Friday, March 30, 2007

Unusual Vintage Puukko Knife!

I got a rare inquiry about older Finnish knife yesterday and wanted to share it here in my blog page also. (With owner's promission!)

In 1920’s and 30’s there were over 100 individual puukko knife makers in Kauhava area. Antti Liuha was one of the most respected puukko makers.

This Antti Liuha’s knife was made after 1920, most likely towards the end if the decade. So called “blood groove” on the blade first appears at the beginning of the century, but became more popular in 20’s and 30’s. The writing on the blade is actually made by Elli Lindholm. She "wrote blades" and did etching for several Kauhava knife makers for over 50 years and died at the end of the last millennium at the age of 100! The sheath is made by Rämäkkö family. They made most of the sheaths at Kauhava that time.

This is one beautiful piece of Finnish puukko making history!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bushcraft Knives ~ Nordic Survival Knives

Bushcraft and survival based activities provide an excellent basis for helping people to understand social skills; team and personal development; as well as environmental issues. There are various ways to describe the differences between ‘bushcraft’ and ‘survival’, but what really sets true bushcraft apart is attitude. One needs to understand that in wild nature it is vital to harness natural resources and work with them rather than against them. For example, successful use of the bow drill set is not about how fast and infuriated you can work it. It’s about care and efficiency which takes so much less energy and is actually quicker. Across all extremes of climate and environment indigenous people have been able to adapt and utilize the natural resources around them in order to live. Sadly the traditional knowledge and living skills of these peoples is slowly disappearing as the modern world intrudes on their way of life. Climate change and the introduction of modern tools and equipment have seen a quick change in the way each generation has had to adapt to the intensifying world.

Scandinavians have developed perfect bushcraft knives for thousands of years. Few environments evoke the image of pristine nature and adventure quite like the frozen radiance of the Arctic north! In this harsh environment a good knife is a necessity you cannot afford to overlook. Without a good bushcraft knife you might not survive in tundra. Most people in the Arctic carry two knives that are called bushcraft combo. They carry big leuku knife (stuorra niiba) to use as an axe for cutting trees for fire and the puukko knife (unna niiba) as their utility knife. This type of bushcraft knife combo design has long traditions in Finland and all around Scandinavia.

I would recommend taking a part of a trip with one of the professional adventure travel companies. They will immerse you into the culture and bushcraft skills of the Nordic peoples of the northern forests. You can learn the skills necessary to become comfortable in this gorgeous environment, mastering age old skills that have enabled nomadic hunters such as the Sámi people to call this home. You can be taught the details of dog sledding and reindeer husbandry and have the opportunity to put these skills to practice in the breath taking mountains of Lapland. Driving your own dog team or a reindeer up through immaculate spruce and birch forest you will emerge above the tree line to the magnificent vistas of this incredibly striking mountain range before returning to the base for a well earned sauna and celebration meal…
What kind of survival or bushcraft experiences you have?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Harri Merimaa's new leuku design...

First view of Harri Merimaa's new leuku looks! Should have them in a week or so...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Kauhavan Puukkopaja ~ Matti Koski

Matti Koski, the owner of Kauhavan Puukkopaja, makes all his knives by himself. His style follows closely traditional Kauhava and Lapland style puukko knives.

"Kauhavan Puukkopaja is one of the premier puukko makers in Finland's "puukko making capitol", Kauhava. It is a family business and honors the long traditions of puukko making in the region. All puukkos and sheaths are handmade of local materials, taking pride of the high quality of their product and craftsmanship. These puukko knives truly samples the hundreds of years of traditions of high quality, durability and beauty of Scandinavian knives!"
These knives are one of the sharpests ones I have ever seen!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Harri Merimaa ~ Third Generation Knife Maker

Harri Merimaa, father of four, is one of the premier knife makers from Ostrobothnia providence, Western Finland. He has very unique style and he is a third generation knife maker, whose family is renowned for their commitment to inimitable Finnish quality and superior Ostrobothnian Puukko design. There is a passion for excellence and quality that is obvious when you hold one of these high caliber Finnish hunting knives.

Harri's brand name is "Woods Knife" and he makes all his knives himself. During the years he has developed his own exclusive style and his sheaths have their own distinctive look also. As a creative person Harri frequently looks for new and better ways to improve the style of his knives to better assist the needs of his rapidly growing customers.

At the moment Harri is working on developing bigger “bushcraft leuku combo”, like the one in the picture. The new combo will have darker handle with a bigger “chunk” of reindeer antler and it will widen towards the end of the handle. The smaller knife is going to be longer also and the sheath will have hard liner for both knives, since the lighter sheath will not work with this serious camping combo! I can’t wait to see this knife! :-)

I will be posting a picture of it as soon as I get my hands on it!