Des Horn, a South African maker, is from Cape Town. A dentist by profession, Des is also an avid shooter, and made his first knife in the '60s, after corresponding with the late Bo Randall. While his early efforts were mostly fixed blade knives, today he almost exclusively makes folders. He's also a member of both The Knifemakers Guild of Southern Africa, and Corporazione Italiana Coltellinai (Italian Knifemakers Guild). Over the years his knives have earned him numerous awards at international shows.
The ideal behind a custom knife is the creation of something superior in its design, choice of materials, and the execution of its construction.Des’s choice of dentistry as a profession, gunsmithing as a hobby, and shooting as a sport, fine tuned his attention to detail and the quest for perfection. At a practical level Des co-designed and manufactured the Hawk pistol and as an expert marksman represented South Africa in many disciplines of shooting. A knifemaker carries the responsibility to extract the very best from the materials made available to the customer and to bring them together in a knife which is both an investment and a practical tool. Thirty years of constant development has led Des to fine tune every aspect of his hand made knives, from the precision folder mechanisms, the choice of flawless materials for handles and frames, to the selection of the finest steels for the blades and their correct heat treatment.
Each component is machined, finished and meticulously fitted by hand in a spirit of craftsmanship and aesthetics rarely seen in a mass-production world.
Des’s knives are a unique blend of rare and exotic materials, high in investment value, with mechanisms and blades that are at the forefront of the technological envelope. Testament to this is the collaborative work Des has done with Purdey in creating a knife worthy of their name. More recently another collaboration with internationally recognised designer, Professor Marc Newson, has seen all of the principles being brought together in their limited edition series.