Our Specialty is Handcrafted Turquoise Jewelry
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Dave Kopec Custom Knives


About the Artist - Biography



Most of Dave's life he has been intrigued by knives and especially custom knives. Dave has always dream of making custom Turquoise handled knives, and now he makes custom Turquoise handled knives regularly as well as other stunning knives. Following a summary of his story.

Dave & his wife Mary Beth have lived and worked in Colorado for 45 years along with their 3 sons. Both are retired now, he having worked for Lockheed Martin as an engineer in the Analytical Mechanics/Structual Dynamics section for over 30 years, and she as a nurse.

Interest in knives of all kinds has been a hobby of his for almost 20 years now, having started with the purchase of many factory knives for his display case and personal use, then gradually expanding to include custom or modified knives. It was during his first purchases of special handled knives, with various exotic woods and stones, that he began to think that it was possible for him to reproduce these types of knives himself. Having always been a "learn by doing" person, he purchased some simple equipment, did a lot of reading, and then plunged into modifying knives for himself and for others as gifts. His efforts at first were just simple handle inlays of mixed wood and reconstructed stone/pearl/opal since these were fairly easy to cut and finish with simple tools. After this became routine he decided to branch out and try real materials even though the "recon" materials and real wood looked and worked well. Pearl shells and softer rocks were next tried with good success, but it became obvious better equipment was needed, since the effort to process these harder materials was almost too much for his limited equipment. Even then, precious gems were added to many of his knives as an additional feature which required learning stone setting skills.

With the purchase of his first real raw turquoise rock, it soon became apparent that lapidary equipment was required. There was no turning back now because the love of the blue and green rocks had taken hold of him, as it has for many, The knives you see presented now are a result of obtaining and learning to properly use lapidary equipment and a passion for make stunning, all natural turqoise knives.

Dave chose Durango Silver as the exclusive outlet for his efforts since they are known to deal in only top quality, all natural stones, and they are also miners and jewelers themselves. As far as he knows no one else makes complete knive handles of real, unaltered, natural turquoise. There is good reason for this. The cost of the turquoise is steep, not to mention the tremendous effort to process the raw rock into a form usable for handles, and the final inlay and fitting of stones. The passion for doing this continues unabated, with new techniques and actual inlay pictures now a part of the handles thru the use of stones from different mines, along with "slabachon" handles of freeform polished turquoise nuggets.

Dave has said all his knives are one of a kind, and not reproduced again. He wants people to see these knives and be overwhelmed by the sheer mass of finished turquoise in one place, AND also have one of man's oldest tools at his side. .

About the CPM-SV330 Steel Blades Dave Uses