Tag Archives: Veitsi-Kilpailu

Markku Vilppola

Recently Ilkka Seikku, a pukkoseppä who has written posts for and been profiled on this blog sponsored a knife making competition on Facebook. It was quite a success, there were 24 knifemakers entered and the winner was decided by popular vote. The winner was Markku Vilppola, who being one of the seven puukkomastereri of Finland is an accomplished smith. Markku has agreed to be featured on Nordiska Knivar and I’d like to present a brief profile of him and some photos of his work. Markku works in many styles as you will see. His influences are many but his primary inspiration is drawn from work of the Vikings.

Markku Vilppola’s site http://www.mvforge.fi/

If you’d like to see the page for the knife competition go to Veitsi Kilpailu  https://www.facebook.com/groups/389439611258044/

Thank you to Ilkka Seikku for sponsoring the contest and congratulations to the winner, Markku Vilppola!

Markku Vilppola: 


“As a young boy I already used puukko for various tasks. My grandfather was a carpenter so I made various handcrafts under his tutoring. I made my first puukko in 1980-1981. A local newspaper called Kaleva had an advertisement where they were looking for craftsmen to work at the Oulu market square. So I wrote down my business plan and started my work.

I rented a shed that was on the waterfront at the market square and set up a business in 1997. I kept on working in Oulu until in the year 2004 I heard there was a workshop available in the city of Turku. So I moved with my family and set my workshop there. I kept my workshop in Kurala Kylämäki village up until the year 2011 when Turku Museum Centre decided to terminate my lease. For six months I looked for a new workshop but couldn’t find a proper place so I had to stop my business. Nowadays I only make a few knives a year, as a hobby, to keep up my skills.

I get most of my inspiration from old pieces, especially from the Viking times. This can probably be seen from my work, in my models and in my engravings. I consider myself to be mainly self-taught. At the start of my career I got guidance from Heino Tuomivaara. I honed my skills and knowledge in Mynämäki where I first got a bladesmiths degree in 2007 and after that a master bladesmiths degree in 2009. Also in the year 2014 I completed my degree as an artisan of ancient techniques.

I don’t have a specific favorite knife model, but it certainly isn’t the traditional straight Finnish puukko. Perhaps I made too much of those at some time… I like self-made damascus steel and k990 steel, which seems to be hard to come by these days. As far as regional puukko, here in Kiiminki region there was a knife model of Oskari Jauhiainen, and to my knowledge no-one is currently making the model. Back in the days about 20 years ago I made a few of those.

I don’t really have a philosophy. I like to try out different methods. I’m always looking for new ways and challenges so I can develop as a knifemaker. In recent years I have had a particular interest in bronze casting and engraving. This can probably be seen in my latest works. My other hobbies include hunting, fishing, primitive bows and various handcrafts.”

Markku Vippola at the Helsinki Knife Show in January 2012.

Markku Vilppola at the Helsinki Knife Show in January 2012.

The Winning Knife

The entries were anonymous, so the maker’s marks were all covered.

Blade: 1700 forged layers k990/hardenite v

Blade lenght: 15,4cm

Blade width: 33mm

Blade thickness: 7mm

Overall lenght 27,5cm

Handle: Self casted bronze bolsters, maple.

Sheath: vegetable tanned ox  hide

M1a M1b M1c

Some more of Markku’s work:


M33 M31 M16 M3 M4 M17 M18 M7 M8 M9 M10 M11 M12 M13 M14M21 M22 M23 M24 M26 M27 M28 M29 M30


Puukko News

The Finnish Puukko Association, Suomen Puukkoseura ry has posted the results of the 2015 competition at Fiskars on their site. This is a national competition and the official Finnish championship held every May at Fiskars Village. Take a look at this year’s gallery and winners of years past at:  http://www.puukkoseura.fi/galleria.php?sarja=34

Sami Länsipaltta photo.

Sami Länsipaltta photo.

Fiskars Village is a historical site on the original Fiskars manufacturing location featuring shops, exhibitions, a museum and various hand work competitions among other things.


Museum at Fiskars Village

Museum at Fiskars Village

One of the historical buildings at Fiskars Village.

One of the historical buildings at Fiskars Village.

Sami Länsipaltta photo.

Sami Länsipaltta photo.

Teuvo Sorvarin Vöyrin puukkoja

Teuvo Sorvarin Vöyrin puukkoja.  Photo by Sami Länsipaltta.

Unna niibas by  Mikko Inkeroinen

Unna niibas by Mikko Inkeroinen. Photo by Sami Länsipaltta.

Also, Ilkka Seikku has initiated a world wide knife competition, Veitsi-Kilpailu on Facebook at:


Here is a description and the rules and guidelines. This should be worth watching! There are 150 members of this group in the first day of its existence. Thank you Ilkka!

” The first Knife-Competition starts!

Pictures will be published in 1.8.2015
Voting time ends in 31.8.2015

Send the pictures knifecompetition@gmail.com
Add a short text about the way how You did the knife and the materials used.

-Competition is open for every knife maker from around the world.
-Only one knife / person
-Knife have to be totally made by the maker.
-Competition knife can be made for customer or just for this competition.
-No pictures of this knife can be published before competition.
-Makers marks/stamps/name can´t be seeing from the pictures. So stamps from the blade/handle/sheath needs to be hidden.
-Knife have to be able to use with one hand. It needs to be practical and useful for it´s tasks.
If needed, some more info could be asked about the usefulness of the knife.
-Knife is made with hand tools. Automatic cutters etc. are banned.
-Blade can be made by forging, sawing, grinding etc. But not with totally automatic machines.
-You are free to use any materials You want, but You have to work those materials all by Yourself.

Send clear pictures:
-Knife in sheath picture from front
-Knife picture from front and in the same picture the sheath from the front.
-Knife picture from the other side and in the same picture sheath from the back
-Picture from the blade only

No “spices” in pictures. Only the knife.
Under the knife there have to be one colored paper/canvas/leather etc.

All the pictures will be publishing in the same time.
Voting starts immediately after pictures are published.
Voting is made by pushing “like” button.
One person can vote several knives and several pictures.

The winner will be published on these fb-site and there will be introduction about the maker in these sites, if the winner allows so.
Picture of the winner knife will be in the top of these sites as long as the new competition is done.

When sending the pictures, the participant gives rights to use pictures in this Knife-Competition fb-sites.

This competition is organized by self-imposed persons and no organizations are involved.

“Gentlemen rules” (rules impossible to supervise, but we trust on your honesty!
Do not advertise any knife in public
Do not tell who has made some knife, even if You know it
You can vote Your own knife, but take a look at the other knives first
Respect the winner and respect the people who have vote it to be the winner
Be honest and fair.”

Ilkka Seikku's Facebook group page photo.

Ilkka Seikku’s Facebook group page photo.