Craftsman at Work
In his workshop next to a waterfall, Palli carves knives for connoiseurs
Palli started a hobby 25 years ago. He took knife blades and carved handles for them. In the world of the mass-produced, an article made by a craftsman is something appreciated by connoisseurs in over 85 countries. It’s very different from the mass-produced equivalent. In fact, there is often no equivalent. It is unique. It has been designed, created. A lot of thought, attention to detail and care have been poured into every aspect of it and that shows in the final product. For instance, Chippendale is famed for his furniture, Stradivarius for his violins. These were craftsmen whose creations stood out of the ordinary, becoming sought-after worldwide. There will always be people who seek and treasure the unique, the one-and-only: this is also what Palli offers.
An Outdoors Man’s delight
Palli makes knives predominantly for people who love and live in the outdoors. He has made over 2,500 of them. Each one is different, each hand-crafted to perfection. What makes them different is the materials he uses for the handles.
A horse’s hoof, a reindeer’s antler, a goat’s horn, a hippo’s tooth, elm, fossilized wood, ebony - these are but a few of the materials he uses to create a knife handle. Palli is always on the lookout for new materials and he carefully brings each one to its perfection to use with a knife. Each is carefully carved - sometimes using his 65 year-old dentist drill for the delicate parts. How much patience do you have?
Could you wait for 6 years for a piece of wood to dry? Palli took a fossilized tree from the water that was turning into brown coal. He wrapped it in plastic and, for the next 6 years, regularly pricked a tiny hole with a needle in the covering to let in more oxygen. Dry it too quickly, and it would splinter and crumble to dust. When he gets it right, the wood makes a strong, beautiful addition to a handle.
Swords of Damocles
Walk into Palli’s workshop and you might find yourself sitting under about 50 blades from 2.5 cm to 15 cm in length - all hanging right over your head. Made of fine 3-layer, Damascus steel, they are work of a Danish blacksmith. Others are sourced from Norway, Sweden, Germany and as far afield as Pakistan. As you would expect, he only selects the best for the particular project he has in mind.
Made to Order, Made for Pleasure
Palli accepts custom orders and because he enjoys his craft, he also makes knives just for fun. There can be quite a competition for one of the custom rare knives.
You can find them in Brynja, the tool store on Laugavegur 29, the main shopping street and at Palli’s workshop close to the old wool factory at Álafoss in Mosfellsbær.