About De Wet van Zyl
De Wet van Zyl is a bladesmith/custom knifemaker from Durban, South Africa.
He started making knives in 2005 under the name “Darkwing Blades”, and spent two years apprenticing with master bladesmiths Kevin and Heather Harvey at Heavin Forge in Belfast, Mpumalanga before opening Darkwing Blades in April 2009.
De Wet enjoys taking on a challenge, and has made everything from chef’s knives, Bowies, a war hammer, and a set of chainmail to boot daggers, a Persian khanjar, throwing knives, a wakizashi sword, belt buckle knives, and a Nepalese kukri.
In addition to working from inspiration, De Wet also takes custom orders, creating a design from your specifications, photographs, sketches, or descriptions in order to turn your dream knife into a reality.
He stocks weapons stores in Durban and Johannesburg, has sent orders as far afield as Germany and America, and runs bladesmithing courses.
He was named as a “Maker to Watch” by Blade Magazine and won three awards at the Durban Easter Knife Show in 2008. His appearance at the 2010 Easter Show was similarly successful, going away with “Best Fighter” and “Best Dagger”. In 2011, he won “Best Boot Dagger” and “Best Art Fixed Blade”.
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