Skate Shank knives

Author: Maggie Scardifield
Photography: Ben Hansen

Skater and designer Rowland Perry combines his talents in cutting-edge kitchen tools.

Rowland Perry hasn't been making knives for very long, but as a kid growing up fishing and hunting in rural New Zealand, he always had the need for a blade. A friendly competition with his dad to make a knife in 2013 prompted the now Sydney-based designer to start Skate Shank, a backyard business refashioning old skateboards into bespoke kitchen tools.

Why skateboards, Rowland?
I've been skateboarding since I was eight or nine and I'm 30 now so it's definitely played a huge part in my life. Sanding a skateboard back, you don't necessarily know what's on the other side. Different colours come through - a layer of black laminate, then a natural colour, then a pink or a green - it's a nice surprise.

Has your work as a production supervisor at Dinosaur Designs influenced your approach?
I've been there four years now, nearly five. I started off sanding and finishing pieces ready for the final stage, and now I oversee a lot of the making. It's pushed me towards being more hands-on, and inspired me to create my own work. Making my knives, 95 per cent is done by hand.

Where do you source the blades?
The first thing I do is talk with the client about what their preference is. I always try my best to get a knife blade made from quality steel. Most of mine come from Finland; they have a lot of nice metals.

How many knives does a skateboard make?
About 10 to 15. There are a few areas that you can't use with the concaves and the curves, but any smaller pieces can be used to make cheese knives, as they don't use that much timber.

Skate Shank







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