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“Knives out” for local craftsman



Jared Oeser is an artist. He admits it has taken him several years to finally find his niche in life, but he finds making unique knives fulfills his need to express his creativity. The 6 feet 8 inches tall Oeser could easily be a professional basketball player, but did not find athletics to be his “thing.” 

“I knew a man in my teenage years who made knives. I was always intrigued by the process. After spending years as a developer and homebuilder, I reached out to this friend and he taught me how to make knives. In fact, the first knife I made was in his shop,” said Oeser.

Today, Oeser spends most of his time in his shop making knives that he can sell for as much as $13,000, with a typical knife selling for around $1,000. He forges some of the steel in his shop, but also sources Damascus steel from a friend. Damascus is a beautiful steel with striations in the metal. When asked about the handles, he opened up an organized cabinet with hundreds of pieces of wood, metal and other materials. He has a piece of Formica used in kitchens in the 1950s made by Westinghouse. It is very rare and worth hundreds of dollars because of its scarcity. He also uses mother of pearl, pieces of meteorite, walrus ivory, antler horns and more.

Recently, he entered one of his knives in a show in Texas where he won first place. The knife was auctioned and garnered $13,000. Oeser said he ships his knives all over the world. At the time of the interview, he was finishing a knife he was shipping to Singapore. 

“With the advent of Facebook in about 2011, I posted some pictures of my knives on Facebook and that was the beginning of this adventure,” he said.

When asked what sets his work apart from others, he said, “I build knives for use, whether it’s chopping wood for a shelter in the mountains or opening a package at home. I design my knives to perform a specific task. In my opinion, knives are primarily made to cut and slice. They are not made to pry, scrape or hammer. I tailor the geometry of each knife for what I believe its primary function will be. My inspiration has been drawn from many custom knife makers I have followed over the years.”

Oeser’s mission statement is “to build the highest quality handmade knives that hearken to yesteryear and have the modern flare of today. I use cutting edge materials and design to place small pieces of art in the hands of knife enthusiasts. Thus enabling them to reminisce of a time that was much simpler than today’s fast paced lifestyle.”

Oeser’s wife, Julianne, is the recipient of many of his beautiful knives with which she prepares wonderful home cooked meals for their family: Carter; triplets Maddox, Mason and Ellah; and youngest daughter Navy. The Oeser family is a unique mix of athletes, creators, kind and thoughtful friends, and neighbors.


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