The Bone Knife

This project is part of the artifact series which tend to have the appearance of far older variations of my fusion style works and seem to come from an alternative history where cultures might have blended at different times and in different… Continue reading

Making an Outdoor Knife

The Japanese swordsmithing tradition has been in place for generations and many of the design elements have been tested and refined for centuries. With careful study and practice, this can be a solid foundation for today’s bladesmiths and knifemakers to build their… Continue reading

Japanese TV Profile

Thanks very much to the guys who came all the way to the workshop to film for TV Tokyo. Here is most of my segment which includes footage from the visit as well as some of our own footage shot of charcoal making. Editing 5 hours of footage down to a few minutes is no easy task but they did a great job of telling the story of the workshop and the basic forging process.

Though it was an entertaining point that I had gleaned some of my specialized information by watching Japanese swordsmiths at work on Youtube, I would like to include some additional credits from the interview that did not make the final cut…Emmanuel Schrock for my blacksmithing foundation at age 14, Pierre Nadeau for clarifying and explaining techniques I had seen in practice, Yoshihara~san for his excellent books printed in english, and Louie Mills for inspiration and advice.

Read more about the Japanese media visit to the forge.

A Calgary Media Visit to the Forge

We had a visit from a media crew representing Shaw Calgary this week. They are creating a documentary called, “The Soul of Steel” and wanted an interview and some workshop footage. The show will air from mid-October to mid-November on channel 10… Continue reading

Making a Hatchet Handle

The second half of the antique hatchet restoration project. There are several important points that are often overlooked when choosing or crafting an axe or hatchet handle. Though not a thorough treatise on the subject, this post will briefly discuss some axe… Continue reading

Hatsu Yari

This project began as a personal challenge and an exploration of the beauty and symmetry that can be found in the sankaku style yari (三角槍). The cross section of the blade is triangular in this style, the spine quite thick and strong,… Continue reading

Sounds of the Workshop: Night Session

Though it is a wonderful and peaceful time to be in the workshop enjoying the cool night air as well as a good time for doing yaki-ire, I don’t often forge at night. This night I had the camera on a tripod whilst working on the beginnings of a small shear steel bushcraft knife in classical tanto style when a friend came by and offered to take some other angles. Please enjoy a few minutes of the the night session vibe, listening to the rhythm of the fuigo and the breathing of the fire. (additional footage by 309, cameo by owl the cat)

A tour of the forge: islandblacksmith.ca/forge/

You Need A Swordsmith’s Fuigo Box Bellows

Japanese style box bellows (fukisashi/吹差鞴) reached their current and finalized form by about the sixth century. They are constructed almost entirely of wood and allow a smith to supply a highly controlled air blast to the forge by pulling and pushing the… Continue reading

Case Study: Making a Hon-Yaki Nata

Nata (屶, directly translated “mountain sword”, or 鉈) come in various sizes and shapes, but most fit the description of a light brush hatchet or heavy camp knife. Common characteristics include thick spines and heavy blades, often with single beveled edges similar… Continue reading