Dave Larsen’s Knives: Form and Function



Everything has a form and a function, and everything has a story of some kind. A knife is no different. It tells a story in the precision of its crafting, or the imprecision. The choice of materials, each of which came from somewhere specific, hints at setting and context: “Black lip pearl overlay,” “Madagascar Rosewood.” The function of a particular knife contributes to the plot. People suggest narrative, yes, but the things people make also suggest narrative. And a secret history. And, often, conflict.

My friend Dave Larsen’s knives , which he’s taking to his first knife show soon, have a beauty to them that makes me want to write, in a strange way. They suggest narrative to me. And seeing the care he takes in creating them helps me better understand the care he takes in reading, and, to some small extent, why he likes what he likes in books.

Dave’s been a good friend and my gun-knife expert for my fiction for a long time now. His advice is as precise as his knives, too. I’m very lucky to have him as a reader and resource.

An excerpt from a conversation with Dave: “”I’m sure that we get a similar catharsis and satisfaction from the act, and share a feeling of anti-climax when a project is completed. I know that I feel a similar uncertainty when I finish a knife to what you expressed when you [re-read a novel]. Nothing man makes is ever perfect. Navajo weavers acknowledge this, and incorporate an intentional flaw in every rug. That’s how you can tell a ‘real’ one from a tourist-market rug. Its purpose is to release any bad karma that’s built up during its creation. I don’t intentionally incorporate any flaws in my work, but honestly, I have given it some thought. There must be a way that would contribute to – or at least not detract from – a knife’s appearance.”