Francine Larstein · David Larstein · Deborah Boye · Jim Ort · Bob Frank
About Dendritic Steel · About Dendritic Cobalt · Choosing BDS or BDC
We are a small, online retail business, offering unusual and exceptionally sharp Kitchen Cutlery, Folding Pocket Knives, and Outdoor, Hunting, and Camping Knives. Our knives have been evolving since 1971 when David Boye made his first knife out of sawblade steel in his shop in Davenport, California. I met David Boye in 1972, and by 1973, under his tutelage, I began etching my artwork onto his knives.
In 1980, David made the first knives out of Dendritic Steel, the extraordinary stainless steel that cuts better and holds an edge many times longer than most steels on the market. Then in the mid 90's, he developed Dendritic Cobalt which is particularly ideal for marine use.
The technical skill and beauty of both the production of the knives and the execution of the artwork have grown steadily throughout the years, creating knives of ever more refined quality and functionality. I have been involved with etching and selling various incarnations of David Boye Knives for the better part of 40 years. My husband, David Larstein, and I ran David Boye Knives Gallery from 1993 - 2001. We've had an online presence since 1995, and since 2001 our business has been almost entirely online and via phone orders. Over the years we've developed an extensive worldwide clientele, many of whom purchase knives from us regularly. Our knives are and have always been primarily users' knives. A collectors' market has developed, but our knives are first and foremost made to be used.
From 2001 through 2002, David Boye finished off the last of the custom orders we had taken as the Gallery closed. He no longer wanted to make any knives except, at that time, the Cobalt Lockback Folders, Boat Knives. But there was still a demand for Dendritic Steel and Dendritic Cobalt knives of all styles. A knifemaker friend introduced me to JP Holmes, who for 5 years became the maker of custom Francine Etched Knives from Boye Dendritic Steel castings. Then in 2007, Todd Kopp began making our custom knives, expanded the Cobalt line, resurrected the Boye Tweezerlock Folding Pocket Knives and began to prepare the blades for the BDS, Cobalt Design, and Custom Lockback Folders enabling these pocket knives to once again be produced by Lisa Embry in David Boye's shop.
Occasionally, we are able to obtain an original Boye knife to resell. This Boye knife, unless it is a Lockback Folder, will have a Boye signature either engraved or etched onto the blade.
During my first years etching Boye knives, the artwork was all created individually by hand on the knife in wax. Then in the early '80's, David developed a resist for etching the artwork onto the blade that was able to be reproduced. Now I start with the template - or skeleton - of a design by burnishing a dry transfer, made from original artwork, onto the blade. I then refine it by hand under a magnifier, using a tiny brush & enamel, and a pin tool, adapting each design by hand to fit the blade.
There are several people behind the scenes who help to enable us to offer the highest quality products available and without whom our business could not exist.
To meet some of the people essential to the smooth running and nurturing of our business, as well as those whose products enhance our knives, click on the links below. Also find links below to help you to learn more about the unique and amazing Dendritic Steel and Dendritic Cobalt from which we craft our knife blades.