My name is Tommy Alatalo, I’m native to the coastal town of Luleå in northern Sweden, not too far from the Arctic Circle. Having lived my life here it’s impossible not to have the need for a knife, be it for fishing, hunting or hiking. This is natural for most people, but somewhere along the way I found that a knife can be much more than a simple tool, it can be a display of passion, skill and a work of art. That’s the journey I’ve been on for the past decade, and there’s still a long way to go.
My interest in knifemaking sparked in early 2008 during my conscription in the Swedish Army. A knife was part of our standard equipment, though you were allowed to bring your own if you wanted something better. Since we were a group of young guys competition was inevitable. The knives brought in were getting more and more extravagant and I soon realized that the only way to come out on top would be to make my own custom knife, which I did - and here we are.
Since the humble beginnings in 2008 my craft has expanded to include things like engraving and teaching courses in leatherwork. I’ve also had the pleasure to exhibit my work at both national and international knife shows.
My knives are modern takes of traditional Scandinavian knives, or ‘Scandis’ as they’re often called. Each knife I make is one of a kind and I will not make duplicates of previous pieces.
I draw inspiraton for my knives from far and wide, I don’t adhere to a strict style or format for my projects, which I find important in order to allow room for experimention and developing the craft further. I do however find that the beauty and stillness of Nordic nature is often somehow reflected in the knives I make.
I use premium quality materials in my craft, such as exotic woods, natural antlers and fossilized materials like mammoth tusks. My knives are accompanied by leather sheaths that are custom made to fit the knife, both in terms of form and fashion.
The blades I use for my knives are generally made from damascus steel, these are premium blades made by highly skilled blacksmiths and are works of art on their own. While the blades often have intricate patterns they still have all the properties expected from an excellent cutting tool and will serve their purpose well.