Custom Knives from Scottish Highlands

Skye Knives, Glendale, Isle of Skye, IV55 8WY.

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Workshop ~ Designs

Detailed designs for commissions show how they evolved through consulting with the client. I'm hoping soon to put up designs for knives I really want to make: so if you see something you like, you can get in touch...

Knotwork Cook's Knife. I'm interested in making knives for cooking (one of my other passions). This design is a twist on Bob's classic kitchen knife shape, with a carved knotwork handle to increase the grip.
Kitchen Knife Design
La Tene Dirk. The first step in designing this dirk was for the client to decide on a blade shape. Here we see, from the bottom, a classic single-edged shape, an older style of single-edged blade (like Bob's Ballock knife) and a leaf-shaped double-edged style, which is the one we went with...
Pre La Tene Blade Shapes
This is the final design for the La Tene Dirk, showing the carved cut-out sheath. If you take a look at this knife in progress, you'll see that the main difference in the finished dirk is that, instead of a carved ricasso, as here, there is an engraved collar of the same shape, which improves the lock in the sheath.
Dirk Design
Clan Crest Sgian Dubh. This composite image shows the final design for the handle, alongside the completed piece ...
Clan Crest Design
This image shows the above sgian as a work in progress - the carving has been roughed out, and this picture was taken of a rough assembly to check the position of the crest with the final carving...
Clan Crest Sgian Dubh

Viking Knife. This sketch shows the final design for a birch and antler composite handle, and the working blade shape. A common feature of all these designs (apart from that they're all for commissions - it's important to arrive at something which really suits the customer) is that they all involve knotwork. With carved handles, it's not just important to carefully think out the knotwork itself, but also how it relates to the feel and look of the whole knife...

Viking Design

I often really enjoy the design aspect of knifemaking! I feel it's important to take the time and 'live with' an idea for a while, re-visit it, experiment with different lines, and so on - although it can feel like nothing's happening, the thinking time is crucial, and the finished knife is better for it...

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