Skater and designer Rowland Perry combines his talents in cutting-edge kitchen tools.
Rowland Perry hasn't been making knives for very long, but as a kid growing up fishing and hunting in rural New Zealand, he always had the need for a blade. A friendly competition with his dad to make a knife in 2013 prompted the now Sydney-based designer to start Skate Shank, a backyard business refashioning old skateboards into bespoke kitchen tools.
Why skateboards, Rowland?
I've been skateboarding since I was eight or nine and I'm 30 now so it's definitely played a huge part in my life. Sanding a skateboard back, you don't necessarily know what's on the other side. Different colours come through - a layer of black laminate, then a natural colour, then a pink or a green - it's a nice surprise.
Has your work as a production supervisor at Dinosaur Designs influenced your approach?
I've been there four years now, nearly five. I started off sanding and finishing pieces ready for the final stage, and now I oversee a lot of the making. It's pushed me towards being more hands-on, and inspired me to create my own work. Making my knives, 95 per cent is done by hand.
Where do you source the blades?
The first thing I do is talk with the client about what their preference is. I always try my best to get a knife blade made from quality steel. Most of mine come from Finland; they have a lot of nice metals.
How many knives does a skateboard make?
About 10 to 15. There are a few areas that you can't use with the concaves and the curves, but any smaller pieces can be used to make cheese knives, as they don't use that much timber.