Richard J. Tesar has made his first knife in 1976 in order to meet the requirements set forth by the “Cold Foot” Rendezvous of that same year, namely that every participant had to have their own hand-made knife.
In the past, particularly during the Fur Trade in North America, a rendezvous was a annual gathering in the wilderness for the purpose of trading goods for furs. Often other variations of trade accompanied the fur traders including but not limited to bartering, business transactions, business meetings, and revelry.
Historical fur trade rendezvous are the basis or inspiration for rendezvous that are held today. Some of these (such as those held by buck-skinners) are historical re-enactments to varying degrees; others are not reenactments but are inspired by elements of historical rendezvous.
This is how Richard Tesar came to making hand crafted knives and still is his primary outlet for trading and selling his trade. Over the last 36 years, Richard has sold over 2,000 knives, some of which have been from collectors both inside and outside the U.S.A. He has knives in Russia, The United Kingdom, Denmark, and Canada.
Richard’s technique is indebted to both traditional hand-forged techniques and more modern DIY techniques that transform salvage and refuse material into more intuitive, or, better, materially-guided works. He never uses pre-made blades when constructing his knives, but, instead, crafts his blades from anything including but not limited to: railroad ties, saw-blades, metal files, and even woven steel cable.