My name is Andreas Kalani… I creates knives and cutlery that celebrate the natural beauty of steel and complimentary organic or handmade materials. Each one is formed by practical and graceful design and all are crafted to be visually appealing and life-lasting.
As an artisan, my own outside-the-box designs and smithing allow for adaptations to satisfy my clients needs while feeding my personal passion for pairing fashionable form with practical performance. Concealed within every one of AK Custom Knives’ creations are the individual elements of life-lasting quality and permanence that I’ve learned from my mentor and by my own independent study through the restoration of antique and heirloom knives.
My professional background of 30 years includes graphic design, web and software development, marketing and social networking, storyboards and technology prototyping. I’m an attentive and thoughtful person who is also a highly-motivated, hard working, successful designer, artist, craftsman and now… aspiring maker of knives.
Everything I was doing in the corporate world was for the success of the larger company, that’s the way it should be… But I needed balance, I needed to be grounded. That corporate experience actually motivated my largely self-taught initial knife-making efforts. Soon after, my instincts drove me to seek a mentor… Now, after 8 years of self-study (trial and error blade-smithing), I’ve walked away from the protection of a corporate career to pursue my passion as an artisan blade smith. Working with the guidance of experienced Journeyman Smith Mike Tyre, I am further inspired to leave a legacy of beautiful knives and cutlery… each one executed by hand and forged to last for generations. Today I am a member of the Southern california Blades Knife Collectors Club, California Knifemakers Association, and the American Bladesmith Society where I’m currently working to achieve the “Journeyman Smith” level, followed by the “Master Smith” designation.
I’m attracted to mixed media… Since childhood I’ve been using metal and wire to create sculpture and jewelry. My introduction to knife making was on a truly small scale. I started making miniature swords and knives for my AndyMan series of wire sculptures. AndyMan is one of my original artistic creations. I hand twist wire into posed human forms. My AndyMan sculptures have captured the attention of well-known galleries in Europe and Southern California. These galleries have included AndyMan along with my miniature pieces in their displays. As my skills in sculpture and miniatures progressed it was a natural evolution to scale my knives up, making them practical for human hands.
As an outdoorsman and home chef, I am always on the lookout for useful and efficient equipment that’s both reliable and matches my personality. After researching the market I discovered some pretty good blades and tools; many were practical but most lacked the style and fashion to match its owners personality. When making decisions about clothing for work or play, furniture for the home or office and even motor vehicles, function, style, color and accessories matter; they can make or break a purchase. I believe these same principles apply to knives and cutlery alike as these tools can be just as personal and reflective of their owners lifestyle. That was the catalyst, the kicker that started my avocation in handmade custom knives, kitchen and butcher cutlery, along with survival equipment that is creative, innovative and practical as much as visually attractive.
My standards are very high. Each knife is an extension of myself. All of my blades and accessories are handmade American tools, forged and crafted from the highest quality domestically sourced raw materials. Art is my passion, when you put one of my knives in your hand you are holding my energy, frozen in a practical and very functional art form. Each one requires many hours of thought, labor and patience; I become personally attached and each one is hard to let go. In the end it is my fashionable design, perfectionist attitude and attention to detail which make my work unique.