My name is Vyacheslav Kharkov. I like Northern knives. The area in which I live is not considered northern, but we go on winter wheels for 5-6 months a year. My city is called Tolyatti, also known as Togliatti, is a city in western Russia by the Volga River.
When asked how I became interested in knives, I’m not sure, but for a long time there was a strong desire to make a knife. I wanted to make myself a knife for everyday use. I began 10 years ago, and every time I try to make a knife as if it is for myself, not paying attention to the time spent. If I plan to make a very good knife, an expensive knife, it will be spoiled and thrown into the box under the table. This is verified repeatedly.
Hunters and fishermen in our area mainly use knives that look like weapons, with guards, long blades. I needed a small knife, suitable for use both at home and in nature, which you can absolutely legally carry with you every day. One that does not scare neither women nor the police. Thus, I my attention was drawn to the northern type of knives. It totally suited me. I was amazed by the variety and unique northern style. For a whole year, I read the forums of knife-makers, assimilated the techniques and methods of building a knife. I watched and collected photos.
I made the first knife for myself from the shop blade of Lauri, Karelian birch and antler. He also taught me how to use new techniques, and he still serves me. After a couple of years, it was time to decorate my work. I received all my knowledge from the Internet. A lot of information on Sami carving has appeared, but at that time there was almost none.
Special thanks to Igor Barutkin for his tutorial on making the Sami knife. Also I am a frequent guest at kniver.blogspot.com and nordiskaknivar.wordpress.com
I tried to start carving several times and threw it away because of failures. Then I came back and tried again. I still consider myself a student in this matter. I don’t have any art education, I don’t draw very well and look for any information on Sami carving.
Often I use traditional patterns of the Sami people to create the most authentic look of a knife. In addition, there are so many Scandinavian masters with their unique styles and ornaments, from which I also want to learn something.
The Sami ornament reminds me very much of the munnharpe, or jaw harp, melody. The beauty and diversity of the refrain never seems excessive. And one color, as well as one note, can express a huge variety. I like it so much that sometimes I am not sure that I will use it in the right place. In knifemaking, I met a lot of friendly, enthusiastic people. We sometimes meet and discuss our work, new materials and much more. But I am fond of carving alone.
As far as materials I always prefer natural. I believe that the tool should not only have utilitarian properties, but also aesthetic along with them. Birch, its burl, birch bark and Karelian birch are especially fine. They have a magical material. The worst sort of Karelian birch after coating with oil turns into a unique sample of the natural fantasy of the tree. So is horn. In the photographs, it looks white, but in reality its marble look sometimes does not want to be hidden by a pattern. Deer horn is a “lively”, reliable and pleasant material.
My favorite type of knife is the Finnish type of puukko. It is an unsurpassed universal tool. In Russia, it appeared more than a hundred years ago and will always be used. With this type of knife it is very important to learn how to work with leather, the secrets of which are still open to me.
As other hobbies, I am interested in Slavic languages, trying to learn how to play Norwegian munnharpe.