Occasionally we come across artists who we feel are deserving of more attention and interest from collectors. Talented Thai knife maker Suchat Jangtanong is just such an artist.
At the age of 14, talented Thai artist Suchat Jangtanong entered his lifelong profession by becoming a third generation custom knife maker. He first learned the fundamentals of the trade by assisting his father and grandfather in the family’s knife making business located in the Uthai Thani province of Thailand. After his initial training he attended the Royal Thai Handcraft Atelier to learn the fine points of making high precision folders.
After graduating in 1982, he worked as a trainee with an experienced knife making team. It was also here that he first became known for his remarkable ability to carve. Finally in 1984 he opened his own shop where he carries on the tradition of handcrafting each of his knives using basic hand tools just like his father and grandfather before him.
It is Suchat’ belief that the real beauty of knife making is found in being able use your imagination to guide your creations and in having a truly unique vision for each knife you design. When asked to name which makers he admires most we learn he is a big Larry Fuegen fan – partly because Larry uses mostly basic hand tools and partly because his designs and carving are so uniquely beautiful.
Because most of Suchat’ knives go into Art Knife collections he uses a great deal of mosaic Damascus by Robert Calcinore. He believes this mosaic Damascus radiates a unique boldness which brings his knives to life. He also uses ATS-34 on certain using knives, because it is strong, stain resistant and excellent for daily use. And on the technical side, he has developed a special spring mechanism for assisted openers which at least one well known knife maker has called “unique”.
In the August 2012 issue of Blade Magazine, Suchat received rave reviews in the article “The Fixed Blade That Folds” which pictured a mosaic and mastodon ivory Balisong by Suchat on the inside cover and on page 56. The article stated: “Balisongs range from the Spartan to the sublime. An example of the latter is the model by Suchat Jangtanong.” Suchat was also featured in the November 2012 issue of Blade Magazine, in the “Knife makers Showcase”.
Suchat does not currently attend any knife shows in America but is represented at the Blade Show, the Las Vegas Custom Knife Show and the New York Custom Knife Show by Keith Newman of Mr. Damascus Knives.