“Sleipnir” seax © 2007 John Drewes “Sleipnir” seax © 2007 John Drewes

Gold Medal In: Knifemaking, 2014

  • Life Dates Born 1943 in Bertha, Minnesota
  • Occupation Retired Biology Teacher
  • Residence at Time of Award Red Wing, Minnesota


  • 2006 White ribbon for a Viking seax
  • 2007 Blue ribbon for “Sleipnir” seax
  • 2011 White ribbon for a late Viking age-style knife with birch burl handle
  • 2012 White ribbon for a Viking seax with carved reindeeer antler and buffalo horn
  • 2013 White ribbon for a utility knife
  • 2014 Red ribbon for a utility knife with Osage orange handle
  • 2014 White ribbon for a seax with antler and birch burl handle

Artist Statement

As a youth I built model airplanes, both scale and flying models. As an adult, for several years I made Tiffany-style glass lamp shades using the copper foil and solder technique for construction. Back in 2005 I took up knifemaking and leather craft and have made knives and sheaths in a variety of styles ever since. Fitting together carefully-shaped small parts to construct interesting shapes and designs is something I’ve always enjoyed.

I like working zoomorphic (animal shape) designs into my projects when possible. I also have keen interest in Viking Age history, so knives and other edged weapons of that time period are of particular interest to me. Several of my submissions to the folk art exhibition during Nordic Fest have been knife designs from that era.

Although there is not one single Scandinavian ancestor in my family history (I’m 100% German by ancestry), I enjoy Nordic Fest and all that goes with it. I especially enjoy interacting with the visitors as a vendor/demonstrator.