I grew up in Southern California in a family full of artists and engineers. Theater, music, art, performance, mechanics, aerospace, and business management were all a part of my life. Family gatherings almost always included 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cousins and LOTS of food. Growing up, I split my time between the arts and sciences, and eventually earned a BA degree in Theater before moving to Colorado. Once here, I went back to school and spent over 20 yrs as a design and manufacturing engineer, making lots of hand tools for people working on production lines for hours at a time. In the middle of that career came The Recession, where I rediscovered my love of cooking and realized that my own kitchen tools were lacking. Knives are the primary hand tool of the chef, and one might spend hours prepping meals with a single, favorite knife. My focus was drawn to improve what I saw as omissions of small-but-important details from knife designs and materials.
I've picked materials that perform for greatly extended lengths of time without requiring constant attention. I use stainless tool steel (D2) because it's extremely hard and incredibly tough, and keeps its edge for a long time without maintenance. Most knife makers don't use it because the features that make it useful also make it very difficult and time-consuming to work with. I use natural hardwoods for the handles because wood provides the best feel and control in the hand, and the best weight balance for the knife. Wood takes much more time to prepare for kitchen use than plastics or laminates, but the results are definitely worthwhile.
Along with incorporating technical functionality, I also include an artist's eye for beauty. Each knife becomes a piece of functional art. All of the lines flow. All of the contours look and feel natural. The woods are beautiful to look at and hold, and I cut matched pieces for grain patterns that flow across the knife from one side to the other. I also make my own mosaic pins as a personal accent for each knife.