Jack Olszewski

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  • Surname: Jack
  • First name: Olszewski
  • Country: Polska

Could you depict a self-portrait ?

My name is Jack Olszewski, i'm from Poland. I'm studing Design in Academy of Fine Art in Poznañ, the city where i live and where i'm making knives. I'm also sailor, kitesurfer and ofcourse normal, 20 age old guy.

How have you come to balisong, and why do you like this kind of knife ?
How have you come to produce balisongs ?

Those two questions are quite difficult for me to answer, because i just started making balis and finally made only one, using non-metal materials. It was only for training, but i'm glad that it works good. Now i'm trying to finish my second, major bali.
But, why i like balis? This knives have special construction, that you can flip it. Because of this, it's a kind of toy, but it's still a knife and weapon. Balisongs also reminds me knives used at the streets. They have something magic and little bit romantic

Is balisong a knife which permits you to artistically express yourself ? Does it better than for another folder ?

Normal folding knives are ordinary, but balis (and OTF's!) have some magic thing, wich gives more ways of artistical express. Just look at Fred Perrin's and Warren Thomas balis. Their styles are different, but they are my favourite bali-makers. Fred is making crude, simple knives wich reminds me knives used by street warriors in dark alleys. Knives that Warren makes, because of materials and colours reminds me dark future world.
High tech, giant corporations, people with lots of implants - probably you know this world from William Gibsons books or films like Johnny Mnemonic.
I can analise now only works of other knifemakers, cause my work is still in progress, but i can show you at their example, how knifemaker can express himself when makes balisong.

Which materials do you prefer for the blade and the handle ? (Steels (please specify which kind), titanium, G-10, micarta, woods, ...). What are the reason of that choice ?

My first bali was maded from Semitron ESD 410 and tan g-10 wich i made that looks older. At my first major balisong will have blade from D2 and handles from steel, aluminium and some synthetic material (maybe g-10, micarta, semitron or something else, i still don't know). And will have a lot of industrial-like screws. I wish it will be original and my styled.

What are you looking for in a knife ? (particularly in a balisong)

I'm always looks at how knife look! Then i'm thinking about, what kind of knife it is: utility or art? If it's utility, i'm looking at ergonomy, how will work the blade, is lock good etc. If it's art, i'm looking at it's shapes, colours, materials and think what knifemaker wants to show us while he was making his knife.

What are you looking for in a knife ? (particularly in a balisong)

I'm looking for simplicity in the conception of a knife. That makes it easier to deploy under stress in case of conflict.

Do you EDC a bali ?

Yes, i sometimes carry my BM 42. Ofcourse, it's pimped.

Do you flip balisongs ?

I try to.

How would you describe your creations ?

Postapocalyptic, end of the world design, my sick ideas and strange dreams. I'm always trying to invent something different, sometimes it isn't good, but i'm still trying.

Which advice could you give to an amateur or professional knifemaker which wants to start making balisongs ?

Think different and have fun !

According to you, how will the balisong evolve in the future?

This days at the top are tactical folding and fixed knives. Tank-knives are trendy, balisongs aren't so popular. I wish it will change in the future.

Thank you Jack for taking the time to answer our questions. A last word before you leave ? (Your topicality or any other subject which you would like to approach)

Thanks for invitng to the interview. I wish i'll visit France some days, and meet knifemakers and other knife-freeks from this country.

The web site of polish knife makers: www.knifemakers.pl
Gallery of the works of jack: http://www.knifemakers.pl/