Born in Cuneo in 1958, lives with his wife Simona in Chiusa di Pesio, a quiet village between hills and mountains near Cuneo.
I would like to tell you how I approached the knives’ world.
A springy storm signed my approach to the fantastic knives’ world. My wife and me were visiting an handicraft exhibition in the closed little city of Mondovì. The sky was dark and quickly it started to pour. In front of us there was a cabinet and we helped the owner to shelter it from the rain. Later we realized that in the cabinet there were some gorgeous knives, which pique up our curiosity: they were very particular, not similar to the ones we were used to see in sport stores. I asked to the person we helped some information about those knives: his name was Santino Ballestra. The storm ended but we were so fascinated, that we decided to pass the afternoon with the knives-maker, who was so friendly to answer to all our requests and curiosities.
While he explained me the materials using for knives’ production, I was more and more fascinated by that unknown world. So I decided to meet him in his workshop.
A morning I went there with lots of curiosity, in order to collect all possible information about the knives’ production. He was very available: he showed me his tools and the different components of a knife and finally the process to build it.
I came back home delighted and I wanted to produce my first knife, but in my workshop, even if I had lots of tools to work with wood and iron, I didn’t have a sandpaper machinery, so I decided to project one and to build it. I obtained a good result and nowadays, even if I bought a more professional sandpaper machinery, I continue to use the one, that I built by myself.
I finished my first knife at the end of 1997: the blade was extracted from an old broken knife of a butcher and the hilt was in box wood. Since I always like doing new experiences, I searched to produce new blades from cars’ crossbow and I associated them to some exotic woods and buck or buffalo horns, in order to obtain some respectable hunting knives.
In 1999 I took the admission exam at C.I.C and, with my great pleasure, I passed it.
In 2000 there was my first exhibition: the corporation’s exhibition at Marriot in Milano. On Saturday morning, when I had to enter in that big hall, crowded with lots of important knives-maker from every part of the world, I asked myself what I was going to do there and I wished to go away. Then, supporting by my wife, who has always been by my side during this adventure, I decided to take part to the exhibition: it was an unforgettable experience.
Many years have passed since that first exhibition, now I’m master of the Italian knives-makers’ corporation, but enthusiasm and emotion always remain the same.
I’m always pleased to welcome in my workshop people, who are interested in this gorgeous world, and I try to convey my knowledge and my passion with the same fondness, used by Santino Ballestra with me.
I produce my knives from the development of my ideas and one or more designs for the same project, till I obtain what I want. Often, during the knife’s realization, I already have new ideas, that can ameliorate my first project, above all for what concerns the materials used for the knife’s production. Generally I make a decision with the collaboration of my wife, who is my first reliable supporter, critics and advisor.