About me

My name is Tommy Alatalo, I'm native to the city of Luleå in Sweden, not far from the Arctic Circle. I was born in 1988 and am currently studying at LTU (Luleå Technological University) for a masters degree in the field of industrial design. Knifemaking is one of my spare time interests, although it is quickly becoming more than that after meeting with and being inspired by master bladesmith and knifemaker Mattias Styrefors. My knives are inspired by anything that catches my eye at the moment, be it the nordic landscape and climate with its many wild animals, or historic figures like the Japanese Samurai or creatures of fantasy and fiction. I prefer to use premium quality materials in my craft, such as stabilized wood and fossil mammoth and walrus tusk to compliment the effort I put into making the knife and sheath harmonize together as art.

For knife and country

Tommy in the army
Life in the army led to knifemaking

My interest in knifemaking caught wind in the spring of 2008, when I was a conscript in the swedish army, Artillery Batallion A9 in Boden. In addition to our uniforms and boots we naturally also had a knife in our standard equipment, and since it was a gang of 30 guys (and one girl) you might soon realize that it was a very competitive group of people. My fellow soldiers started buying knives, each one bigger and sharper than the last (bigger is better, right?), which was when I got an idea to try and best them all - I would make a knife of my own.

A couple of weeks later I was able to bring a brand new "Artillery Knife" into service. It had a handle of amboyna, buffalo horn and nickel silver spacers. The knife was accompanied by a folded sheath with the insignia of the Swedish Artillery imprinted on it. It was a fun first project and sparked a profound interest in knives as an art craft.

Not only did I have one of the most memorable, and perhaps best knives of the regiment, I also had a new interest and hobby to go with it.

After the smoke settled

Tommy in Ludvika
A few years later in Ludvika.

Since 2008 more tools have found their way into the toolbox, knowledge has been gathered and my interest in knifemaking is still growing stronger. The advice and guidance I've received from Mattias Styrefors, a fellow knifemaker and world renowned master blacksmith, has resulted in my abilities rising to a new level. The opportunity to work in Mattias' smithy has given me the chance to learn a lot about the process of making damascus steel blades and continuously learning the skills necessary to do it.

In October 2011 I attended my first crafts convention and displayed my knives alongside Mattias' blades and Jörgen Sundström's engraving work among others. The event was a lot of fun, meeting new people within the knifemaking community and seeing the vast interest in knives among the public was another nudge into the society of knifemakers.

My knifemaking story has just begun, and I will be sure to find my way to more knife shows, bringing new work with me, pushing the envelope further and refining my own style for my knives as an art form.