Matti Kunelius, born 1984. I'm silversmith artesan and bladesmith living in Kokkola, Finland. I was born in a small town called Halsua, where my bladesmithing shop still is located.
Nowadays terms "handmade" or "made by hand" are often associated with items loosely handcrafted, where items may have, at some point, travelled through human hands at the factory conveyor belt. I design and produce my work always 100% by hand, many times beginning from the materials. I believe that both when designing and manufacturing, a touch of the human hand gives the object in question - whether it is a piece of jewellery or a knife - a life giving force that makes it alive, timeless and valuable - that keeps it's merit within this disposable-society, over time and from generation to generation.
Making things by hand has always been close to my heart. In handicrafts I was originally interested in woodworking, which was practiced in my family. At some point while surfing the internet I stumbled upon hand made knives and puukkos which led me to damascus steel, that I found to be especially fascinating. I began teaching myself about forging, steels and damascus first by reading everything I could find in books and in the internet and then started learning the actual forging by trial and error. In this field I am fully self educated.
Finally I got so deeply immersed in metalworking that I decided to apply to study as a silversmith artesan in Toholampi artesan institute, year 2009. That was truly revelating time for me, working with all the equipment you would possibly need and learning from the greatest teachers. While studying there I also got the priviledge to serve a two month apprenticeship in Tokyo, Japan with a traditional metalworking master.
I'm intrigued with different challenging special techniques, mokume gane for example, which I've also learned by myself. In my work I feel enticed to combine different metals and alloys together creating contrasts between their colour, shapes and textures.
Japanese influences show up in my work in many ways besides the metal carving and inlay techniques I was taught there. Eastern beauty conceptions and special techniques with their awe-inspiring millennial traditions are a great source of inspiration for me. In my work I try to bring them together with Finnish and Scandinavian spirit.