About Us

About Giraffe Bone

Everything started in 1993 when my wife, Louise gave me a custom made knife for my birthday.

I was never the same again – this knife was the most beautiful present I ever received for my birthday. I showed my prized possession to my friend Dan and he was so moved by this knife that he booked us for a knife making class with Owen Wood the famous knifemaker. But while we were doing the class with Owen, he showed us all the beautiful materials that were available for knife making.

Looking at all the ivories, wood and Damascus steel awoke something in me. I remembered as a young farm boy how I used to break open rocks to look at the hidden treasures inside. How absolutely intrigued I was when my father worked with wood and it came alive when he sanded it down and put some oil on it. All these thoughts made me realize that something was missing in my life. It took me a few years to work through all this.

I was working as a pharmacist for 14 years now and I was not really happy in what I was doing. Due to my profession that was also in a dead end in South Africa I was forced to make a decision and I decided to start a knife handle supply business.

My brother, Arno started making knives and I went to a Sportsman and Outdoor show with him. This show made me realize that South Africa is a bit small for what I had in mind. But at this show I met a man that opened up my horizons. His name was Chris Reeves and he gave me an order for pink ivory to make walking sticks with. He was an ex-South African living in Boise, Idaho. Listening to him made me realize that the American knife industry was big. I got hold of a Knives 1997 and send sample packs of all my products to all the suppliers that were listed in this book.

Nobody responded but I had a dream. African Knife Handle Supplies was born and in September 1998. My brother, Arno, Theuns Prinsloo and I went to The SouthEastern Custom Knife Show in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They went as Knifemakers displaying their knives but I had two bags full of African hard woods and giraffe bone cut into slabs. Arno and I shared a table, I was very nervous but the American Knifemakers loved my stuff and come Sunday I was sold out. Nine years and 46 trips later to the US, the rest is history. But everything did not always go smooth. In September 2003 I had a misunderstanding with US Customs.

They cancelled my visa to the US and I could not do knife shows in the US anymore. The support I received from the knife making community was overwhelming.

Every time I see a knife made with my materials I get that same feeling when a got my first custom knife and I also feel proud to be part of something so special. To all my friends out there, thank you for your support over the years. Our pledge is to bring you the best and most exotic materials available from Africa on this website. Please send us pictures of your knives that were made with all these wonderful products you will find in our store. We will gladly display them in our gallery. We want to start a Giraffebone.com Wall of Fame with pictures of knives that over the past 10 years won prizes at knife shows all over the world. Please e-mail us these pictures.