Extraordinaire Art Knives

Ever since Dellana Dots was a child she loved working with her hands. She especially loved working with different kinds of metals, so she enrolled in a Jewelry/Metals program at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.   Working with Silver and gold sparked a lifelong passion for creating fabrication and forgiving metal.  She would subsequently open her own successful gold-smithing business before transitioning into knives after 15 years.

While she loved high end karat golds and other precious metals as well as gemstones, she had no idea there was anything missing until she saw and held some fabulous art knives using Damascus steel.  A form of “superplastic” metal that was used by numerous warriors in the past that go back to the time of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. -The armorers who made swords, shields and armor from such steel were rigidly secretive regarding their method. This remarkable characteristic of Damascus steel could split a feather in midair, yet still maintain their edge through many battles.

Who wouldn’t be intrigued?

Soon after that a couple came to her and asked her to create a one of a kind knife to celebrate their 10th Anniversary.  After that everything changed as she started to create her own unique designs.

What she created was no other then “THE LOVE Knife”.  If you look closely at the design you will learn a lot about them and their journey.

The Love Knife

The Love Knife

A little side note:

Interesting enough the gold dots on the blade are functional, they are blade opening assists.  She invented them in 1994 and you now see them on many folders.
Heres how they came about. 

While working on her third knife she found that the blade sat too far into the handle when closed for easy opening.  She noticed the handles  were to thick to get a good grip on the blade, but the mechanism was complete and couldn’t be altered. The then realized that the only workable option was a “nail nick” –that slit filed or ground in the blade used to break or bend your fingernail when opening the blade.  But she didn’t like those slits on the blade and knew she had to figure something else out.  As a goldsmith she’d used rivets in many ways so it was an option that came to mind.  When she showed it to her mentor Jim Schmidt he said he’d never seen it done before and loved it and would now steal her idea.  She was thrilled!  He called it “Dellana Dots.”  People loved them as well simply for the look and ease of use and her only regret was that she never thought to patent the idea.

When she met James Schmit even though she had an extensive background in metalworking techniques she was blown away with his creative work of art knives. His knives had the art of magic in their own creative way and the steel carvings had endless possibilities surrounding art knives really took ahold of her.  Thanks to James Schmit he kindly allowed her to enter his own shop and he taught her the secrets of forging patterns welded steel and how to make lock-back folding knifes with minimal power tools.  She soon found that the best of the two very different worlds of smithing-the quieter more comfortable side of sitting at her finishing bench made her focus on own mechanisms and she started creating her own unique designs.

Heir To The Throne

Heir To The Throne
Star Sparks

Star Sparks

King's Companion

King’s Companion

Soon after she found a wonderful community in the knife world that shared her love of knifes and everyone she met loved sharing their own extensive of knowledge to where even collectors would come to see her own vision in the art of knife making because she consciously pushed herself to make sure that her own creations were not a clone to anyone else’s designs.


I want people to “feel” when they hold and enjoy my knives. And feel the curiosity and enjoyment that comes from experiencing something new and very different that isn’t evident with a just a quick glance.  Says Dellana.

I don’t have a long winded art-speak philosophy about what I create and what it means.  I create because I must and to do the best of my abilities.



What to know more about Dellana’s art knives extraordinaire?
phone photos 162

Or maybe order one of them?

Visit her website here.

I find her work very intriguing, don’t you?

dellana ivory gold_open_L


About AngieAlaniz

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