Press Kit

Contact info@islandblacksmith.ca with questions or for additional web or print quality press photos. Instagram features web resolution collages of works in progress. Please include a photo credit and link when using photos from the web or press kit.

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Artist’s Statements
Biography
Membership
Galleries
Web & Print Resolution Photos
Representation in Private Collections
Testimonials


Artist’s Statements

“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.”

The Elevator Pitch

“I make knives for folks who wish they could take things home from museums.” (2014)
“The world’s slowest recycling program.” (2011)

Biography

Inspired by the Japanese art of swordsmithing, Dave began making knives in 1990. His approach brings together a fusion of cultural and artistic styles from his experiences in Africa, North America, and Asia.

Highlighting the potential for creative transformation in discarded objects, most of his raw material is sourced from worn out tools, farm machinery, and sawmill equipment. Even the softwood charcoal that fuels the forge is hand made in small batches from scrap wood.

Based out of Crossed Heart Forge in central Vancouver Island, Canada, Dave hand forges reclaimed carbon steel into blades, using techniques of the Japanese classical tradition to turn rusty scrap and natural materials into collectable heirlooms and timeless works of art.

Membership

Canadian Knifemakers Guild

Galleries

Coastal Carvings Fine Art Gallery – permanent exhibition


Web & Print Resolution Photos

Photos are presented here in the approximate order they would appear in the process of making a knife from start to finish (though several steps are missing). Brief captions provide some accurate terminology and a description of the process, image file is linked below each photo as are additional views or similar photos. Many of these images are also available in print resolution. (Web photos are generally between 1170px and 1600px wide at 72 dpi. Print photos are between 3000px and 5000px wide at 300dpi.)

Raw material hunting in a Canadian homesteaders steel pile.
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Chopping and sorting charcoal in preparation for forging.
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Chopping softwood bladesmithing charcoal handmade from local scrap wood.
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Heating steel in the brick forge built in the Japanese swordsmith style. The air is supplied to the charcoal fire by hand using a fuigo (6th century Japanese style box bellows).
Image Link | Another View
Heating steel in the charcoal forge built in the Japanese swordsmith style. The raw steel bar will first be hammered into a sunobe shape to determine the size and proportions of the final blade.
Image Link | Print Resolution | Another View | Print Resolution
Hand forging a 13th century classical style tanto blade using a charcoal fire and water on the anvil to keep the steel clean and smooth.
Image Link | Print Resolution | A Similar View | Landscape | Print Resolution
Using a sen scraper and files to further smooth and shape the blade after forging.
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After quenching to harden the edge, a small clay-covered tanto sits on the edge of the water bath. The clay slows down the cooling of the rest of the blade when it enters the water.
Image Link | Print Resolution
Hand polishing the finished blade with natural Japanese water stones to reveal the hamon or “temper line”.
Image Link | Print Resolution
Forging, soldering, filing, and fitting the copper blade collar.
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Using controlled heat to patinate and colour an iron and copper handguard.
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Adjusting a woodblock plane while carving a wooden scabbard from local Nootka Cypress.
Image Link | Print Resolution | B/W Version | Print Resolution
Carving the core of the handle and scabbard from local Nootka Cypress.
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Completed parts laid out in preparation for final assembly of a tanto.
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The finished and assembled tanto, in the theme of the traditional late summer or early autumn activity of moon watching.
Image Link | Print Resolution | Another View | Print Resolution
A small tanto with a full set of iron and brass mounts and fittings, the theme is the whirlpool. The blade was a harrow tooth (farm equipment), and the fittings were made from a Model T fender bracket.
Image Link | A Detail View
A fusion style dagger combining elements of classical Japanese swords with a western form and primitive-natural materials and textures. Wrapped with traditional hand-tanned buckskin.
Image Link | Print Resolution
Another View of the Bone Dagger fusion style work combining classical Japanese elements with primitive-natural materials and textures. Copper, wrought-iron, and bone fittings.
Image Link | Print Resolution
An aikuchi style tanto mounting carved from driftwood, finished with natural urushi lacquer, and accented by copper and fine silver. The blade was forged from a horse-drawn carriage spring.
Image Link | Print Resolution | Another Crop | Print Resolution
An aikuchi style tanto finished with stone textured natural urushi lacquer and accented by copper and fine silver. The blade was forged from a 150 year old horse-drawn carriage spring and the stand hand carved from reclaimed sapele wood.
Image Link | Print Resolution
A small tanto with patinated copper fittings and finished in natural urushi lacquer and rayskin. The blade was forged from a horse-drawn carriage spring and shows an excellent hamon or “temper line” along the edge.
Image Link | Print Resolution
The Bone Dagger promo print card composite rendering, web sized.
Image Link | Back

Representation in Private Collections

Canada

Alberta – Calgary, Edmonton, High River, Westlock, Youngstown
BC – Courtenay, Errington, Gabriola, Nanaimo, Nanoose Bay, North Vancouver, Parksville, Qualicum Bay, Qualicum Beach, Spider Lake, Surrey, Tofino, Vancouver, Victoria
Northwest Territories – Fort Smith
Ontario – Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo

Japan

Osaka, Tokyo

USA

Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Kansas, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington

World

Australia, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine

Testimonials