This project is part of the artifact series which tend to have the appearance of far older variations of my fusion style works and seem to come from an alternative history where cultures might have blended at different times and in different… Continue reading
The Japanese swordsmithing tradition has been in place for generations and many of the design elements have been tested and refined for centuries. With careful study and practice, this can be a solid foundation for today’s bladesmiths and knifemakers to build their… Continue reading
The second half of the antique hatchet restoration project. There are several important points that are often overlooked when choosing or crafting an axe or hatchet handle. Though not a thorough treatise on the subject, this post will briefly discuss some axe… Continue reading
Forging with a thin film of water on the anvil and hammer prevents forge scale or oxide from being hammered into the surface of the steel. The hot steel instantly vaporizes the water and the resulting steam explosion blows the scale off… Continue reading
This project began as a personal challenge and an exploration of the beauty and symmetry that can be found in the sankaku style yari (三角槍). The cross section of the blade is triangular in this style, the spine quite thick and strong,… Continue reading
Nata (屶, directly translated “mountain sword”, or 鉈) come in various sizes and shapes, but the type most familiar in the west does the duty of a light brush hatchet or heavy camp knife. Common characteristics include thick spines and heavy blades,… Continue reading
The nightime viewing of cherry blossoms by moonlight is cherished for the unique perspective and focus it brings to the experience. The dark tones of the sky and the gentle light of the moon provide subtle variations in colour, texture, and detail… Continue reading
The Kuromatsu tanto with koshirae is named for a species of Black Pine (黒松) that grows near the seaside in Japan. The bark changes from grey to black as the tree matures and ages, symbolized by the colour and contrast of the… Continue reading
When I have time, I enjoy restoring old tools back to a more useful and beautiful state. The most fuel, energy, and time intensive part of making an axe from scratch is punching or forge welding to form the eye. When quality… 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.
Kuromon can be translated as “the black gate”. Designed around the concept of textural exploration as a companion project to Kuromatsu Aikuchi Tanto, this tanto with koshirae is a bold yet restrained piece that has the austere simplicity that appealed to the… Continue reading
…Sounds of the woodshop, that is…a.k.a.: the quiet edition. Sit back and chill to the sounds of sharp blades and smooth wood. This is a collection of clips documenting the steps and sounds involved at most every stage of the process of hand making a traditional aikuchi tanto mount from reclaimed driftwood. The project began as a large piece of Nootka Cypress driftwood and is worked entirely by hand through each step, employing tools and techniques as they would have been used centuries ago when this style of knife was developed in Japan.
The blade is made from century-old shear steel from a horse drawn carriage spring and based on design elements of the 13th century Aizu Shintogo tanto. 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. The next step will be to finish the surface with natural urushi lacquer.