Anders Hedlund, Sweden
My name is Anders Hedlund of Sweden and I am born in 1971. I live in the village of Sämstad, on the west coast of Sweden.
My wife´s name is Pernilla and we have one child, Samuel.
I made my first knife in the wood shop in school at age 15.
It was so much fun so I made two knives instead of just one. That teacher is the only instructor I have ever had in the art of knife making. Everything else is learned from books, and by trial and error.
My other childhood passion was, and still are, fishing. I fish almost anything that swims but graylings and rainbow trout are two favourites. For several years sport fishing was the name of the game.
In 1992, I begun working as a church janitor, a job much like a gardener, and on the brakes I started making knives again. At that point, very simple knives with factory made blades. Nevertheless, I got to sell a knife or two and that gave me currage to carry on with my knife making.
After having used factory made blades for a short while, I started making my own blades out of stainless steels such as RWL-34 from Söderfors, Marss 500 and AEB-L from Uddeholm. I grounded them out on a slow working Tormek sandstone grinder.
I then heard about the Swedish Knifemakers´ Association, so I called them up and joined the organization. With the
membership came an excellent magazine with pictures of other knifemakers' knives, and a lot of info about knife making. This
magazine became a great source of inspiration to me in the early days of knife making. It also had info about knife competitions
around the country.
I decided to send a knife to a Swedish competition in Söderhamn in 1999, and I received good reviews on the knife but was told it could be improved. I got "bitten" hard by the "knife bug" and sent more knives to competitions, and in 2002, the first time I attended the Swedish Championship,
I became Swedish Champion.
Now days I very seldom compete with my knives, but I have over 20 first places in different knife classes in Swedish championships, and I have only been beaten once in a Swedish championship through all these years by one another knife maker, and that was back in 2002, in my first championship ever.
Other awards are the fixed knife non forge class in the 2005 Paris SICAC show, and at the East Coast
Custom Knife Show, ECCKS, New York, 2010, I was proud to recieve the Buster Warenski award.
In 2017 I was awarded the 9th chair in the Swedish Knife associations "Hall of Fame".
In 2018, I was proud to recive the "Best in Show" award at the Solvang Invitational custom Knife show
and the "Wooden Sword award" presented by the book "Knives 2018". My knives has been published in several knife magazines and books but I especially want to mention the two of David Daroms fantastic books about knife making and knife collecting, "The world of art knives" volume 2, and volume 4.
A little speciality of mine is carvings in leather sheaths and custom made folder boxes. The carving is
done with a small scalpel looking knife. All carving must be done on a finished and dry sheath, so if you make a mistake,
you will have to sew a new sheath and start all over.
I do not do this type of carving much now days, since I almost only make folders, but it is a skill that I am proud of to master.
I try to use only the finest materials, both in the knife handle and in the choice of steel. I use rwl-34 or
damasteel as blade steels and if I make a mosaic Damascus knife, I like to buy bar stock from mainly Swedens, but also from
the rest of the world top smiths. I shape and grind all blades myself with the bar stock removal method.
Favourite handle materials are black and white pearl, stainless steel, mammoth and mosaic Damascus steel. But I use almost any material, it just has to have that little extra. When I use Scandinavian or foreign wood in knife handles, it is almost exclusively stabilized wood.
After a week`s crash course in 2007, in the art of engraving with GRS instructor Sam Alfano, I have continued teaching myself in this wonderful art. All steel engravings and gold inlays on my knives are done by me.
I make all kinds of knives - stick and full tang fixed blades, folders, and daggers. I am not afraid of trying to make new sorts of knives as long as the design is good. However now days, fancy engraved folders are closest to my heart.
Design is important to me. The lines must be inspiring and flawless during the drawing phase or else the knife
will never be made. I like to spend a lot of time on each knife,
so it will become unique and as perfect as possible.
Now days my knife making are focused on making high end engraved folders.
Sole authorship knives.
I consider knife making an art form that requires mastering many different skills.
You have to, like the drawer, have the feel for lines, so you can make exact drawings or templates. The painter's feel for colour is also necessary so that you can match the different knife materials. You also have to have the ability to envision the finished knife in the raw material, just like the sculptor does with a piece of stone or wood. And just like the sculptor, you remove material until the piece is finished.
I treasure all the good friends I have met through this art form and I consider myself to be very lucky being able
to make knives that are loved by collectors all around the world.
My hope for the future is to continue on the never ending journey to evolve as a knife maker and keep on produce high quality knives and engraving.
Since 2006 I am proud to be one of the exhibitors at the Eccks knife show, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, And since 2012, I am fortunate and proud to be one of the exclusive knife makers at the bi-annual Solvang invitational knife show, Solvang California.
Knifemaker Anders Hedlund