The kauri that features on the handle of the Mr and Mrs Ward paring knife has travelled a long way – pretty much the length of the country and back. Peter Lorimer of Lorimer Knives, whose workshop is in the tiny settlement of Oamaku in Central Otago, bought a slab of kauri from a local who had used it as a table who, in turn, had bought it from a shop in Northland where it was once a gigantic storefront sign.

When Janice and Julian were looking for someone to craft a knife to pair with their Mr and Mrs Ward chopping board, they discovered a likeminded spirit in Peter. He’d already thought that tying together a native-timber board and the handle of a knife would make a great combination. Now here was a project that brought that idea into being.  “Peter puts so much care into his hand-crafted knives and he’s so well respected. He makes knives for [chefs] Al Brown and Simon Gault,” says Janice.

The knives are hand-made in small batches; Peter cuts and contours the blades then hardens the steel in a kiln heated to 1050°C.  The recycled kauri in the handle comes from the root-ball of the tree and has a highly figured grain. Peter uses brass pins to secure it to the blade.

The traditionally made paring knife, with the Mr and Mrs Ward emblem etched into the blade, is an object of beauty – but it cuts a fine figure on the functional side too. “With just a little bit of use, a good knife becomes an extension of the hand,” says Peter.

“I’ve always loved knives as end-of-year corporate presents,” adds Janice. “But if you gift one, remember the tradition is to tape a coin to the blade so you don’t sever the relationship.”

Please note, these are made to order. Get in touch with us to find out the current lead time for this piece.

10 in stock