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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Eric Bergland Blue River 2009

8th Finglish trip June 2009 #37

Eric Bergland makes handcrafted Finnish Puukko knives. He lives with his wife in Blue River, Oregon. His father Oscar Bergland was a gunsmith. As a young boy Eric helped in his father's workshop by arranging tools in their own places and at the same time learning how to use them. At age 15 he made his first Puukko. After retiring from an archeologist's work, he started making Puukko knives. Eric is partly Sámi on his father's side. Eric says about his work:

"My knives are interpretations of the traditional forms created by my Northern ancestors. Knives are ancient tools, and the forms, materials, shapes and sizes can be recombined in many ways to create objects of functional beauty. I draw primarily from the designs of my Finnish, Sámi and Norwegian ancestors, add my own sense of proportion and balance, and indulge my love of Pacific Northwest and Arctic handle and sheath materials. I hand-forge and heat treat many of the blades. Sometimes I use beautiful pattern-welded steel “bar stock” made by other artisans, and then shape it and heat treat it. And always, I feel the presence of my ancestors, challenging me to keep their art alive."

Next Liisa Penner Astoria Oregon USA

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