Tiaan van Niekerk has been a Graphic designer and photographer for the past 27 years. With a great passion for swords and knives, Tiaan became a part-time bladesmith in 2012 focusing on the Japanese blade and sword furniture.
As a creative Tiaan understands that tools make up a very large part of an artist’s ability to transfer his or her idea to a chosen medium. Tiaan learned very early in his sword-smithing career that Japanese tools for making the various components of swords and sword furniture were unobtainable in South Africa. He quickly realized that the cost of good tools is beyond most South African Artists, and understood that there is a niche for good local toolmakers in the South African market.
Tiaan started producing a wide variety of custom tools for various art forms including the etching and printmaking community. Every tool is made out of high carbon tools steel and forged by hand or machined into existence. After heat treating and final assembly, each tool is then lovingly sharpened and delivered to the client ready to perform the function it was intended for.
There’s an inherent joy in working with well-made tools. Artists strive for perfection in their work, this set of beautifully crafted tools reminds one of an old saying that has been passed down from master toolmaker to apprentice for years: “If it is worth making, it is worth making well”