I had to laugh – and suppress a shiver – when I read about a new knife (actually, more like a short sword) from Jean-Marc Laroche, a French knifemaker and artist.  The hilt (perhaps “handle” would be a better term) is his creation;  the blade is from Swedish knifesmith Roger Bergh.

(Click to enlarge)

Blade magazine reports:

French knifemaker/artist Jean-Marc Laroche refers to his latest creation—this issue’s cover piece—as “The Living Knife.” Since it has a “hand” for a handle with “fingers” that close, an “eye” and an overall lifelike appearance, who are we to argue? As you grab the handle, the “fingers” actually grab back so that it’s hard to tell who’s holding whom. And, as the fingers grab your hand, the “eye” opens. The hand also is embellished with gears in the Steampunk style.

The Living Knife is indeed a most unusual creation—but then Laroche has been making otherworldly pieces for over two decades. Even by his standards, though, this one takes his knife art into uncharted territory.

“It was from the cinema of fantasy films that I drew my inspiration,” he notes. “It took me 12 years to implement my idea, six months to carry it out and a fair number of technical difficulties had to be overcome.

“Yet here it is, like a cunning thing from another time that a mad inventor out of the 19th century would have dreamed up. This biomechanical being activates its workings to move its fingers; it seizes control of the situation with its eye’s intelligence.”

The Living Knife is an assembly of mechanical parts, the prototype having been made in resin. A few rare versions in bronze, gold and silver are in the process of being forged.

There’s more at the link, including a brief look at some of the artist’s other creations.

Here’s a video showing how the knife works.

You’ll find more videos from Jean-Marc Laroche at his YouTube channel.  The man obviously has a unique vision of knives as art.

Personally, I find the thought of a knife that grabs my hand in return when I grab it to be more than a little creepy – but then, I’m old-school like that!



  1. Puts me in mind of a Niven fantasy, The Magic Goes Away, if I recall correctly.
    An element of the story was a Demon manifesting as a sword that once a warrior grasped it he could never let go until he died.
    And I too find this work of art more than a tad creepy, though quite fascinated by the workmanship.

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