A question often asked of Dean Boyd and Joel Andreas, the co-founders of Emberleaf Workshops Ltd, who comment:
“We have used and worked with knives and other edged tools from a young age. Making them however, is something else entirely. The idea of being able to bring together the myriad of skills required to make a knife was always appealing, the fact we could never find one that was quite right for either of us, also made us determined to design and build our own”
“We worked for years to hand craft and field test the best possible shape for a good all round field knife, one that could be employed as a bushcraft tool, where wood work and food preparation go hand in hand, and a hunting tool for large and small game alike. A knife is basically a simple object, change one small element and the whole dynamic of the knife changes”
“We also wanted to design a knife from a function and application point of view and not purely for the aesthetics. A knife may look good... but if it doesn’t work very well, or as intended, then it’s rather useless as a tool for the intended purpose! Years on, we are responsible for countless unique designs, all tailored for either multiple or very specific purposes."
Emberleaf Workshops Ltd was founded as a limited company in 2012 by Dean Boyd and Joel Andreas.
Both had been making knives as a hobby for many years before deciding to take their skills into the professional marketplace.
These two colleagues now make some of the most exclusive, highly prized knives in the world, using skills honed over many years by working on thousands of custom knife projects. Emberleaf is now established as a specialist in the design and production of field and hunting knives, using the highest grade materials available to hand craft works of functional art, where skill, passion, and attention to detail is lavished on every knife.
All knives hand built at Emberleaf Workshops are renowned for the ‘Emberleaf Edge’ resulting in a working knife that is capable of an edge that is four times sharper than a surgical scalpel, an edge that is also robust enough to hold that degree of sharpness for a very long time. This is achieved by the selection of only the highest quality blade steel materials, and the unique skills in hardening and tempering a blade followed by the final hand sharpening and leather stropping to produce an industry leading edge.
About the makers:
Dean Boyd joined the army at the age of 16, where he trained as welder/blacksmith with the Royal Engineers. Dean had always understood the importance of having good kit to hand, often making his own tools and customizing equipment to be able to function with better efficiency when on operations, he served multiple tours of duty all over world, spending many months honing his survival skills in the jungles of central America.
Leaving his army career behind him in the middle of 2010, Dean took on a role as a senior bushcraft and survival instructor where he passed on his unique skills over the following 12 months. All the while, Dean continued making knives in partnership with Joel, giving them away as gifts to fellow instructors and friends. It was here that the first commissions were generated.
In Jan 2011 Dean decided to leave the bushcraft school and, along with Joel, decided to follow his heart and pursue his true passion as a bladesmith, knife maker and leather worker.
Joel Andreas Built his first knife at the age of 14 and a passion for this craftsmanship and art was born. As years passed, and with no realisation that this calling could possibly provide a career, at the age of 19 Joel joined the British army as a Royal Engineer. He eventually became specialist in bomb disposal and as a member of a high risk search team, served all over the world.
Leaving the army in 2009 Joel went on to help to build an organisation now recognised as a leading UK based survival and bushcraft school. It was here that Dean joined him a year later.
Together, spending their free time making knives, and with Joel continuing to learn many traditional skills in working with wood, including saw milling, chainsaw carving and timber framing, their craft was developed.
Once Joel and Dean decided to leave the bushcraft school, their focus became centred on mastering the art of bladesmithing and knife making. Over the next two years, they continued to progress these knife making skills until, in 2012, they made the decision that it was time to follow their hearts and their shared passion for knife making on a full time basis and Emberleaf was founded. The knife design and build workshop is located in Petworth a stone’s throw from the West Sussex Downs and England’s newest National Park.
Both Dean and Joel continue today as founding directors and hands on creators of every single knife that leaves Emberleaf Workshops Ltd premises.