Thai Knife Artisans
Early in the 1800’s, goldsmiths and blacksmiths from Laos settled in the province of Ayutthaya in Thailand due to the access to markets and plentiful wood. The sword is a weapon that has been paired with warriors since ancient times. When the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya, the Aranyik village started making swords for the Thai resistance forces and were famed for their superior craftsmanship. Today, swords have given way to top-quality knives as well as silverware and tools.
For over 200 years, these artisans have handcrafted each knife. Made with stainless steel or forged steel and pradu wood, each one is unique and truly countertop worthy. Families have formed co-operatives and have skilled workers for each part of the process from forging, grinding, stamping, woodwork and finishing.
The process to make a sword or a knife is as follows:
Cutting and chopping the metal. The smith measures the metal to the size needed, then fires the section until it is red hot. Tongs are used to place the metal on the anvil, and it is cut with a cold chisel and then fired again before chopping obliquely along the length of the metal.
Blacksmiths call the next stage “Daeng” (Red). The metal is repeatedly heated again until it is red hot and hammered flat - one section at a time - from the thick end to the tip until the desired shape is achieved.
Sharpening the blade is tremendously important and the smith’s proficiency is vital. The edge of the blade is fired until it is the color of a piglet. The sharp blade is plunged into a tub of water and then heated again until the color changes from white to yellow. Again, it is cooled in water to achieve a strong sharp knife.