Damascus steel is a hot-forged steel used in Middle Eastern swordmaking from about 1100 to 1700 AD. Damascus swords were of legendary sharpness and strength, and were apocryphally claimed to be able to cut through lesser quality European swords and even rock.
The general term "Damascus" refers to metal with a visible grain pattern, sometimes with a texture. Modern damascus is a lamination of folded steels selected with cosmetic qualities, with grinding and polishing specifically to expose the layers. True Damascus patterns are formed when carbon trace elements form visible swirls in the steel mix, that change properties when work hardened (forged).
Examples The Dragon Slayer
Video by Stuart L. Shaw.
Engraving adds an decorative element to a bolster or guard. Mother-of-Pearl Inlay combined with Engraving is another way to make a knife handle look spectacular.
Examples Damascus Lockback Folder
Scrimshaw is an ancient art form that adds beauty and tells the story the knife carrier wishes to reflect.
Example Damascus Skull
A custom knife means you are able to choose all the elements which go into making your knife unique. This gives you but a few ideas. Talk to your knifemaker for recommendations. Handles can be plain and utilitarian, or they can be exotically carved bone or stag. Often a handle will reflect the theme of the knife and the sheath. Different materials can be merged together to create a beautiful and unique knife.
Examples Twin Peaks
Bone is stabilized for durability and
can be colored or carved.
Big Horn sheep
Mastodon Ivory, at least 11,000
years old relic from another age.
Stag comes in many shapes and can be smooth
or flat. It can also be carved to great effect.
Stabilized Wood can be colored like the
Curly Maple Ebony
Big Horn Sheep
Camel or Giselle Bone