After working as an artist creating bronze and stone sculpture for over 20 years, I am now focused on making one-of-a-kind, heirloom quality, chef and camp knives. My training as a professional chef has informed my insight into creating fine chef knives. As an outdoorsman, I know the value of a expertly crafted knife. My goal is to make fine knives that will inspire people to create culinary wonders with joy, and embolden other outdoorsmen & women with confidence.
The possibilities in manipulating hot metal seem endless. I'm inspired to create beautiful knives, built for performance by:
* using simple, hand held tools
* by working in a slow, meditative manner
* and by consciously creating sacred space in my studio
I specialize in making integrally forged knives from round and square bar stock. The traditional chef knives of Europe, France, and Japan are intriguing to me, and I've taken on the challenge of forging some of my own adaptations of these old world patterns. Camp knives are a joy to create, and I've come to realize that just about any style and size of knife can be a "camp knife".
I owe much of my success to my mentor, Master Metalsmith Tai Goo. I forged my first knife under his direction in 2006,....and in 2016, Tai Goo bestowed on me the title, Master Bladesmith. To this day I consider Tai Goo to be my Mentor, but in a heart-felt-way, consider him to be one of my very best friends. We talk on a regular basis, and I visit his studio regularly, to spend time, enjoy life, and share our creative spirits and ideas, as they relate to life, art and knives.
I invite you to visit California Custom Knives often to share in my journey.
Blessings of Goodness and Peace to you All. -DON:)
More about Don Andrade
My name is Don Carlos Andrade. I am a bladsmith maker, sculptor, chef and teacher living in Los Osos, California. I have been formally trained as a chef and sculptor.
From 1988 to 2001, my primary focus was in casting unique sculpture in bronze. I began carving stone sculptures in 1995. I was an instructor at Cuesta Community College, in the art department, where I taught stone carving From 1999 to 2004. I began to apprentice with master metalsmith Tai Goo in 2006.
My interest in handmade knives began in 1985 when I entered culinary school in Los Angeles. There I saw my first custom knife made entirely by hand. Eventually, I began to buy and sell one-of-a-kind knives to educate myself in cutlery. Inspecting the various knives and testing them in the kitchen and in the outdoors informed me about the value of a well-made knife. I discovered what I liked about certain styles of knives and found that knives created from carbon steel often out-performed those made from stainless steel. As I tested and collected knives, I became interested in bladesmithing, and I made my first knife in 2006.
Bladesmithing involves a blend of skills that draw on my previous experiences as a sculptor, including my background in fabricating and casting metals. Recently, I have focused on knives for the kitchen and camp. I enjoy creating integral knives forged from round stock and will continue to produce them for the the joy of making them. It was that first handmade chef knife that captivated me back in 1985.
Many thanks go out to my mentor Tai Goo for watering the roots of my bladesmithing practice. His willingness to share technical guidance and friendship is a blessing.
I hope you enjoy your visit to California Custom Knives.
Sincerely, Don Andrade