Jacob Hankamer is a creator of gorgeous knives. His knives are considered works of art and, in that respect, he is in great company among the 315 participating artists in the 2010 Open Studios Art Tour. In fact, Jacob is a first-time participant in Open Studios so seeing his work will be a new treat for all.

Jacob grew up in Santa Cruz; his mother, father, stepmother and stepfather are all UCSC professors. Jacob has always been a sculptor; his late grandmother was an art teacher as well as his greatest inspiration and critic.

Jacob lost his leg to Osteo-sarcoma at age 17, but remains active and is a celebrity at De Laveaga Disc Golf Park as well as among Hacky-Sack Volleyball players. This type of activity destroyed numerous crutches in record time, so a few years ago, he teamed up with Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster Bicycles to design a sturdier pair, which he still has.

Jacob got into knifemaking to create a Christmas gift for his father. Growing up, Jacob had always appreciated his father’s immensely sharp carbon steel steak knives, which, in recent years, were being honed and sharpened into exquisite pins. So Jacob hunted far and wide for a replacement set, but could only find blanks needing handles. He had some flat slices of ebony wood that were given to him by a  local guitar maker for kindling. Jacob saved them, combined the idea of creating the knives with the idea of using the ebony wood, and subsequently became addicted. A knife-maker was born.

The vast majority of Jacob’s materials are found objects, particularly the wood he uses in his handles. His knives are almost exclusively for use in the kitchen as he comes from a family of foodies and was trained in a bistro on Martha’s Vineyard. In fact, Jacob is such a good cook, his friends are afraid to invite him over for one of their own meals!

Contact Jacob here

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