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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Saami Whittler

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Available | 5 comments

Saami Whittler

This small carving knife is inspired by the beautiful tools of the Saami people of Northern Scandinavia, a nomadic folk of the arctic tundra.  This piece is made from shed moose antler and 1075 steel.    The engraving on the antler is inspired by artwork commonly seen on Saami tools and knives.  You can see a snow flake and wood worker.   My version of this style incorporates the traditional Japanese technique of being able to disassemble the entire knife via a single peg.  The blade is 3″ long.   The bead is made from Jack pine...

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Sake Cup Netsuke

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Available, Other | 1 comment

Sake Cup Netsuke

This piece represents a new angle I will be taking with my work. It’s partly an attempt at learning new methods to add detail to my bladesmithing work but I’m also loving the art itself.  Another avenue for combining metal and organic materials. Netsuke are miniature carvings/sculptures that are used in conjunction with a braided cord, an ojime bead and an inro (small box for keeping medicine or other small, important objects). They are work through the sash of traditional Japanese dress. This particular piece was inspired by an...

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Osage Woodsman’s Knife

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Hunters | 1 comment

Osage Woodsman’s Knife

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to improve my wood work in terms of both my wood carving and blade mounting.  This piece gave me the opportunity to practice both.  The lanyard bead is the tip of some moose antler that I carved into a tiny ‘nisse’ head.. or Scandinavian gnome.  The sheath is based on the traditional work of the Saami culture of Northern Scandinavia.  It require an exact fitment of the blade and handle for a ‘snap fit’.  The knife itself is a fusion of Scandinavian puukkos and ancient...

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Whale tail, bloom iron and ebony

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Other | 1 comment

Whale tail, bloom iron and ebony

Here is a reduced sculpture I did from raw bloomery iron and Gaboon ebony:  

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Sugar Cane Cutter

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Available | 0 comments

Sugar Cane Cutter

Here is an Asian bush machete… sort of a parang or sugar cane knife.  It is forged from a single piece of 5160 and has a hollow socket handle. The overall length is around 20 inches and the blade is 12 inches.  The spine has a uniform thickness of 1/8″.  It comes with a wooden scabbard made from old growth white pine salvaged by divers from Lake Superior. It sunk approximately 200 years ago while being delivered across the lake in rafts. It is lined with leather on the inside and has a nice snappy fit.  It is carried via a hemp...

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Glacial copper tsuba progress and uchidashi practice…

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

Glacial copper tsuba progress and uchidashi practice…

I’ve been doing some work in the non-ferrous area lately in preparation for a course I’m taking in classical Japanese metal work with Patrick Hastings (www.taganearts.com). The tsuba is forged from glacial ‘float copper’… a pure form of copper found in the Norhthern woodlands of Michigan and Wisconsin.  This pure form of copper was formed close to the Earth’s surface and was then picked up by glaciers and dropped across the landscape.  The copper is heated to red to anneal, hammered, heated, hammered, over...

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Composite pattern welded Baltic warknife in progress….

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Swords and Historical, Techniques | 1 comment

Composite pattern welded Baltic warknife in progress….

Here is a 5 bar composite war knife.  There is sterling silver inlay in the wrought iron center-bar….

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Svartleggia.. or ‘Black Leg’: A viking axe

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Axes | 1 comment

Svartleggia.. or ‘Black Leg’: A viking axe

This was forged from modern mild steel that I converted to high carbon ‘shear steel’ via a pack carburizing process.  A process that has been around for centuries.  The bands in the blade show the variation in carbon content.  

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A small Japanese tanto in progress….

Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Other | 3 comments

A small Japanese tanto in progress….

Here is a small tanto I have in the works.  It will have osage orange mounting/saya with ebony spacer and pin. And low layer mokume-gane habaki. It will be fitted in a traditional manner with single ebony pin disassembly. No epoxy.   Okay.. so this project is starting to be what I will look back to as a turning point. I’m really enjoying the clean lines and simplicity of this kind of work.  Yesterday I forged the chisels that I will need to carve the shirasaya...

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An intimate look at an Edo katana

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in About Me, Uncategorized | 3 comments

An intimate look at an Edo katana

I’ve recently had the pleasure of examining my first antique Japanese katana. It was a deep experience for me to handle a weapon that was undoubtedly carried at one time by a Samurai warrior several hundred years ago… most likely during the Edo period of Japan. While not an exceptional example in terms of the mountings, they carry the mark of a skilled craftsman. Smelted iron with a clouds and waves motif decorated by nonume zogan gold overlay. The blade itself, however, carries the mark of mastery. The steel called...

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