Cold Iron Blog

What does ‘Story Telling’ have to do with bladesmithing?

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in About Me, Welcome | 0 comments

What does ‘Story Telling’ have to do with bladesmithing?

On my homepage you see the tagline ‘Storytelling through the forged blade’.  I thought I’d take a second to explain what I mean by that.  I believe that a forged blade can tell a story in multiple ways. The most obvious is the story that it tells about itself and it’s intended purpose.  For example.. a skinning knife. Elements of it’s story are the facts of itself.. a thin, sharp, lasting edge that is comfortable to hold and has the right edge geometry to do it’s job.  Then the story evolves as...

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For the Love of Iron

Posted by on Jul 12, 2011 in Techniques | 5 comments

For the Love of Iron

                                                                                                                                                                       Cold Iron Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid – Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade. “Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall, “But Iron — Cold Iron...

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Kogatana mounted in Kozuka.. Japanese ‘Earthquake Fish’.. (progress)

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Available | 0 comments

Kogatana mounted in Kozuka.. Japanese ‘Earthquake Fish’.. (progress)

This is a project I’m using to exercise my recent training in traditional Japanese metal work.  It will be a kogatana blade mounted in a kozuka.. a forged metal grip that is usually highly decorated. These were small knives carried on the saya of a Japanese sword.  The kozuka is made by folding and soldering sheet iron and then carving and inlay is done on the surface.  My version is based on an existing piece and will bear the Namazu or ‘Earthquake Fish’. The Namazu lives underneath the island of Japan and causes...

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Japanese mounted utility knives…

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Available, Other | 0 comments

Japanese mounted utility knives…

I’ve taken an interest in traditionally mounted work knives in the Japanese tradition and here are some examples.  One is a small Japanese ‘picnic knife’ made from 15n20 and Lake Superior diver-salvaged flame birch.  The other is a kogatana blade that can be used for a variety of tasks…. carving, food prep, general utility, etc.  It works great worn around the neck and I like it as a ‘canoe knife’ or small camp knife.  These knives have a nice tight fit of the blade in the scabbard and are designed that...

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A seax in the Birka style…

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Available | 0 comments

A seax in the Birka style…

Here is a Birka style seax or Viking knife with deeply etched/antiqued composite blade at 7.5″ length. It had bronze spacer plates and lanyard ring typical of the style.  The wood is feathered Lake Superior diver-salvaged black oak .. showing worm holes. The overall length is 13.5 inches.   It comes with a braintan deer hide Scandinavian style scabbard.   I’m asking $400 for this knife.  

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Collaboration o-tanto with Marcus Chambers (progress)

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Available, Techniques | 0 comments

Collaboration o-tanto with Marcus Chambers (progress)

Here I am announcing a collaborative project that I will be doing with the extremely talented maker of Japanese sword fittings Marcus Chambers. You can see examples of his work here:  http://www.marcuschambersmetalarts.com/   Marcus and I both share an interest in the naturalistic textures found in ancient Japanese work and we are both in love with the resources that come from the Northwoods/Lake Superior region of Michigan and Wisconsin:  iron, copper, wood.  So this project will be a 0-tanto… or large Japanese dagger .. made from...

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A dueling sword: Game of Thrones inspired.. (work in progress)

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Available | 0 comments

A dueling sword: Game of Thrones inspired.. (work in progress)

I’ve been captivated by the idea of dueling with the sword for as long as I can remember and I love the light, fast swords that embody the practice.. especially the ones being made from the 16th to 17th Century. I’ve also wanted to make a sword based on Arya’s sword ‘Needle’ from the Game of Thrones ever since I read the books. I’ve dabbled in complex hilts before but haven’t quite gotten what I wanted. One handicap is my terrible 110v buzzbox welder. But I’ve recently come up with an idea that...

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Elm leaf on the Beach… (neck pendant)

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Available, Other | 0 comments

Elm leaf on the Beach… (neck pendant)

Here is a copper pendant with inlaid art-work representing items seen on a walk on in Sturgeon Bay.  There is a fine silver elm leaf with schibuichi (silver/copper) petiole.  The stone is shakudo.. a Japanese alloy made from gold and copper.  And the three sand grains are a different form of shakudo.   The patination is via roshuko. All elements were inlaid via traditional Japanese engraving methods and no solder or glue is involved.   I have it mounted with a simple copper ring on Japanese inro cord…. a braided cord from Japan made...

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Bamboo netsuke carved from boxwood…

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Available, Other | 0 comments

Bamboo netsuke carved from boxwood…

This is a traditional Japanese netsuke that was carved from Laotian boxwood and based on an original antique. My version is boxwood instead of ivory and there are local glacial copper incipient shoots rather than being carved from the base material.  It comes with a traditionally braided Japanese inro cord and a Lake Superior diver salvaged black oak base for display. This can be considered a stand-alone art piece for display or be used as a netsuke for either traditional Japanese dress or holding a pouch, box etc through belt or...

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Trade Hawk

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Trade Hawk

Here is a little trade hawk forged from a farrier’s rasp.  It has hand-hewn ash haft.. fit from top via tear-drop shape. A traditionally hafted hawk. It has a separate high carbon bit (1084) welded down the middle for the edge.   Available for $150.00      

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Surprise Kiri-Dashi

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Available, Other | 0 comments

Surprise Kiri-Dashi

Here is a kiridashi hidden inside of a Eucalyptus burl box. The box works via a friction-fit bamboo pin and rotates on the axis of the pin. The pin can also be removed.  The box is carried via the traditional method of  netsuke, ojime bead and inro cord.  The netsuke is a natural type made from local shipwreck wrought iron. The ojime bead is ancient fossilized walrus ivory. The kiridashi is laminated steel and bears my inlaid bronze maker’s mark.  It is manipulated and opened by sliding the netsuke and ojime bead up or down the cord...

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