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
“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.”