Working making tools or art.

Working making tools or art.

A strange sensation has been dwelling deep inside me for what I just realized has been more than 5 years. In late 2012 I joined a few good friends in visiting the New York Museum of Arts and Design. We walked the floors of the museum until stumbling unto the most amazing exhibit. The work by artist Daniel Brush. What I saw was a lot of different artworks ranging from ink on paper to jewelry like sculptures.  I was breath taken by the combination by simplicity and complexity that I never seen before. Walking the large exhibition of what I later learned was a 40 year retrospective of all aspects of the artists work.

What in particular had my interest was these small metal object hanging on the walls maybe 5” by 5” in size. Amazing small art pieces made from what appeared to be steel and gold. Each with a very distinctive surface texture and a weird golden hue . Something I never had seen before. Amazed and confused was probably the best describtion of what I was feeling. I simply could not understand what I was looking at - how it was made or with what tools. As it happened a custodian must have seen my deep interested and pointed out that the artist was present it the room and ended up talking with him about his artwork for the better part of an hour. I got somewhat viser but at the same time maybe even more confused. He explained how he was using vintage tools and machines combined with an extreme patience to create his amazing art. To this day I am still amazed and have a tremendous admiration for his work.

So what has that to do with anything you may ask. Well For one thing thing I believe the sensation sparked in me was a desire to do more. A spark that has been growing to pursue the art in what I do while not compromising my desire to make tools that can be used.  A good comparison is my fascination with japanese craftsmanship. Even the most simple little objects are decorated tastefully with a high focus on detail. Something I really enjoy in both my own work and others. While I believe I will always focus on making tools I realize regardless of what I may think and desire a lot of my work ends up being admired more than they are being used. I have always been extremely thankful for being able to do what I do. It would not be possible if not for my many customers. It is because of them I get to do exactly what I want to do each and every day.

I have always found a big joy in mixing simplicity with complexity. Designing and making a piece that appears simple but contains a level of complexity not easily seen is probably something that drives me. I am finding more and more joy in in pursuing the detail of things and found that by working on pieces like the Extreme Mojo years back was one of the most satisfying projects I have ever done. Challenging myself and succeeding was extremely rewarding.  Working on a concept level for weeks before even knowing if the project would succeed or not was a daunting exercise.

I realized while working on one of my most recent pieces, the NEXUS Dagger that I once again was pursuing a project where I was in doubt if it would work out or not. Working towards a deadline (The Tactical Invitational in Las Vegas) only made in even more daunting. While not as complex as the Mojo Extreme in construction it still held tons of firsts for me and because of that posed a tremendous challenge.

Having been making knives fulltime for the past 16 years I need to constantly challenge myself and I recently refund the challenge in the pieces I have been making in the past few months. The NEO´s and the NEXUS dagger has yet again sparked a newfound enthusiasm and desire to jump into the deep end. I feel I have only scratched the surface of whats to come. I have received an amazing response from new and old customers and look forward to seeing what the future will bring in this regard.


Jens Ansø

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