As part of the 2022 artist in residence project a temporary shiageba (finishing area) was set up for carving handles and scabbards for the knives forged earlier in the year. This was the first time that the finishing stages of traditional knifemaking… Continue reading
Although temporary demonstrations and events have been held at the museum since early 2012, the blacksmith-in-residence project at the museum forge was officially launched in 2015 by Red Cod Forge. Building and installing the traditional swordsmith forge was started in 2016, the… Continue reading
A yearly event around the theme of railways hosted by the Vancouver Island Garden Railway Club, The Oceanside Model Railroaders, and the E&N Division of the Canadian Railway Historical Association. Around four hundred people attended this year and enjoyed the many special… Continue reading
The museum forge had a visit from a unique and talented family this summer. The Shibata family makes artisan foods on Saltspring, and the two boys, aged 10 and 12 are highly self-motivated creative students of craft who are interested in learning… Continue reading
The core of this project is a high carbon blade, charcoal-forged from reclaimed steel, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword but is finished in the simple and humble style… Continue reading
Forging a custom forest kotanto in the swordsmith forge. The starting material was a harrow tooth, the finished blade is hirazukuri, mitsu mune, 140mm / 5.5″ nagasa, with a sturdy 6.5mm motokasane. The finish will be tsuchime (hammer texture) so there was no filing or polishing before yaki-ire, which was done at my forge for the dim and consistent light conditions.
The first night turned out to be quite an event as there were three forges and six blacksmiths/strikers operating in the museum workshop. Thanks to Tim of Reforged Ironworks, and Josh for their energy and charcoal chopping to get the forge up and running, and their assistance swinging the big sledges to finish drifting and shaping the smaller hand hammers as the first preparatory projects in the charcoal forge. Read more about the museum forge project or watch a more detailed demonstration of lighting fire with bamboo.
A clip from yesterday’s work: silver soldering a habaki with the charcoal forge & fuigo box bellows. Watch the machigane area and you can see the solder begin to melt and flow around 0:40 until it is pulled out to stop the… Continue reading
The tools are simple and few, but the work is long and hard. A collection of clips documenting the steps and sounds involved at many stages of the process of crafting charcoal forged classical tanto and mountings from reclaimed materials. Footage from several recent projects is included, some extended and some previously unreleased, some from Japan and some from Canada, photos of the finished aikuchi tanto appears at the end of the video.
A pair of outdoor knives forged from a single reclaimed hedge shear blade and finished simply and humbly in the age-old style of farming and foresting tools traditionally used in managing satoyama lands. Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the… Continue reading
We had a visit from a crew filming for TV Tokyo today. They were interested in some footage of the workshop and a brief interview. A great group of guys to meet and work with, we covered a lot of ground in… Continue reading
…a.k.a.: the *even* quieter edition. The final stages of finishing the aikuchi tanto. This is a collection of clips documenting the steps and sounds involved at most every stage of the process of hand lacquering a traditional aikuchi tanto mount made from reclaimed driftwood. Several of the layers have been omitted from the video when they were exact repeats of the previous ones. The process spanned a month and a half including curing and drying time in between each step. Each layer is allowed to cure in a warm, humid box for two to three days and then polished with charcoal and water before the next is applied.
Urushi is traditional Japanese lacquer made from the sap of a specific tree. The natural colour is a milky brown that oxidizes to deep chocolate and the black colour is created through a reaction with red iron oxide. The lighting was not optimal for several of the steps here, but at least the general process is demonstrated.
Read more about the process of making this work on the photo essay page and watch the blade edition of sounds of the workshop here.