Hi, my name is Tui.
I had a stroke 20 years ago when I was 37. This was a congenital condition. I was not a smoker or a drinker nor did I have high blood pressure. The stroke (AVM-Arterial Venal Malformation) left me with several disabilities. Amongst other things, I was left with one hand to work with, my left hand. I was right-handed originally.
Being a mother of two young children I struggled to cope with the day-to-day running of a family. For many years I had difficulty doing anything with my one hand, especially, food preparation. I spent a fortune on one-handed knives. I looked everywhere, including the Internet, for a one-handed knife that could do the job efficiently. Finally, after not finding any knife that lived up its promise, I decided to design my own.
I knew the old concept of a rocking style knife worked well. Though, I needed something with a handle in the middle and something weightier, to give myself the necessary control and power. I tried many versions and had some made up using local knife-makers. Only one had the right shape and weight.
At the time, I was studying graphics pre-press at the Industry-I Training Centre. My tutor, Russell Thom and a friend, Roy Stone, who used to be a chef, gave me some advice regarding a safer and more comfortable handle for the knife. Russell also helped me with drawing and making the model for the phototype. After much research, I found a manufacturer in Taiwan who was willing to make it. I might also add that there was no knife manufacturer in Australia who would make my knife because of its strange shape.
We called the knife 'Quikkut'.
It's a special knife with a unique handle in the middle, which allows one handed use, left or right, to do the cutting without help. It's very sharp and sturdy. It's made from one of the best metals that craft knife-makers often use, stainless steel 440A. The most important thing is that it really works. The Quikkut knife is also good for people who havent much strength in their hands.
My purpose in designing the knife was:
To help myself in preparing food.
To help one-handed people, especially young mothers, cope better in the kitchen.
To try and stand on my own feet without any help from government. I do think that "having a disability need not only cost, and perhaps sometimes it could earn money".
To inspire people with disabilities to come up with innovative products for their own use and later, if it is good enough, to market the products as well. Perhaps, some sort of co-op of designers with disabilities and manufacturers can be set up.
Most disabled products, I think, are designed by 'normal people' , well meaning they might be, however, they often do not have a clue what the problem is.
Since the Quikkut knife was launched into the market, users have found the knife to be an excellent tool for cutting, slicing and chopping. I use the Quikkut knife not only for preparing normal meals, but also for cutting fruit, such as, avocadoes, mangoes, melons and pineapples. Now I am totally independent in the kitchen. I hope many one-handed people will benefit from the knife.