strongly linked to each other. If I would make knies for money, I think I couldn’t enjoy it in the same way. I don´t have any special goal as a knife maker, I just want to improve my skills as a bladesmith. There is a lot of techniques that I would like to learn. Maybe in the future I will do also some different styles of knives.
In Kymenlaakso region where I live there isn’t a particular historical puukko model which is widely known, but at the present time puukko culture is strong and there are lots of hobbyist makers here.
There isn’t any particular known puukko model also in Northern Karelia region where I am from; if I have to name a model as Northern Karelia “maakuntapuukko”, it would be “Karjalan kaiku” puukko from Ilomantsi. It was originally made by Lauri Huurre in -50 (not sure about that year). After him, his son Mauri continued making this model. They are now both passed away but Urpo Parviainen has kept making that model in Ilomantsi.
My other hobbies are, as I earlier mentioned, hunting and generally the outdoors. Being in the forest or near a bog in an autumn morning is absolutely one of my favorite things. Easily better than knife making.
Right now most of my spare time is spent at our home or cabin with my wife and 6 month old son.
Visit Lauri’s website at https://laurikarjunen.com/
The shop for forging rough grinding and heat treating.