Photo by T. Kardin Knives doc.
Passionate with the beauty of knife craftsmanship, Teddy Kardin tried pioneering the establishment of handmade custom knifes in the early 1990s. His creation of military knives has gained worldwide recognition in Brunei Darussalam, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Qatar and the US.
Tucked away in the northern region of Bandung lies the Kardin’s family workshop (1,000 sqm), with 30 employees that manufacture the product. Every month, hundreds blades are produced and distributed worldwide.
Since 2015, Rangga Kardin has been designing the military and tactical blades. However for the father and son, it’s not just a matter of sharp knives that make their creations special.
Kardin believes it is his father’s experience as a geologist in the Sumatera and Papua jungles. His involvement in the 1988 East Timor military operation has contributed greatly to T. Kardin Knives’s venture.
T.Kardin Knives uses D2, 440C stainless steel following the American Iron Standard Institute (AISI). They are continuously innovating materials and designs, based on the development of the knife industry.
The company has also gained its unique reputation for its indigenous- themed patterns engraved onto the surface of the knives and its leather cover — the Dayak and Javanese motives. The unique curves of the handmade knives has become Kardin’s signature flair.
“The result of our artistry generates about 1,500 custom knives a year, including hunting knives, millitary knives, traditional knives and kitchen knives,” Kardin says.
One example is the Jungle Combat Bowie knife that was specially designed for the US Green Berets for the joint military practice with Indonesian Special Forces and Army Kopassus.
The creation process of the knife is simple but requires patience. First the blade is painted with a black finish onto which a specific design that is pencilled. The engraving will then follow the unique pattern and will be etched before it is re- polished with layers of paint.
“I believe the potential of blade craftsmanship is big,” Rangga says. “Not only for the function, but the values behind the indigenous-theme design tells us the culture and history of Indonesia.”