My perspective on knife-making is simple: I design and produce knives because I enjoy creating beautiful and utilitarian items. My design aesthetic has been honed by participation in a wide variety of arts and craft projects, and the required technical skills have been acquired after years of experience and simple trial and error. I believe that a well-made knife is a helpful tool for an outdoor lifestyle, a beautiful art object, and worthy of passing along to future generations.
I came to knife-making after spending several years producing my own split cane fly fishing rods and fly tying. My curiosity was piqued after reading a magazine article detailing how to make your own fishing knife and I decided to try my hand at this new project. After producing two knives—very basic models with wooden handles and sheaths, and very different from the style I make today—I joined the Vendsyssel Knife Makers Guild in Denmark in 1995.
After several years’ commitment to my local knife-making chapter I was in 2012 elected chairman of Dansk Knivforening, the national knife-making organization in Denmark, where I proudly served my fellow knife-makers for 8 years. My focus was to strengthen the local club communities and activities, to expand access to information located on our website, and to grow our membership by reaching out to a younger and more diverse audience. I continue to support Dansk Knivforening and frequently participate in local and international events.
My focus as a knife maker has over the years shifted from simply producing a useful knife, much in the spirit of the flint stone knives produced in the Stone Age, to constantly challenging myself during the design and creation process. I remain intrigued by the continued technical challenges posed by knife-making, and I relish opportunities to test the boundaries of traditional design and selection of materials.
For the past few years I have enjoyed the challenge of Samic-inspired knives, including the requisite handle and sheath engraving techniques, and now dedicate hundreds of hours to the complex dance of scalpel on surface that results in stunning designs. More recently I have ventured into creating food-grade mushroom knives, and gut hook knives specifically aimed at the hunting community. I am currently finessing my scrimshaw technique, while expanding my production of small folding knives.
Jørn Sønderskov Christensen
I regularly participate in several Danish knife-making competitions and award shows—often in categories focusing on hunting, fishing, folding knives, Samic, and the creative arts—as well as the open competition in Ludvika, Sweden.