Vision & Mission
In founding West Coast Bladecraft, I embarked on a mission to provide high quality, functional blades at competitive prices to fulfill the needs and desires of a broad range of clientele. I don’t limit myself to any one genera or style of knife…and my sketch board is always full of designs waiting in que for their turn to be created! If you like a knife design that I’ve done before, I can reproduce them upon request. I can also make custom alterations to those designs if desired.
All blades I produce are 100% hand forged, finished and designed to be used. I have pride in personally creating every part of my product and, typically, will never use components ‘pre-made’ by someone else. This is a highly time consuming and strenuous process, but the end result is well worth the effort. In my opinion, it’s not a real knife unless you can stake your life on it. The traditions and practices of hand forging, heat-treating, and finishing blades has been passed down for centuries and is second to none. This sacred art produces the finest blades available today, hands down. My schooling by Master Bladesmiths in the American Bladesmith Society has taught me, among other things, the fine art of precision and quality. I will never sell a blade to anyone that I would not be willing to own myself.
Any knife that is a custom order request and not listed as being immediately available for sale, will be created at the time of purchase. Real, quality blades take time to craft and cannot be slapped together overnight. Upon order, the customer will be informed of the estimated lead-time for their specific purchase.
Click to learn about the logo
From my first foray into knifemaking, my logo has always been some variation of a Phoenix. The Phoenix, a legendary bird of ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, was said to live in Arabia. According to legend, only one Phoenix lived at a time…a magnificent and noble creature, which lived for 500 to 1000 years. When it felt death was upon it, it would build a funeral pyre and sing just once in its life…more sweetly than any other creature on this Earth…just this one superlative song. The whole world stilled to listen…and the Gods smiled. As the last note faded the Phoenix would be consumed by the flames of its own funeral pyre. Pain, existence, and innocence were the price of that sweet farewell song. The world and the Gods would then wait and hope that when the ashes of the funeral pyre cooled, this legendary bird would rise once again…renewed and cleansed to begin a new cycle of life. The Phoenix became the symbol of immortality, spiritual rebirth, and transformations.
In the latest rendition of my logo, I incorporated the symbolism of the Lotus flower as well as the mask or face highlighting the third spiritual or ‘all-seeing’ eye…a union of the Eastern and Western symbols of rebirth, transformation and immortality. The lotus flower has come to be associated with purity, beauty, spiritual enlightenment and rebirth in the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism; the ancient Egyptians as well, observed that in the night-time the lotus closed its flowers and sank into the murky waters…then emerged anew the following morn, fresh and clean…and thus associated the flower with the sun and creation. In actual fact the Lotus slowly emerges from a pond over a three day period and then blooms in the morning until mid-afternoon.
Click to view the Biography of the Bladesmith
– Chris Stanko –
Born and raised in Southern California, Chris was the youngest of two siblings, and attributes the beginnings of his love for blades to his older brother. Chris’ creativity began to take shape at a young age beginning with drawing and, later, expanding to music, acting, writing, poetry, and smithing. Along with smithing, Chris remains an avid musician, writer, and poet to this day. Chris also enjoys a variety of outdoor sports including skiing/snowboarding, scuba diving, rock climbing, mountaineering, hunting, and racing.
“Whether I’m a hundred feet below the surface of the ocean or thousands of feet atop a mountain, being out in the midst of nature’s majesty is what brings me peace. I find my greatest sense of self out where few humans dare tread. It’s a peace not many people will ever know.”
His love of the outdoors has earned him many great rewards through experience and contacts. His experiences have provided Chris first hand knowledge of what blades will work and will not work for a variety of outdoor activities. By his early twenties, Chris had seen much of the world and continues to travel frequently. These journeys only heightened his interest in world cultures and the history of their sharp, pointy creations.
When Chris chose the path of Bladesmithing, he sought out the finest instruction available. Chris traveled to Arkansas to attend classes at the Bill Moran School of Bladesmithing under the instruction of such ABS Master Smiths as Bert Gaston, Jimmy Crowell, Ron Newton, and Larry Harley. Chris later expanded his knowledge and contacts in the knife industry by working part-time for Dan Delevan at the Plaza Cutlery knife store in Southern California. Being intrigued with knives, swords, and sword-play, Chris has studied the art of fencing through the South Coast Fencing Center, specializing in foil. Chris has also studied the art of Kendo (The Way of the Japanese Sword), under the guidance of the Master Sensei at the Costa Mesa Kendo Dojo.
“Anything is possible in life provided we have a strong relationship to our word.Too many people trivialize words by not honoring their words as themselves. If I say something will happen, it WILL happen. Once the goal is set, then it’s time to create the path on how to get there.That path may twist and turn and change from day to day…but every moment is created with that goal in mind.”