This minimal Japanese folding knife can be hooked onto the edge of a plate
If you’re a passionate lover of cooking, or you’ve recently kickstarted your cooking journey, and want to accelerate it even further, then you’ve reached the right place. Having an efficient and streamlined cooking process is the key to preparing dishes that simply taste excellent! And the number one aid you need in having an effortless process is an arsenal of great kitchen tools. And a pretty cool kitchen tool or more accurately tableware I came across is the Oku Knife.
Designer: Kathleen Reilly
Scottish artist and metal worker Kathleen Reilly designed the ‘Oku Knife’. Inspired by Japanese table settings, the Oku knife features a rather intriguing handle that is folded 90 degrees from its blade. The design was informed by chopstick resets. Chopstick resets are usually utilized to raise the tips of chopsticks from table surfaces, to ensure that no contamination occurs. Reilly drew inspiration from this for the Oku Knife. Oku features a unique folded shape that lets the handle be placed on a surface, with the blade sitting perpendicularly away from that particular surface. You can even rest the knife’s blade along the edge of a cutting board or plate. “The knife can be hooked onto the rim of a plate, creating intimacy between the two objects whilst improving cleanliness and maintaining stability,” said Reilly.
“Influenced by my western upbringing and experiences living in Japan, I set about redesigning the western table knife to improve its performance and keep its blade off the table. Functional yet unconventional, Oku introduces a refined aesthetic that breathes new life into the dining space,” said Reilly. The name of the knife is inspired by the Japanese word for “to place” or “to put”. Reilly’s goal was to revamp the traditional western table knife and create one that interacts and engages with tableware in an interesting manner while retaining the essence of a sturdy and functional knife.
Reilly teamed up with local craftsmen in Tsubame, Japan to create the knife. The city is quite famous for its metalworking history. Oku is crafted from stainless steel using generations-old handcrafting techniques. The inner portion of the knife is curved, making it quite comfortable to hold.