Swedish Maker Showcases Craftsmanship in Award-Winning Work

Knifemaker Anders Högström is coming off a majorly successful Blade Show, having reeled in two of the biggest awards for a custom bladesmith with a single knife: Best in Show and Best Fixed Blade. Högström tells us the award marks the end of a knife project 15 years in the making.

The award-winning knife is a Persian-style fighter, but stands out because the Swedish craftsman pulled out all the stops in terms of materials. He ground the fighter’s blade by hand from a piece of Turkish Twist Damascus. The striking steel was custom-forged for Högström by Jerry Rados 15 years earlier. “Some pieces, both steels and handle materials, are saved that long until the right moment or idea strikes and it feels ‘right’ using that particular material,” Högström explains.

Högström carved molds in wax for the silver fittings before casting them himself. He fastened the walrus fossil handle with countersunk sterling silver pins and embellished it with bronze decorations. Högström even lavished attention on the knife display, using a piece of natural granite for the base fastened on a mounting board. Both the board and the ‘arm’ that holds the knife have been cast in a molten bronze, leaving them with an unusual ‘dripping’ finish. The total effect is a knife that is both refined and rustic, with a hand-finished look that combines both Nordic and Eastern influences.

Högström Persian Fighter

“This was highly experimental on several levels and I’m thrilled it turned out like I had envisioned,” Högström tells us. The dual award came as a pleasant shock. “I was quite surprised, very happy, and to get two awards for the same piece is not entirely common as far as I know.” Högström notes that no matter how proud a maker is of a piece, gauging the way buyers and viewers react to it is next to impossible. “How a piece affects other people, viewers of my work or hardcore collectors, one never can predict. This one greatly appealed it seems,” he says with a laugh.

Högström’s catalog includes swords, folders, fixed blades, and more. As many makers lean into modern technologies like CNC and waterjet, Högström continues to emphasize handwork. He doesn’t consider his style ‘old-school’ or ‘historic,’ but does believe in the special qualities of slower, less mechanized processes. “I do most of my work by hand – with files and handheld tools,” he says. “I have belt grinders, drill presses and bandsaws but all operations are done manually. I’m a craftsman and artist enjoying my line of work and what I’m able to produce this way is it.”

Anders Högström Fixed Blade

Orders can still be placed for custom projects, but we may see some more affordable Högström designs someday soon. Högström’s last production collaboration, the Böker KingPin folder, came out a few years ago, and the company is scheduled to realize another of his designs. “We are currently working on a collaboration on one of my fighter designs,” Högström says.

Knife featured in image: Högström Knives Persian Fighter (All images by SharpByCoop)