"If I think back as far as I can remember, I was always doing something with my hands."

Meet The Makers

Toma Fenes - Romania

To 20 year-old Toma Fenes of Romania, age is just a number. For as long as he can remember, Toma, the son of two contemporary artists, has been making with his hands. First from wood, with the help of his father’s well-stocked woodworking shop, Toma would carve swords, shields, and more.

Beginning when he was 12 years old Toma had the opportunity to fence with one of Romania’s last master sword fighters, a sport that he continued with for several years and one which heightened his sense of adventure and determination to pursue the creation of purpose-made tools with historical and cultural significance. Preferring to spend time in nature, Toma and his cohorts from the surrounding area began organizing their version of the Hunger Games, and his job was to craft the wooden tools of the trade, from the sword, to axes, bows, arrows, and spears among others. A voracious reader and fan of John Tolkien, Karl May, and Jules Verne to name a few, combined with his love of history including the architecture, techniques, and customs of various cultures, Toma draws inspiration from a broad range of topics and experiences that inform his creative expression.

Whether wooden role-playing tools, the pizza oven he built to complement his passion for cooking and pizza making, including cheese and milk preparation from scratch, and the Roquefort and Gorgonzola he has successfully made more than once, Toma’s desire to build has grown exponentially through the years. While painting and sculpting have also intrigued Toma and kept him busy, it was forging metal beginning at the age of 15 that he took to most, and his natural abilities are clear in each piece.

After an early kitchen knife was purchased by a local chef, Toma began receiving orders for more when the chef extolled his love of the new blade to his colleagues. Today at his small shop in the Northern Romanian countryside, Toma crafts one-of-a-kind kitchen knives using simple, hand-powered tools, traditional methods, and a homemade furnace for a forge. Straight, flowing lines, function-first carbon steel blades with outstanding geometry, and a combination of handle shapes and construction methods give each knife a unique aesthetic that we love.