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Arpad Bojtos (Slovakia) knife carving artist


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Hello everyone,


Thought I should introduce a great but very modest European

knife artist living in Slovakia, who hand carves his knives. The Blade, the

bolsters the handle and the sheah - carving steel, ivory, bone, wood or gold,

his work is created using only manual hand tools, no power equipment!


Attached is a close-up view of both sides of the carved bolster on a knife

Arpad made specially for my recently published book on Custom Fixed-Blade

Knives. Many pieces made by him are displayed on 8 pages in the book....


Here is the description of the process of making this knife and details about

the knife itself. Arpad can be contacted at: bojtos@stonline.sk


Making the “Buffalo Hunterâ€

After creating the rough shape of the knife, the steel is heated to a temperature

of 860°C for 45 minutes to obtain the relative softness needed for carving. Bojtos

doesn’t like to use vices, so he uses the pitch-pan to hold the the blade steady while

carving. He first carefully plans the designs, and then draws them on the steel using

felt-tip markers. A rough carving of the relief is made with hammer and chisels.

The relief is then "cleaned" using files and scrapers, and Arpad proceeds to carve in

the fine details. Finally the three-dimensional picture is cleaned out and finished

using sandpaper and grinding pastes. After heat treating the steel, Arpad fixes the

handle slabs to the knife with 14k gold pins.

Arpad spends a great amount of time researching a subject and begins to visualize

the design for a knife long before he actually starts working on it. He sketches again

and again while discussing his designs with his wife, Daniela, and daughter, Zuzana,

who are his first and severest critics. It sometimes takes him months, even years,

before he makes the final drawings for a new knife. Only then does he begin to choose

suitable materials for the handle and sheath. It is an unwritten rule with Arpad not to

use walrus or narwhale ivory for a tropical design or exotic woods and elephant Ivory

when carving an arctic scene. Old trees are often a dominant feature in his carving, as

his work space overlooks the town's park, with many of its hundred-year-old trees

in full view.


"Indian Buffalo Hunter", 2004

A Semi-Integral made of 440 C steel. The handle material is Cocobolo wood, and the

sheath is made of one piece of hollowed-out Cocobolo wood, with silver fittings darkened

by sulphuric acid. The buffalo skulls on the sheath are carved mammoth ivory.

Overall length 9 2/8" (240 mm).

Arpad says:"For this knife, as I often do for my knife carvings, I chose a theme related

to native tribes and their association with the surrounding wildlife. Since I like to combine

both human and animal elements, I think this is a typical knife of mine".


Hope you enjoyed this,




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Thank you David for introducing us to Arpad and his amazing work. He is one of my favorites in your new book. I love the bold quality of his work that is so full of vitality and energy. Might you post the photos from your book showing the carving sequence and also the pitch bowl and tools?

Perhaps they would work best in the "Techniques" category. Please convey my regards to Arpad.

Is it possible for him to participate in the forum?


Also, for those interested I would like to post information on David's beautiful new book, Custom Fixed-Blade Knives. It has very many pieces that are carved and several how-to sequences.


The distributor in the USA:

Sandra Scalise Juneau

Saviolo Publishing House

Mandeville, Louisiana 70470-2675, USA

Phone: (985) 792-0115 • Fax: (985) 792-0199



It will sell for $65 including shipping in the USA

until the NY ECCKS in March where the book will

be officially introduced.

After that it will sell for $65 + shipping & handling

and at full price ($85 +...) from the end of July.


David, I also wonder if any of the book can be seen on-line?

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Thanks Jim for mentioning my book. On my USA distributor's website

(http://www.saviolopublisher.com) one can find and

download seven complete 8 page sections from my book, among them Arpad

Bojtos' 8 pages.

The book is "Art and Design In Modern Custom Fixed-Blade Knives"

and you can find all this in the book review section at:



By the way everyone is invited to the exciting "happening" of introducing the

book to the public on March 4-6th at the NY East Coast Custom Knife Show (ECCKS).

It will take place at the Park Central Hotel New York, which is at

870 Seventh Avenue at 56th Street.


In Arpad's section you can see three of stages in the carving of the bolster

and some of the tools he uses. I think the Art of Paul Jarvis will also be of great

interest to all of you who so wondrously shape objects of great beauty. He has

actually invented most of the tecniques he uses to create art knives....


And, since Jim seems too modest to mention this, there is also a most beautiful 6 page

section in the book that goes under the title of "The Knife Art of Jim Kelso"....


David (ddd)

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