My name is Don Carlos Andrade. I am a knife maker, sculptor, chef and teacher living in Los Osos, California. I have been formally trained as a chef and sculptor.
From 1988 to 2001, my primary focus was in casting unique sculpture in bronze. I began carving stone sculptures in 1995. I was an instructor at Cuesta Community College, in the art department, where I taught stone carving From 1999 to 2004. I began to apprentice with master metalsmith Tai Goo in 2006.
My interest in handmade knives began in 1985 when I entered culinary school in Los Angeles. There I saw my first custom knife made entirely by hand. Eventually, I began to buy and sell one-of-a-kind knives to educate myself in cutlery. Inspecting the various knives and testing them in the kitchen and in the outdoors informed me about the value of a well-made knife. I discovered what I liked about certain styles of knives and found that knives created from carbon steel often out-performed those made from stainless steel. As I tested and collected knives, I became interested in bladesmithing and I made my first knife in 2006.
Bladesmithing involves a blend of skills that draw on my previous experiences as a sculptor, including my background in fabricating and casting metals. Recently, I have focused on knives for the kitchen and camp. I enjoy creating integral knives forged from round stock and will continue to produce them for the the joy of making them. It was that first handmade chef knife that captivated me back in 1985 and I will continue to produce then for California Custom Knives.
Many thanks go out to my mentor Tai Goo for watering the roots of my bladesmithing practice. His willingness to share technical guidance and friendship is a blessing.
I hope you enjoy your visit to California Custom Knives.
Sincerely, Don Carlos Andrade