How do you express tradition and innovation?
Tradition inspires me and plays a big role in making knives. It is hard to create something new. But I always try to give them something particular – my style. To me, lines are important. I also try to keep the object as simple as possible, and give it a finishing touch.
What surprises people about your work?
People think making knives means forging. But, 90 per cent of it is grinding and polishing. I’m trying to be good in all areas, from blade forging to sheath sewing. My special skills are mosaic patterned welded blades and leather sheaths.
© Pekka Tuominen
What would you advise a young person wanting to enter your profession?
You need passion. It takes time to become well known enough to make a living out of it. First, study some other art form or handicraft. Then, start making knives part-time. If it feels right, go for it. Finland only has a few full-time professionals making handmade knives.
What memory do you especially cherish in your career?
In 2012, I got the Art Award of the Art Committee of Northern Savolax. I understood that the knife, a basic tool, can also be art. And in 2018, I was named Artisan of the Year, the first knife maker to ever receive the award. It felt like I had done something right.