ON THE EDGE

ARTS KNIFE AND LEATHER WORKS – A CA­REER BORN FROM A NEED

Knives Illustrated - - Contents - STORY BY JOSHUA SWANAGON, PHO­TOS BY AR­TURO MAL­DON­ADO

For most, when you have a hobby that re­quires any kind of tool, the typ­i­cal re­sponse is to find that tool and pur­chase it. Meet Ar­turo Mal­don­ado of Arts Knife and Leather Works—not your typ­i­cal hob­by­ist. Why do I say that? Be­cause when Ar­turo was look­ing for the per­fect skin­ning knife to go along with his love of hunt­ing, he de­cided he was just bet­ter off start­ing a knife com­pany, in his Palm Har­bor, Florida home, and mak­ing one.

01 Hum­ble Begin­nings

Find­ing him­self ready to re­tire from his job as a com­mer­cial and air­brush artist, Ar­turo looked to his love of hunt­ing and taxi­dermy to find his new direc­tion. One that would take him into the world of knife­mak­ing and leather­craft.

02 The Chal­lenges

“BE­ING A NEW KNIFE­MAKER, WITH NO ONE TO LOOK TO FOR GUID­ANCE, AR­TURO WAS FORCED TO LEARN BY TRIAL AND ER­ROR.”

Be­ing a new knife­maker, with no one to look to for guid­ance, Ar­turo was forced to learn by trial and er­ror. His drive led him to tackle the chal­lenges be­fore him quickly.

03 Eclec­tic Tastes

When asked what his fa­vorite de­sign is, Ar­turo men­tioned that he re­ally doesn’t have a fa­vorite be­cause he likes all kinds of knives. But, if he had to choose, he would go with a drop point.

04 Forg­ing His Own Way

Be­ing new to the knife world and not be­ing fa­mil­iar with any of the knife­mak­ers in the in­dus­try, Ar­turo re­ally didn’t re­ally have any in­spi­ra­tion to speak of. In­stead, he de­vel­oped his own style from his own needs.

05 Ma­te­rial Pref­er­ence

Lean­ing to­wards stain­less steels, Ar­turo prefers the tough­ness and rust-re­sis­tance of D2 but likes to work with AEB-L from time to time, as well. For his han­dles, he likes to work with natural ma­te­ri­als, such as wood, bone and antler, for the beau­ti­ful fin­ish they pro­vide.

06 Cre­ative Process

Al­though he does en­joy sit­ting with pen­cil and pa­per and com­ing up with new de­signs, Ar­turo en­cour­ages cus­tomer re­quests be­cause he en­joys bring­ing their vi­sions to life.

07 The Process

Due to space is­sues, Ar­turo uses stock re­moval for all of his blades and does have some pro­duc­tion mod­els to ac­com­pany his cus­tom work.

08 Or­der­ing

If you would like one of Ar­turo’s knives, you may be sur­prised to find that the wait time is a very speedy 3-5 weeks. In very spe­cial cases, he has even been known to turn an or­der around in a cou­ple of days. KI

Right: The Pops EDC has an over­all length of 7.5 inches with a 3-inch D2 tool steel blade and stain­less bol­ster. The Pops is fin­ished nicely with fos­sil han­dle scales.

Left: This Bowie de­sign is 12.25 inches over­all with a 7.5-inch D2 tool steel blade with brass bol­ster. The Bowie is dressed in elk horn han­dle scales.

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