Greek Soul with a Strong Passion for Knives
If you ever worked at a restaurant, a bar, a grocery store or any other kind of job you chose just to pay for the rent, you should have learned that people working there are just temporary workers who are on transition to become what they want to become. Of course, not everyone of us has enough passion and will to fulfill our dreams. But those who dare to, shouldn’t be forgotten. I got acquainted with Evangelos Tsagkouros while taking some extra shifts at a restaurant chain serving healthy food in Reykjavik. It was not many shifts that we worked together and we didn’t get to know each other very well. It was long after we worked together that I found out that he is a knife crafter with great skills. So here’s a story of Evagelos and his innovative Krypteia knives.
It all started when I moved to Iceland in the winter of 2010 and was looking to find something to do, since I had no job. I went to a store to buy a carving knife and there I saw the brusletto knife kit. I got as excited as a small kid . I thought ”I have to buy this, it’s awesome!”. And that was the beginning. When I finished making the knife kit there was something missing from it. I realized that I wasn’t attached to it and I had the same feeling about the knife. The blade was factory made.
I always believed that the blade has a soul that is be given by its creator. A part of your feelings goes in your creations.
So there it was. I wanted to make my own knife from scratch. And this is how it started. 🙂
What inspires you?
I always liked knives and especially swords, the contact with them was triggered through traditional martial arts training and stories of heroes and warriors of the Ancient Greece.
A sword, a knife that was made especially for the hero, given by the Gods.
As Hephaestus did. So they did not have just a sword, but a sword made by Gods.
The art of handcraft is unique. The creation of the smith has his projection on it.
A part of the smith goes into it. And you can always see it and feel it. Depending on your character and your mood, your feelings are printed on what you are making in that time. It is limitless and never the same. Even if you make the same type of knife two times it cannot be the same.
P.S. As far for the design, I like to craft combative survival and self-defense knives.
Do you have a favorite knife in your own hand-made collection?
I cant say which one of my knives are my favorite, it is a hard question. It is like asking a mother to answer which of her kids are her favorite.
What is the process of making a knife?
The first part is to transfer your ideas to paper. Get a pencil and start drawing.
When you finish the design and you are happy with it, then it’s time to transfer it on the steel.
When you transfer it you start with the profiling, hole drilling, etc.
When you are done with this, you start grinding the bevels. And sanding it to prepare it for heat-treatment.
Heat-treating is the moment that you see the transformation from a simple steel to a knife.
This is the part where you give life to it. Really interesting I would say. I call it the baptism.
After you are done heat-treating, it is time for the handle and the sheath.
What material do you use for your knives?
I like a lot G10* cause of its durability and that you do not need to take much care of it.
*G10 is an epoxy based high pressure laminate that uses glass mat (thick fiber glass) for the fiber base. G10 is tougher and more water resistant than Micarta.
Do you only produce it according to your own design or by commission?
I do both. Make my own designs and also take commissions if the clients want a specific type of knife.
What type of people are the buyers of the handcrafted knives?
A handcrafted knife is something special. The users starts from simple collector to the most demanding outdoorsman.
Are there types of knives for beginners and for more experienced ones?
They is no level of experience, the only thing that you need is to respect the steel and keep your brain inside your head.
Do people need a special permission to own this type of knives?
Nope, no specific permission is needed (at least in Iceland).
Did you get interested in knives making? You can view one more video about: how to make knives.
For more details about the artist, you can visit Krypteia’s website.
Interviewed by M.Borgarbúi