Hand crafted in Kyrkhult, Sweden
For Jonas Johnson forging kitchen knives is meditation. Creating something that is both beautiful and functional, and that brings joy to those that use them is Jonas’s happy place.
Inspired by the art and tradition of Japanese blacksmiths and western makers alike, Jonas produces some of the best Honyaki kitchen knives around. A traditional Japanese method, Honyaki blades are hard at the edge and soft at the spine with a beautiful silhouette like wave pattern on the face of the blade representing the transition. Perhaps this is representative of Jonas himself, a friendly, kind-hearted guy, who is also strong enough to wield the hammer daily.
Apart from Honyaki, Jonas also produces knives in a more traditional Scandinavian style. Isasmedjan translates roughly to Hill Forge, named for the Isabackarna (Ice Hills) region where he is located, in Sweden. His rustic but beautiful Damascus and wrought iron clad blades are often paired with beautiful local materials like deer antler and birchbark that are something totally unique. If you are lucky enough to own an Isasmedjan kitchen knife you might find hand engraved runes on the back side of the blade, typically spelling Isasmedjan.
The Forged, Punched and Drifted Integral Handle
Taking the integral handle to another level, Benjamin Kamon really is proving his skill as a blacksmith to us with this one. Its work like this that goes to show that Ben is not only a bladesmith, truly a master blacksmith. Capable of working steel into complex shapes with forge and hammer.
To produce such a blade takes extreme patience as the blacksmith must first punch a hole into the metal in the position that will eventually become the handle.
The bladesmith must then gradually drift the metal, heat by heat, hammer stroke by hammer stroke, into the final handle shape, while taking care not to fold or bend the metal unnecessarily at all. Any unnecessary bends or folds will result in unclean or uneven surfaces. It is for this reason that this blade is so impressive. To have such a clean finish Benjamin had to forge out the handle flawlessly.
Once the handle is complete the blade can then be forged as per normal, naturally this is still not an easy task especially with Benjamin’s profiles. sufficient material must be moved backwards in the direction of what will become the choil at the same time as moving material towards the tip of the knife. This is a challenging process of many bladesmiths.
The Walkschliff Grind
Historically developed in Soligen Germany and sometimes referred to as a kessel bulge grind or kettle bulge grind. The walkschliff grind was developed for the most premium of German knives. Skill in this grinding technique requires a high degree of specialist knowledge and many years of experience as a grinder.
The Walkschliff grind is characterised by the thickest part of the blade being situated bellow the spine. So, the spine is thinner than the overall blade.This shape provides a high level of stability, and at the same time produces an extremely thin and finely ground cutting edge.Traditionally the bulge is convex, but it could be, theoretically, done with a flat grind etc. In the case of this Kamon knife, it is convex.
Martin Huber has been forging knives since the age of 16. From a very young age it was clear to Martin that he wanted to be a blacksmith. There might be a little family influence involved. Martin has a slightly higher iron content in his blood than others. His grandfather was a blacksmith, and both of his parents worked as mechanical and automotive engineers, blacksmiths, and machinists.
Martin is deeply inspired by the process of making knives and the world around him. Each knife produced is unique, often influenced by his peers in the artisan knife making world, by nature and a close-knit team that is always keen to find the next challenge. Martin and his team produce all kinds of knives, but his kitchen knives are some of best around.
A Martin Huber knife is characterised by a thoughtful design that begins with a focus on durability, fit and finish and performance and ends with amazingly unique materials and style. We are very proud to be able to offer the work of Martin and his team here at Modern Cooking. If you are lucky enough to obtain one of Martins knives, we have no doubt you will be just as impressed as we are.
Established in 1872, Mizuno Tanrenjo is one of Japans most prestigious workshops. Over 5 generations of Mizuno blacksmiths have trained with Japans best knife and sword smiths to establish a name that is considered one of the best around.
Current master Jun Mizuno is a recognized master sword smith. His superior craftsmanship and extraordinary honyaki katana works have been recognized by two of Japan’s top Ichinomiyas (shrines) which have commissioned his katanas as part of their permanent collections — an extraordinary accolade and recognition of Jun Mizuno's skill as a blacksmith.
Honyaki are considered to be some of the most beautiful and sort after blades around and to own a Mizuno Tanrenjo blade is certainly something special.
The knife being forged in this shot is a 540mm Magurokiri, a blade specially forged for tuna butchery. This Magurokiri is part of a special collection of Honyaki blades being made for Modern Cooking. The full collection will feature in the next post.