I have been making things since I was a child growing up on my parents ranch in Reliance, SD. This gave me many opportunities to be creative. A fascination with knives would compel me to take apart old knives and apply different handles. My first knife was made in 1963.

I started forging knives in 1975, and in 1987 I became a full time bladesmith. That same year I received my American Bladesmith Society Journeyman rating and my Mastersmith rating followed two years later. I joined the Knifemakers Guild in 1988 and became a voting member in 1990.

Over the years, I've remained true to my belief in soul authorship and the original concept of handmade. All of the work on my knives, bits, spurs, and leatherwork is my own. I do not job out any step of the actual knife/bit/spur making process. I handforge my own blades from bar stock and make my own Damascus steel. I do not use premade parts, but prefer to make each piece myself. This is never the quickest or easiest route, but when I’m finished, I feel I’ve accomplished what I set out to do – making something truly unique and handmade. I filework, carve or engrave the blades, handles and fittings on my knives/spurs. I do not use any computer operated tools, milling machine or metal lathes, and only the basic tools are in my shop: a drill press, band saw, 2 belt grinders, and one buffer. Small hand tools are made as needed for special applications.

These limitations created by the tools I do have force me to be more creative in how I approach the actual design and crafting of my work. It necessitates coming up with an idea that will work both with the tools and the abilities I have. This process forces me to be creative in my designs and fabrication techniques. It helps separate my work from the makers who rely only on their tools and I believe it creates a truly handmade item. I enjoy working with a collector to make something we can both be proud of.


©2005 Larry Fuegen