My philosophy is to do my best work, and to never stop striving to improve and learn new things. I also believe that a functionality and aesthetics should always go hand in hand. A properly cared knife or an accessory should last a life time.
My name is A. “Marko” Tsourkan. I am the founder and one-person operator of Tsourkan Knives.
I enjoy cooking, and that’s how I got into kitchen knives. I started collecting high-performance kitchen knives about 10 years ago, first German and French carbon steel knives, then Japanese artisan-made kitchen knives. Japanese knives cut by far better than any knife I used before, but I soon discovered there was a room for improvement whether it was a profile that suited me better, a steel that held edge longer, a handle from a better wood or with a better ergonomics. I began tweaking and customizing my knives, and little by little, I began contemplating making my own.
In October 2010 I visited Devin Thomas in Panaca, Nevada. Devin is known for his damascus steel, but he is also one of the few top kitchen knife makers in US. I have spent time in Panaca learning from Devin. He was a great teacher and gracious host and I am forever grateful for that experience. This is how a journey into knife-making began.
In November 2010 I started assembling my own workshop. I have spent countless hours improving my grinding and practicing heat treating. With Devin’s help I finalized a heat treating method, steel selection, grinding technique, and the rest was just practice, practice and more practice.
I have been making knives since 2011. I have learned a lot along the way, but I also feel that the learning never stops. I experiment with new geometries, new steels, new types of knives, new ways to heat treat steels to obtain maximum benefits, new production methods.
Before I offer knives for sale, I send prototypes to pro kitchen users with whom I collaborated for years for a feedback. I get my feedback on all aspects of the knife: edge retention, profile, grind, handle size and ergonomics. I take their suggestions very seriously and make changes as necessary.
I draw inspiration from Shaker’s design – minimalism, function, beauty, and I also share their philosophy that can be captured in this saying – “All beauty that has no foundation in use, soon grows distasteful and needs continuous replacement with something new.” I keep reminding myself this every day.