Do you master any specific techniques?
I specialise in the making of Damascus steel, Mokumé Gané, a Japanese method (where the metal takes on the appearance of natural wood), swords in various traditions, as well as kitchen and pocket-knives. Computer-aided design and robotics also feature in my work, as does decorative ironwork.
How is your craft linked to your surroundings?
We make traditional 15th century Dutch knives and we source local materials where possible. Our work is set apart by Dutch inventiveness. We were making stainless Damascus steel ten years ago when only a handful of factories were making it.
©Smederij Atelier Alkmaar
What aspect of your work is little known?
I’m continually studying, be it metallurgy, 3D design, Robotics, or even ceramic clay methods (for Japanese swords or knife handles). Knowledge of material properties is particularly important for my profession. I have found that one can never learn enough.
What is a memorable moment from your professional life?
I had the honour to forge the ceremonial sword for the inauguration ceremony of Mr. Jiří Kylián at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The sword was handed to him by Princess Caroline of Monaco. In time, it will belong to the Académie de France, safe in the Louvre.