“I feel that knives are an offshoot of what I love doing, and that’s making something of value for someone to value.”

Meet The Makers

Sean Alonzo - Philippines

Creating works of functional art at his studio in Metro Manila, Philippines, bladesmith and artist Sean Alonzo named his knifemaking endeavor Balete Blades for the Filipino balete tree, the streets throughout Manila named for the species, and the street in Iligan where he began his professional career. With both Chinese and Filipino heritage, Sean’s love of knives, and knifemaking, began in college where he earned a degree in Industrial Design.

During those years Sean made knives of various styles with whatever materials he could find; his first fashioned from a repurposed file. Time spent practicing traditional Filipino martial arts, or arnis, exposed Sean to a wide variety of blade types, and he continued to dig deeper into his own craft, experimenting, testing, and crafting blade after blade, learning and deepening his reservoir of knowledge with each attempt.

Sean apprenticed with the custom jewelers at 13 Lucky Monkeys, studied the art of knifemaking online, and continued to build out a shop that now includes specialty tools, hammers, a hydraulic press, and WKM Tool 2x72” tilting belt grinder among other pieces of equipment. Sean’s passion permeates all that he does and his dedication results in one-of-a-kind pieces that are as utilitarian as they are striking. Sean has become known for his use of premium and exotic materials, his performance-driven profiles and geometry, and superb fit and finish. Whether a pizza wheel in Damasteel stainless damascus with titanium and zirconium timascus, a monosteel nakiri, or a full-size chef knife in a homemade five layer formula, each object that Sean releases into the world brings with it a story and a life of its own.

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