Curt Haaland believes that creating is a part of being who we are made to be. Creating is what took a hold of Curt when he forged his first blade at 17 years old; ever since, his creativity has been channeled into forging knives that showcase beauty in design, and the quality of his handiwork. Knives have always been a special part of Curt’s life since he was a boy, fishing and camping with his dad; it has always been important to him to be prepared, have the necessary tools for the job, and to be a help to those around him. Art has been a huge influence throughout his life, growing up with two parents who were always drawing, painting, taking photos, or doing pottery and always encouraging him to be creative and to challenge himself with new endeavours. All of this has cultivated a love for creating and for timeless tools.
What inspires us about Curt?
We recognize that Curt is more than a knife maker. Curt has dedicated himself to the mastery of three crafts: metalwork involving forging, heat treating, grinding, and sharpening; woodworking to create beautiful handles, sculpted, sanded and finished to perfection; and Curt takes pride in his leatherwork, meticulously crafting matching sheath's for his knives. His commitment and dedication to every aspect and component of the knives he creates, is one that we share when it comes to designing and crafting our tough titanium tool watches.
Tools as expressions of art
A tool isn't just an object that gets the job done; it's incredibly personal. Every piece of a person's everyday carry is a form of self expression. Each item, carefully curated by us for their utility, symbolism, craftsmanship and artwork. While Curt designs his knives to be utilitarian tools, he integrates stunning design elements into every one, making them beautiful to hold, carry and use. Filled with storytelling, starting with the design to forging, grinding, and handle making, Curt takes pride in performing every step of the knife making process with show-forth intention and purpose. His attention to detail is exceptional, with the lines of every knife flowing perfectly, guiding one's eye from the handle to tip. See a gallery of Curt's work here.
Not only are Curt's knives beautiful, but his art is found in his photography, videography, and content that invites others to learn about knife making. An asset to the knife making community, Curt is always open to interacting, learning and sharing with his fellow adventurers. Check out his social media and you'll see Curt take on every challenge that each knife brings, and witness him striving to top his newest creation with one more incredible than the last. Whether it be different types of steel, a new Damascus pattern, or a unique piece of wood, we love being alongside Curt as he explores the infinite possibilities in knife-making.
The signficance of time
We asked Curt about how his watch fits into his life, and this is what he wanted to share with his fellow adventurers:
Time is the most valuable commodity. You really can’t get any of it back and it is so important to spend it wisely. A watch just like a knife is also a tool and an expression of art. That is why I love the Endeavor. It is built to withstand the harshest environments, whether that is deep in the ocean or in a knife shop full of dust and fire and has beautifully designed lines and subtlety. But keeping time while I work is extremely important not just because there are many parts of the job that are time sensitive, but also because I have a duty to my family to be efficient with my time so that I can provide and then put it down at the end of the day and be with them. Because as I have said, it is important to spend your time wisely and there’s not many better ways to spend it than with the ones you love and God has given you. I can rely on this watch to keep me on track through the day and make it home to spend quality time with the family.
Check out Freehill Knives on YouTube or Instagram for a look at Curt's home forge in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee where he lives with his wife Abby. Enjoy Curt's 'Day in the Life' video and if you're inspired to learn to make your own knife, or just want to support Curt - check out his Patreon where he shares exclusive tutorial videos. Catch his stories and reels on Instagram and you're almost sure to spot the sign of an RZE Adventurer - his Ross Ice Endeavour.