A Multi-Talented Lithuanian
Meet Raimundas Janonis, husband of one of my once-removed first cousins, who, apart from being my reliable and able driver in Lithuania for over 20 years, is a folk wood carver, furniture and parquet floor maker, member of the MK SVENCIUS hunting club for 13 years, and a hunting knife and ax maker.
Lithuanian forests are full of wild animals including deer, wild bears, wolves, moose, beavers, elks and many others. (Hunting seasons: https://www.visitlithuania.net/top-activities/hunting-in-lithuania) What about Wild Boar? I vividly remember having to stop a car in Neringa to let a herd of wild boar pass.
Since the advent in Lithuania, seven years ago, of African Swine Fever, according to Raimundas, wild boars have almost disappeared. But his freezer is packed with game meat – he and his family eat what he hunts. For relaxation after a hard day’s work, Raimundas makes knives and axes, with leather cases:
1. Why knives, and how did you learn to make them?
People have been making knives since ancient times. Especially hunters, fishermen or travelers, who move away from civilization, the knife again, as in thousands years ago, becomes a very useful and often necessary tool. I learned to make knives by watching Youtube episodes. I build the machines for making knives myself. A knife is not just a tool, especially when it is carefully hand-made by a master knife maker and not by a massive industry. The knife then embodies the vision and efforts, perceptions and abilities of the creator, i.e. becomes an Art object.
2. Do you use any of your knives in hunting, or in your work?
I use my knives in everyday life and in hunting.
3. Do you sell your knives?
Most of the knives I make are for sale. One of my knives has gone to the US.
4. Describe your work and sales process.
The complete knife production process "from - to" includes three areas of activity:
a. Blacksmithing and locksmithing
b. Knowledge and processing skills of natural materials (birch, oak, maple, ash, horn, bone) and synthetic materials
I collect dry wood in the forest for production.
I post my work on Facebook (my personal profile).