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  • Ashinoho Tanto

    Ashinoho Tanto

    Ashinoho (ashi-no-ho, 葦の穂 pronounced “ah-shi-no-ho”) refers to the water reed, specifically the top of the plant curving over as it is loaded with seeds. The idea is associated with the fullness of season nearing and the realization of potential in the right time, but also carries with it the concept of humility and restraint in […]


  • Museum Forge Shiageba

    Museum Forge Shiageba

    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 were demonstrated at the museum. Later in the season a full-sized traditional togi-dai […]


  • Artist in Residence: Museum Forge

    Artist in Residence: Museum Forge

    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 first lighting in 2017, and since then bladesmithing has been a regular part […]


  • Railway Days at the Museum

    Railway Days at the Museum

    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 exhibits on the grounds. The museum forge was open for viewing, though the […]


  • Sunagawa Kotanto

    Sunagawa Kotanto

    Sunagawa (砂川, sand river) was chosen because the texture of the blade and the flowing edge of the hamon are reminiscent of the bank of a calm river. The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an outdoor knife that has the foundation of the Japanese […]


  • Process: Forging a Field Kotanto

    Process: Forging a Field Kotanto

    This blade was named Sunagawa (砂川, sand river) because the texture of the blade and the flowing edge of the hamon are reminiscent of the bank of a calm river. It was hand forged in a charcoal swordsmith style forge powered by fuigo box bellows and water quenched with clay, an outdoor knife that has […]


  • Pear Mountain Kotanto

    Pear Mountain Kotanto

    This knife was forged from a piece of very special old steel and has been paired with part of a seventy year old pear tree and an existing leather sheath. The custom leather sheath was part of an estate sale and was hand crafted on Vancouver Island. Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border […]


  • Forge Visit: Shibata Family

    Forge Visit: Shibata Family

    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 about traditional knife and sword making. They traveled to the island and spent […]


  • Brass Mountain Kotanto

    Brass Mountain Kotanto

    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 of farming and foresting tools of centuries ago. Satoyama are the managed forest […]


  • Stream Kotanto with Laminated Handle

    Stream Kotanto with Laminated Handle

    The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, water quenched with clay and sharpened with waterstones, an small knife that has the foundation of the Japanese sword but is finished in the simple and humble style of farming and foresting tools of centuries ago. Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the cultivated […]


  • Kominka Mountain Kotanto

    Kominka Mountain Kotanto

    The core of this project is a charcoal-forged blade, 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 of farming and foresting tools of centuries ago. Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the cultivated […]


  • Charred Teak Bowie

    Charred Teak Bowie

    An interesting project to craft a knife for an existing sheath. The like-new sheath was part of an estate sale and was custom crafted by former military Rock Leatherworks in Quebec, Canada. With some careful planning and accurate forging it can once again serve a useful purpose. The tang is constructed in a similar manner […]


  • Sapele Satoyama Survival

    Sapele Satoyama Survival

    An interesting challenge to forge a knife to fit an existing sheath. The leather sheath was part of an estate sale and was hand crafted by a custom knifemaker. With some careful planning and accurate forging it can once again serve a useful purpose. This knife should probably be considered the first official satoyama bowie, […]


  • Brass Forest Kotanto

    Brass Forest Kotanto

    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 of farming and foresting tools of centuries ago. Satoyama are the managed forest […]


  • NikkeiTV Interview

    NikkeiTV Interview

    Vancouver-based Japanese NikkeiTV stopped in at the museum forge on their central Vancouver Island tour. Thank you to Kaeko~san and Tag~san for your visit and interest in traditional swordsmithing! Original airing date was June 5, 2022. See more photos of the finished knives here. Watch more forge visits and interviews here.


Traditionally crafted knives for people who wish
they could take things home from museums.

Crossed Heart Forge

Historical Techniques

Hand forged with handmade charcoal, constructed and finished with historical methods and natural materials.
see the process

Traditional Tools

Human powered hand tools are used from the time the steel is first put in the fire through to the final assembly.
tour the forge

Reclaimed Materials

Steel, iron, copper, and brass are sourced from salvage and scrap wood for charcoal comes from local sources.
watch a tanto being made