Andrew Jordan was born in London in 1962 and was educated at Millfield, where his exceptional skills in metalwork and art were soon noticed. After four years in the British Parachute Regiment, he attended art college to study industrial design, his first career was as a modelmaker for Britain´s top architects and film-makers, which instilled in him the need for precision and the attention to detail that can be seen in his blades.
Andrew´s fascination with steel began early in life - his grandfather was a blacksmith and knifemaker, and he taught Andrew the basics of forging steel at the age of five. Andrew has a lifelong fascination with European arms and armour, and especially the techniques used to create swords in the 4th to 11th Centuries. When he was ready to fulfil his dream to become a bladesmith, he applied and was accepted as a deshi (apprentice) to Kunihira Kawachi in Japan. He explains ´I wanted to learn medieval sword making and I realised that the only unbroken tradition lay with the Japanese masters´.
[see picture Japan]
He studied for two years in Japan until personal reasons brought him back to Europe, where he settled in the Netherlands. He won the Don Hastings scholarship to study with the ABS school in Arkansas and acknowledges the help and guidance provided by Rob Hudson and Daryl Meier. He experimented with techniques in steel-making and forging for six years before winning ´Best in Show´ at the München show in 2002 with a Bowie and again in 2003 with a Saex. He is now a full-time smith and attends shows all over Europe and America. His work is becoming well known through many articles in La Passion des Couteaux, Messermagazin, Hephaistos, Katana, military magazines and a 30 minute documentary called ´Messen´ made for Dutch television in 2003.
All of Andrew´s blades are hand-forged, tempered and finished to the customer´s requirements. While hand-made blades are more expensive and slower to make, his view is that you cannot guarantee the structural quality of the steel or the subtle physical characteristics of the blade if you start from a pressed steel blank.
He aims for elegance and visual harmony in his blades as well as perfect balance in the hand. However, his philosophy is simple: ´I strive for the union of art and craft. It is not enough for a blade to be beautiful - above all it must be functional´. As well as creating blades with multiple zones of hardness (hamon) and full tangs, he works on the compression of the steel through the blade and the tang so that the knife is ´tuned´. All of his creations, from the basic pocket knife to the most beautiful Renaissance dagger, are working blades.
He is fascinated by the Anglo-Saxon tradition of pattern welding and combines historical and scientific research with experimentation to re-create blades of that era: one of his commissions for 2006 is a reproduction of a Viking sword from the Finnish National Museum. He believes that most modern copies are technically far inferior to the originals, and has adopted the Japanese philosophy that a reproduction must be as least as good as its source if it is to honour the original maker.
He mostly uses tamahagane (bloom) steel, 15N20 / 12842 for his pattern-welded blades or Ludemann steels for his simpler knives. One of his best-selling ranges is a military blade he designed for the elite Royal Marine Commandos, and he makes a full range of knives from folders, utility knives, hunting knives, military blades, collector´s blades and Dark Ages swords. He divides his time between making standard forged knives and collector´s pieces.
You can see examples of Andrew´s art and learn more about the techniques he uses at www.jordanknives.com.
If you would like to order a knife from Andrew Jordan please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him directly via email@example.com.
Andrew is a member of the DUTCH METALWORKERS UNION and the DEUTSCHE MESSERMACHER GILDE.