Witness the birth of an heirloom
Skarpari is the Icelandic word for sharper.
Sharpness is our ultimate goal as knife makers. We have always been fascinated with the history of sharpness.
When did we acquire it? And how was it lost?
These are the questions we hope to answer as we explore the art of sharpness.
New materials, local lore, and knife history. This site and what we sell is being done in the pursuit of “Skarpari” or sharper.
We hope to help you regain sharpness in your home or out in the field, in a culture that has all but lost the ability to keep or have tools that are sharp.
We welcome you to accompany us on this lifelong journey in the pursuit of sharpness.
Living in Nature in a balanced state with the environment requires tools. Choosing to live in a way that a credit card and a shopping cart are the main tools is unsustainable. Putting food on the table the old fashioned way means fishing, hunting, chopping, and cutting. With the proper tools a free, independent, healthy, wild, empowered life in nature is possible.
Where we live and why
A man once said he spent the first half of his life trying to move out of the backwoods and the next half trying to move as far back into the wild as he could. We have chosen a lifestyle with fewer conveniences, choices, and distractions from the basics. Living simply and intentionally allows us to connect with the environment. We take our role as stewards of God’s creation seriously, and believe that a relationship to our food, and environment is neccesary to truly living. Our handmade tools are there for our daily interactions with people, livestock, the sea, and the land.
How and why we use these tools.
Hunting & Livestock
Hunting or raising livestock for food gets us one step closer to relying on natural resources to provide for our basic needs. We believe in being in touch with where our food comes from. We see deer all year through their life cycles and we recognize that they are living breathing beings whose life is precious. We raise goats that help us clear the brambles that then go into the freezer at the end of the season. We raise pigs who eat all the leftovers. Our chickens provide eggs until they become stew or crab bait. When the season arrives we are ready to take them humanely and traditionally. Many of the methods of killing an animal, bleeding it out, and then butchering it are lost arts in our modern society. A sharp tool means quick and humane hunt and kill that respects nature and our human limits.
We split out time between the Lopez Island in Salish Sea and the center of the Pacific Ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii. The tools and implements for fishing are illustrated in the local oral histories of both bodies of water. The ancestors of these waters lived a marine culture here for thousands of years before us. We spend our fishing seasons following the patterns of fishing and crabbing then drying, canning or freezing our catch to preserve it. Over the years we have learned how to respect nature and go with the flow by using tools that work with us, and not against us. Our lives on the water require a sharp knife for cutting rope or lines and an oyster shucker or a crab cracker in order to eat our catch. Some of the tools we use are based on ancient designs, and others are our own creations based on the unique environments we choose to call home.
Every blade we make is a completely unique piece of functional art. There is no standard manufacturing process for what we do. There are no templates used. We let the materials speak to us and tell us what they want to be. We listen to the needs of our custom cutlery clients and develop the perfect tool for their needs.
A typical project takes upwards of 20 hours to create. We start with steel and create the blade’s basic shape. It could be repurposed, found steel, or a piece of steel we’ve purchased with known qualities.
Once the shape is created, we do the initial rough grind of the bevels. The blade then goes through a heat treating process to harden the steel. The steel is then cleaned and put through a tempering process which is what will determine its final hardness.
From there it is hand sanded and the handles are attached. The handles are then sanded and sealed with our Skarpari Handle Wax.
The materials we use come from so many places it would be hard to catalog them all. We have people send us wood and steel from all over the world. We have clients who are arborists who save all of the “weird wood” they find. We have friends who are scrap metal collectors that bring us everything that is usable for blades.
We are blessed to live in a small community where people care about the environment and reusing materials.
We are incredibly mindful about the materials we use, the waste the process creates, and how we deal with that. We live in a magical wonderland that we know needs to be preserved. It’s why we live here.