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Intarsia decorated knife
Intarsia decorated knife is old Kauhava puukko, ball pommel knife and light sheath have nickel silver ferrules. The birch bark handle is decorated with intarsia tecnic and lacquered. Blade is carbon steel.
Intarsia is old technic and truly handcrafting. Iisakki Järvenpää and his cousin Juho Kustaa Lammi developed knife together. They had principal guideline to make it as good tool as they could and then make it as beautiful as ever was possible, so it would always been taken care. Quite soon birch bark was main material for handles, and old technique called intarsia, could be used for decoration. It had never been used in knife handles before. Famous Emperor knives, made for Russian emperor Nikolai II at 1888 and 1894, were made with this technic. Figure starts from brass or nickel silver sheetmetal by rolling it to 0,11-0,14 mm thin. It is then cut to 4-5 mm slices and one edge is sharpened. Originally it was made by open scissors but now it is done with sanding belt. These thin slices are then shaped to desired figure with tweezers and different small pliers. Figure consists of tens of pieces. Dots were made from small brass or nickel silver nails, unfortunately nails are today only coated steel so we make nails from 2 mm wire from real material by pulling it few times. This whole figure is then placed over birch bark handle and it is very carefully tapped 4 mm inside birch bark with small hammer or flat file. Then it is sanded to it´s final shape and metal and bark surfaces completely even. This technic can be used to make any forms and shapes. It was used as business gift already in the end of 1800´s and quite often front side had beautiful decoration and other side had owners name, year or even company logo. Same technic can be used with any birch bark handle knives but mostly we used our most traditional Kauhava Knobhead knife. Knife is otherwise same than models without intarsia decorations, but birch bark is put 90 degrees different angle for intarsia. All knives and figures are unique and mostly designs are copied from factory museum knives made by iisakki Järvenpää himself. The handle could be finished with varnish, oil, wax or even paint. All of these make big difference how delicate intarsia figure will show out. All intarsia knives have all fittings in knife and sheath hand engraved. Intarsia takes 8-16 working hours to make, depending how complex the figure is, and we can make special orders for desired design.
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