Wildcraft Knives Mixes Primitive Flair into Custom Fixed Blades

Olivia Garriga of Wildcraft Knives is putting out handmade fixed blades that blend handmade artistry with a focus on utility.

In the knife community, the word ‘custom’ can mean many different things. When it comes to a Wildcraft knife, the emphasis is on traditional techniques. “My knives are rustic, brute de forge style with a primitive flair,” Garriga tells us (the term ‘brute de forge’ refers to when a maker leaves the texture from hammer blows on a forged knife). Garriga’s work exude an old world aesthetic that is further heightened by natural scale materials and leather sheathes, at least some of which will begin to be made by leather artist Twyla Feinbloom. “I like to use mostly natural materials in my handle designs and to leave as many hammer marks in the blade as possible,” Garriga says.

Most Wildcraft knives aim to be ready-for-anything EDC fixed blades, inspired by the role knives played in Garriga’s own life. “As I got older and started travelling by myself and hitchhiking, knives were essential for my safety,” she explains. “My knife gave me a sense of confidence and security while living on the street while trying to get my life back together.” Garriga frankly admits she never expected to have the stability that would allow her to make knives of her own, but eventually that day came. “Once I saved up enough, I bought a forge, a hammer, and a pair of tongs.”

Thus began a long learning process, without any sort of structured instruction. “I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, but taught myself how to make knives by trial and error,” says Garriga. That improvisational quality helped her learn. “As I progressed little by little, I was able to buy better tools and just tried to learn something new every time I made another knife.”

A glance on social media will show there are more male knife makers than female ones. Garriga sums up her view of her place in the knife world succinctly. “I’d like to think of myself just as a knifemaker, that happens to be a woman.” She says that she has seen the knife world extend hospitality and support regardless of gender. “The sexism usually doesn’t come from other knife makers, but from men who are just stuck in a traditionalist mindset where women are supposed to serve and abide by men,” she notes.

We also asked Garriga if she had any plans to branch into production collaborations. But other than working with Feinbloom she has no desire to enter into the collaborative realm. “I generally like to work by myself because I can be pretty controlling over certain details or design.” Similarly, the chance of a Wildcraft folder at this point is slim to none. “I have owned and carried many folding knives, but my passion is fixed blades. I won’t make something I have no interest in because I won’t give it my all.”

Knife in Featured image: Wildcraft Knives Fixed Blade with Sheath by Twyla Feinbloom