*What is a takedown knife? A relatively modern term to describe a feature that is central to traditional Japanese swords, a style of construction that allows the handle and mounting parts to be field stripped or removed from the blade for cleaning, polishing, or replacement, or varying use conditions.
The bright orange moon of late Summer and early Autumn is the inspiration for this work. Tsukimi means moon watching, and brings to mind a lovely harvest moon and the rustling sounds of the dry, frost coloured susuki grass as the evening breeze blows across the plateau. The unusual ring and plate style kurikata is hammer textured, patinated,
and set into the dark sky of the lacquered saya, among the innumerable stars of the Milky Way. This tanto consists of twelve individual parts that began as twenty one pieces, crafted entirely with hand tools from a reclaimed Caterpillar tractor engine part, silver spoons, copper water pipe, and steel salvaged from the bottom of the sea.… Continue reading
The Kuromatsu tanto with koshirae is named for a species of Black Pine (黒松) that grows near the seaside in Japan. The bark changes from grey to black as the tree matures and ages, symbolized by the contrast of the smoother texture of the blade with the leathery texture of the darker
scabbard respectively. An exploration in texture and form with roots in ancient samurai aesthetics and inspiration from the natural world. Designed around the concept of textural exploration, this piece is mounted in a gentleman’s koshirae with… Continue reading
Kuromon can be translated as "the black gate". This tanto with koshirae is a bold yet restrained piece that has the austere simplicity that appealed to the refined tastes of working samurai centuries before the Edo period. This tanto is forged from reclaimed shear steel that was likely made
before the mid-18th century, housed in an aikuchi koshirae crafted entirely with hand tools from driftwood and finished with black urushi lacquer. The blade was hand forged in a charcoal fire from a horse-drawn carriage leaf spring, shaped with files… Continue reading
Uzumaki means a spiral or whirlpool shape and refers to both the triple wave whirlpool shape of the bronze accent around the mekugi and the spiraling wrap of the gangi-maki handle. It also alludes to the cyclical nature of the history and journey of usefulness of the many materials
reclaimed for its creation. This tanto consists of sixteen individual parts that began as twenty two pieces, crafted from reclaimed items as diverse as Model T fender brackets from the forest and wrought iron salvaged from the bottom of the sea.… Continue reading
A slender blade with copper habaki and seppa, housed in a shirasaya hand carved from a beautiful piece of Vancouver Island spalted Alder. Providing intricate detail in simplicity, the spalted Alder shirasaya is the highlight of this piece. The wood was a gift from a local artisan,
rescued from destruction in the firewood pile. The handle and scabbard were split and carved from a single piece to show the grain and spalting patterns wrapping around and flowing across the full length, and finished only with hand rubbed ibota wax to preserve the … Continue reading
Mounted with the same technique as a traditional Japanese sword, the parts of this dagger are held together by the strength of a single well-placed bamboo peg. The handle and mounting of this blade incorporate some very interesting materials from hornet paper to hand
tanned buckskin I made years ago in the traditional way. The inspiration for this piece came from a partially mineralized cow bone found in my grandpa’s field many years ago, I had long wanted to use it as a handle because the shape and size was very similar to a … Continue reading
This is the result of a collaborative project with James Oliver. James did all the woodwork on this piece and created the matching stand and Nootka Cypress storage box. The clay tempered blade was hand forged from a cultivator tine and the tsuba from a piece of wrought iron
dock chain from southern Vancouver Island. The Tigerwood came from some scraps of hardwood flooring, forming the base of the stand as well, and beautifully complimenting the African Blackwood accents. James also created an amazing Nootka Cypress … Continue reading
away from the things of man, there is a place where blades are born of earth, and air, and fire, and water.
"My goal as an artist is to explore transformative process by creating knives from natural and reclaimed materials. My approach as a craftsman is to work within the creative constraints of the classical tanto form and nihonto handle mounting technology, building on the foundation of 13th century Japanese swordsmithing aesthetic and technique."