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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
Itten (一転, “eat..ten”) means a turning point or turn of events, as in a story or set of circumstances. It carries the idea of a sudden or unexpected shift, return, or change, and often means a complete turn around, in skateboard terminology… Continue reading
A rare opportunity to compare the inside and outside geometry of a finished handle core. Historically an old tsuka would be split open for repair or adjustment or even re-purposing for a new blade, however a newly crafted tsuka is always glued… Continue reading
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. The aikuchi mounting is in the rustic kura style and includes antique fittings from… Continue reading
A kata is a pattern or form used for study or for reference when creating an utsushi blade. The exercise of accurately making kata based on the work of historical smiths is an excellent way to train the eyes, mind, and body… Continue reading
A look at some precision cut steel tanto kata based on historical japanese swords from 1200s-1500s…order a set of kata here: soulsmithing.com/product-category/kata/
A kata is a pattern or form used for appreciation, study, or for reference. The exercise of accurately making kata based on the work of historical smiths is an excellent way to train the eyes, mind, and body to create proper tanto forms. Learn about making your own kata.
One of the most common mistakes when attempting to recreate a Japanese classical style tanto is to caricature or over exaggerate certain design elements while entirely missing others. The Japanese aesthetic is subtle and nuanced, millimeter differences can make or break the… Continue reading
Arashiage is the stage of rough shaping following hizukuri (forging) and in preparation for yaki-ire (hardening). Earlier posts have described tanto kata and the geometry of the tang, machi, blade, and kissaki. Familiarity with these geometry points is a prerequisite to success… Continue reading
Sunnobi tanto (寸延び短刀) are larger than ordinary tanto, with nagasa a sun or two above 1 shaku (sun nobi, “a sun longer”, from nobiru, to stretch or lengthen). Though there is some area of crossover with hira-zukuri ko-wakizashi and they may have… Continue reading
Making a habaki from reclaimed copper. Material is scrap copper from an electrical bus bar, forged and bent to shape, silver brazed with hard silver solder in the charcoal forge with fuigo, finish work done with files and rasps. Watch the shorter overview edit here.
Futokorogatana (懐刀) is translated as “clothing fold sword” and describes a type of tanto mounting meant to be carried in the kimono sleeve or fold. Also known as kaiken, this humble style of hidden mounting is usually unadorned with a smooth profile… Continue reading