To make a long (very long) story short…I love knives, and I always have. I’ve enjoyed collecting and using all sorts edged objects over the years, from old hand-me-down pocket knives, to Scandinavian forest axes, to wood carving chisels, to high end Japanese cooking knives and more.
In 2010 Helve Haft & Handle was established essentially as an experiment in using good quality, hand selected, reclaimed and recycled materials to produce rustic camp knives, kitchen knives, hatchets, and other outdoor items.
With every year since, changes in workshop location, and a few choice equipment upgrades, the scope of this knifemaking endeavour has grown and changed as well.
With my understanding of the particular metals I work with, their strengths and failing points, I feel that I can say HH&H puts an excellent quality product in the hands of our patrons every time.
A product that is not just any kitchen knife, but at its very centre, a tool of transformation… a tool transformed from discarded materials into something useable once again, and a tool to transform your favourite ingredients into a delicious meal.
Stephen’s Background as HH&H’s Designer/Manufacturer:
I was born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1979. I attended NSCAD University from 2000 to 2004. In 2008 I relocated to Ontario to attend and complete the Masters of Fine Arts degree at The University of Guelph. I now live and work in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Helve Haft & Handle’s ideology is rooted in the concept that everyone is capable of making the tools they need. At HH&H we set aside time for researching and sourcing the right metals for long lasting blades, and harvesting hardwoods from local trees and discarded exotic wood scraps from local sources. At Helve Haft & Handle we adopt the idea of making something with what is at hand, which continues to establish and maintain an environment of experimentation and innovation in everything we produce.
Our feelings about handmade knives can hug a line between the natural and supernatural, we can’t help but feel that being a maker of humanity’s oldest and first tool has some special mojo around it, not only in the mystical nostalgia of the blacksmiths and bladesmiths of legend, but also perhaps that the knife is as close to an embodiment of the human story as you can get. It is a tool that is at once extremely useful, yet in the wrong hands, extremely dangerous. We can change our environment with it by carving, dividing, shaping, and making. In ancient times (and sometimes still) it meant the difference between survival and death, but in todays home, the knife symbolizes a choice to do something for one’s self, the choice to make or change something with your own hands, rather than simply consume. Its about preparing your food, not just eating it, and about chopping that kindling for a fire. We believe this is of utmost importance in todays world of mass manufacturing and the removal of our connection to the natural world.
We believe that people can form lasting relationships with well-made tools and objects they use in their daily lives. We promote regular maintenance and understanding of how your knife works, rather than continuing to buy throw-away knives and tools you can find anywhere.