Circumstances in 2020 and 2021 provided more time to participate in forging onsite at the museum, and in 2022 I was able to contribute in the capacity of a dedicated artist-in-residence. Regular Saturday forging from April until October along with several mid-week sessions allowed more visitors to experience this particular specialty of metalworking.
The weather this year provided a much longer forging season than usual, giving more opportunity for visitors to observe traditional knifemaking work during the summer. And for the first time ever, part of the forge was temporarily converted into a shiageba (finishing area) for carving handles and scabbards for the knives forged earlier in the year as well as demonstrating some classical sword polishing.
Thank you to “the museum ladies” for daily support, encouragement, and assistance making the project a success, Teppoishi~san for helping with the togi-dai, and thank you to all who have stopped to watch and express interest in the work, the portfolio book, and the website.
Tentative current schedule is Saturdays from about 11am to 4pm plus a day or two extra per week in the high season. Forging blades will be from April–July, carving handles and scabbards from August–September. The bonus round will be making mountings and polishing blades in October. With the cold season arriving in November (and the water buckets freezing over) things will pause until spring weather allows occasional Saturday forging to resume.