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The Knifeman

When rhythmic beats ring out throughout the car-free Fex valley, the few residents living there can be heard saying, “Rominger is forging blades again.” The trained blacksmith manages his parents’ farm. But alongside his work as a farmer, Roger Rominger needs variety.

Heart And Soul

In his “Fuschina” in Fex Platta, the smith folds unique Damascus knives from steel heated to 1,000 degrees in innumerable steps. The glowing chunk of metal changes with every blow and becomes a unique and incredibly sharp piece; each one has a name which matches the blade, handle or shape of the knife.

It takes up to one week to handcraft a knife – and “Every one of them has a heart and soul,” says Roger. The precious items are then packaged in wooden boxes. The smith makes these himself, too – from Swiss pinewood. The high-quality knives can be purchased directly from Roger, online or in selected Engadin stores, with prices ranging from 1,200 to 4,500 francs; a classic kitchen knife costs around 2,500 francs.

“I treasure this blend of delight and inspiration that motivates me to work on the anvil.”

Enduring fascination

The smith has been fascinated by his unique creations for many years: “When I take the knives out of the acid, I’m often just overwhelmed. All of these many layers you see – all of these patterns and colours.” Even the producers of the legendary Swiss Army knives are fascinated by it: the owners of Victorinox have, in fact, visited the smith to forge their very own Damascus knives!