The following video captures the passion of Paul Arestan – a knife maker – and how he has managed to turn his simple pastime into an evolved art. Going by his story, Paul seems heavily influenced by his grandfather whose hobby was repairing old pocketknives. His father too is an antique swords collector. This oldest implement known to mankind is a work of art in his hands.
In Paul’s words, “hand-crafting a knife is a constant learning process,” the process behind crafting the blade is complex and involves arduous steps and techniques. Extreme precision and caution is required, especially when etching on the knife blade and decorating it. The traditional aqua forte technique of painting and then dipping the blade in an acid solution is still used by him.
Materials like hardwood, burl, horn, bone or deer antlers are typically used to make the handles of the knife and leather sheaths are cut, shaped, dyed, and hand stitched. Paul typically works alone, however at times he does collaborate with others. He finishes the handles of the knives by wrapping them, carving or sculpting them, finishing with inlaid work or scrimshawed.
Women go for a knife with a smaller handle and a lighter blade; why does that not surprise us. Sometimes factory-made knives can prove unworthy of chefs, which is why Paul recently finished working on a special piece for a French chef with big hands. Below is a recap of some of his stunning works that simply wow-ed us.
A filleting knife for the Sydney show: 190mm long blade, 1.2mm thick, unknown timber and brass ferule.
Another knife made from the same billet as the previous one. This one is dressed with leather and resin impregnated paracord.
Another one for the Sydney Show; a compact little knife with a blade tapered from 4.5mm at the ricasso to 1mm at the tip. The blade is a 69 layers sanmai of nickel and xc75 made by French maker Tothem2H.
Another one with a wrapped handle.
This Knife is going to the Sydney show.
A steampunk knife with a see through handle.