Koi Knives - Aussies playing with Japanese Steel

Beauty emerges from the ashes

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The Koi Knives handles crafted from Anderson Hill vines behold a story of how beauty was created from a devastating natural disaster.

South Australia’s Adelaide Hills are a beautiful place to live and visit. With green landscapes, stunning views, large rural properties, along with world renown wine regions less than 30 minutes from the CBD, they are a place like no other. However, for those living in the area, the threat of bushfires each summer are very real, and in recent years have caused great tragedy for a number of small towns.

After the devastation of the December 2019 Adelaide Hills bushfires, Anderson Hill vineyard owners, Ben and Claire, lost around 45% of their vines due to smoke and fire damage.

While visiting the Lenswood vineyard and cellar door a few months after the fires that burned over 25,000 hectares of land, destroyed many homes and vehicles and claimed one man’s life, Shannon Dolman, was deeply saddened to learn how his friends had been impacted.

As Ben told Shannon, knife maker and Koi Knives co-owner, about the significant amount of ruined vines that had to be uprooted, his creative juices began to flow. With Ben’s permission, Shannon took a pile of the destroyed shiraz and chardonnay vines to the Koi Knives arborist to be cut down to size, cast in resin and crafted into knife handles.

“We wanted to create some beauty from the ashes,” explained Shannon.

The vine wood handles were paired with Japanese Damascus steel to make Japanese Knives including the Sujihiki, Petty, Gyuto, Bunka, Kiritsuke and Paring knives. A serrated bread knife was also produced.

Shannon describes the end result as "a work of art". "From an absolutely devastating event we were able to create something beautiful again," he said. "The dark vine wood contrasts beautifully with the different coloured resins, adding character and special sentimental value to make a truly unique knife like no other."

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