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  • 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.


  • Thirty Years After The Village Blacksmith

    Thirty Years After The Village Blacksmith

    Thirty years ago today marks my first day working under Mr. Emmanuel A. Schrock in a former livery stable in Ohio’s Amish country and embarking into the world of traditional blacksmithing techniques. In the spring of 1992, I traveled to Amish country in Ohio, USA, to learn from Mr. Emmanuel Schrock in the format of…


  • Neighbours of Qualicum Beach Article

    Neighbours of Qualicum Beach Article

    Dave J Makes Knives for People Who Wish They Could Take Things Home From Museums Dave and his wife moved here from central Japan in 2011, wanting to live in a clean and natural small town setting with the mountains and the sea nearby, while pursuing his craft. He says “I started metalwork and making…


  • Museum Forge Interpretive Sign

    Museum Forge Interpretive Sign

    Design collaboration in support of the Artist in Residence project: freshly installed results of photos, text, and layout assistance for the new Parksville Museum forge signage. See more photos of the Inome tanto, how the fuigo works, and tour the museum forge.


  • Wrought Iron Yoroidoshi Sculpture

    Wrought Iron Yoroidoshi Sculpture

    A forging exercise leading to a sculptural tanto form for study and enjoyment, part of the Artist in Residence project at the museum. Forged from a piece of lovely fine-grained salvaged wrought iron railroad plate more than a century old. A little large for opening letters, this piece would function as a collectible, art object,…


  • Break Test for Wrought Iron

    Break Test for Wrought Iron

    A simple test for wrought iron is to cut partway through a bar and then break off the rest. It will bend and then finally break, revealing stringy iron fibers rather than the homogeneous matte-gray internal structure of modern steel. The linear striations are caused by the residual slag left between layers during smelting and…


  • Process – Forging a Sunnobi Forest Tanto

    Process – Forging a Sunnobi Forest Tanto

    This blade was forged and underwent yaki-ire at the museum forge. It began as a pre-1960s (integral) cultivator tine used by a farmer a generation or more ago. It is a sunnobi (overlength) tanto in the forest pattern, charcoal-forged and water quenched with clay, a satoyama style outdoor knife that has the foundation of the…


  • Photo Essay: Yakisugi Using Reclaimed Wood

    Photo Essay: Yakisugi Using Reclaimed Wood

    Finishing views of a 4×16′ timberframe shed constructed as an opportunity to further develop and practice basic techniques of Japanese structural joinery. As with the kajiba project, the main inspiration for aesthetic and design is the humble Japanese inaka naya (納屋) style style of a century ago. From rough sawn lumber the preparation of frame…


  • Photo Essay: Views of a Timber Frame Shed

    Photo Essay: Views of a Timber Frame Shed

    During the summer months this year the museum forge was closed due to dry conditions, affording the time to work on other projects. This 4×16′ timberframe shed provided an opportunity to further develop and practice basic techniques of Japanese structural joinery. As with the kajiba project, the main inspiration for aesthetic and design is the…


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