Herman Kraft - Damascus knife making

Master: Herman Kraft, Timber Lake
Apprentice: Jett Kraft, Timber Lake
Art Form: Damascus knife making

Herman Kraft, a retired Timber Lake farmer, started making knives over 20 years ago. He specializes in the Damascus technique which involves forging many layers of steel and nickel together, then cutting the metal to reveal swirling topographic designs in the contrasting colors. For this apprenticeship he worked with his grandson Jett Kraft, who used to hang around the shop but had never put in focused time learning the Damascus technique.

Three knives in a vertical row. Steel blades facing right, wooden handles facing left.

Damascus knives.

Three men standing in a row (from left: Kevin Willey, Jeff Kraft, and Herman Kraft - teacher).

Kevin Willey, Jett Kraft and Herman Kraft at Herman’s farm outside Timber Lake.