Since 1997 we’ve lived towards a sustainable existence here. We are growing as much of our food as we can, 75% of our electrical needs are covered with solar energy. Our knife shop is solar powered. We make handmade working knives and tools with art from material that we’ve recovered & recycled...Great material, the best material and you can’t buy it. It’s all around us. Takes some time to process but so do a lot of things. Aki Yamamoto artist and leather worker, Scott Richardson artist and bladesmith. Read about our story in the bush in the Fireweed blog.
We live and work with the sun.
A Sun Print
The sun. 4.6 billion years old with at least that much more to go. We have dedicated ourselves when we moved here in 1997 to live and work with the sun. We started from the beginning with what we needed. We have a backup generator when clouds get in our way. From March until October everything is made with solar energy. From November through February we slow down and maintain things.
Our links page is here.
Head Saw Blade Pieces, Our Knife Steel Stock
We recovered and recycle lumber mill saw blade. We use everything, even the teeth. They left saw dust, we leave metal grindings.
High carbon steel with a molybdenum, chromium and nickel content. Some blades also include cobalt and tungsten.
Swans of the Tundra
Every few years when the water is low enough swans gather over 2 or 3 weeks in November. There were 150 on the lake. The lake froze. I’ve heard trumpeter swans don’t fly the distance that most do. They made the lake look smaller. Coming, going and feeding.
Old Saw Blade Knives
Old sawblades with no carbide teeth. With our kitchen knives, except for hand forged chef knives, cleavers and a few others, we can draw and cut patterns out like this one. For many of the kitchen knives we remove stock from lumber mill bandsaw blades and the thinner carbon steel mill circular blades instead of forging. We anneal the hardened saw blade steel, finish, re-harden and differentially temper.
With a dirt floor in the knife shop and light we have trees growing from the floor.
Rock Wall Heat Sink
A frost can come anytime here. Between June and September there are 2 or three frosts. Could be July 12th or August 2nd. We have a lot of rock. We’ve used the rock to alleviate the hit that frost inflicts in our gardens.
Every fall, crisp and cool, the best time of year, we go and fetch our firewood.
There is no time.
Dried Mushrooms Wildcraft
Foraged, cleaned and dried for winter. This year we gathered a lot of mushrooms. Mostly boletes.
Building the knife shop with logs, gas for the chainsaw and diesel for the tractor. When we build, the bonus is a winter supply of wood. Back in ‘98.
The Knife Shop in Winter
Lots of light for the shop. Rather than fill in the walls and install windows and lights we covered the walls with ultraviolet protected 6mm plastic. Still need a few lights and we use a few more sticks of firewood.
Old Truck Wrecks, A Source For Carbon Steel
Automobile wrecks are a great source for us. We recover leaf and coil springs for knives and tools.
this is ours. Elbow room.
In a space between a big sky and a dwindling forest.
Saw Blade Drafting Table
Drafting out patterns for knives and woodcarving tools. Each knife and tool we make starts here, on the saw blade. This is a piece of headsaw.
Big 2 Metre Lumber Mill Head Saw Blade
These big saw blades are obsolete. We found a few tucked in behind some equipment in a large lumber mill 20 years ago. The blade keepers (filers) keep them hidden.
Today mills cut big logs with big band saws.
Kai and Scott foraging. The boreal forest burns hot and fast. On average we burn 4 or 5 cords a winter. We cook on a wood stove, heat with a wood heater and bathe in the wood heat in our sauna.