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 | 7 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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Carving axe

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Available, Axes | 0 comments

Carving axe

This small axe was forged from a single bar of 1″ square 5160 tool steel and hafted with a hand-carved piece of hop hornbeam … a traditional axe hafting wood and called ‘ironwood’ locally.  It weighs 1 pound 6 oz and is hair shaving sharp.   It is 6″ from poll to edge and the cutting edge is 4″.  The haft is 11″ long.   This is a small axe but with lots of power for removing and shaping wood.  It would also work well at camp.  It comes with a hand-stitched vegetable tanned mask. I’m...

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Pompeiis style Gladius

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Available, Swords and Historical | 0 comments

Pompeiis style Gladius

This is a ‘collaborative effort’ with Alibion Swords LTD in New Glarus, Wisconsin and is a Roman gladius based on the Fulham sword. This sword style dates from 60 – 70 AD  and was recovered from the ruins of the Volcano-destroyed city of Pompeii.  The blade was created by Albion (using 1075 high carbon steel) and I mounted it.  This is becoming a sort of annual tradition for me and a fun way to offer some of my work at a lower cost. My version is a very plausible take on how this sword would have looked in it’s...

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Thor’s Hammer in fossil walrus

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Other | 1 comment

Thor’s Hammer in fossil walrus

This is an example of some of the things you will start to see from me on a regular basis.  I’m really enjoying the carving and making of pendants, jewelry and ‘desktop sculpture’.   The image of the hammer of Thor was a powerful symbol during much of Germanic and Scandinavian history.  This example, carved from ancient fossil walrus jawbone, is a form that matches quite  closely a few different examples that have been found in grave sites in northern Europe.  It is lashed with a 4 braid plait that I did myself using a...

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17th Century Scottish Dirk.. Transitional

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Swords and Historical | 0 comments

17th Century Scottish Dirk.. Transitional

This 17th century Scottish dirk shows a clear transitional form with elements of the earlier dudgeon dagger and hints of what the Scottish dirk will become.   The blade is forged from 5160 and the grip is boxwood. It is interesting to me that the dudgeon dagger is named for the use of boxwood in it’s hilt.  

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Whittling knife with Dwarf

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Hunters & Puukkos | 0 comments

Whittling knife with Dwarf

Here is another in my series of small belt/whittling knives with netsuke-like sheath carry carvings.  The knife is high density laminated 1095 tool steel and big leaf maple burl grip with copper ferrule.   The sheath is a Scandiavian style center-seam construction and is made from vegetable tanned leather.  The netsuke is matching big leaf maple carved in the form of a dwarvish fellow. 2 3/4″ blade, 7″ overall.   I’m asking $275 plus shipping for this knife, sheath and...

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Relic Boot Knife

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Other | 1 comment

Relic Boot Knife

This rather crude fantasy piece is a fusion of Scottish, Japanese and Scandinavian elements.  It is a compact little knife and would fit well into a boot, pocket or be used as a neck knife. The materials for the blade include a bronze bolster plate with ebony and moose antler.  The moose antler is carved with a traditional Scottish basket weave commonly seen on sgian dubs and has been deeply antiqued and stained as if it’s been in soaking in a bog. The blade is 2 and 3/4″ long and forged from W1 tool steel which has been...

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A Tuan Lian .. or ‘Militia Jian’….

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Swords and Historical | 0 comments

A Tuan Lian .. or ‘Militia Jian’….

Here is a gallery depicting the forging and building of a tuanlian jian. These Chinese swords were specifically made by local blacksmiths for military use and were deployed from an armory to village-level militia members in times of war.  They are typically very strongly built but also a bit rough and tumble in terms of fit and finish.  They were weapons of war and were not intended to be status symbols or works of art. I’ve long been wanting to make one as I’ve been attracted to their rustic simplicity and sense of purpose....

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Kiridashi – Bloomery steel, Ebony, Kintsugi

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Available, Other | 1 comment

Kiridashi – Bloomery steel, Ebony, Kintsugi

Here is a small Japanese utility knife or kiri-dashi forged from beautiful high carbon home-smelted bloomery steel.  It is engraved with an abstract bamboo theme and comes with an ebony sheath with a natural fissure filled with Japanese gold kintsugi powder.  The kiri-dashi is 4″ long. I’m asking $175 for this.

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A Turkish archery thumb ring …

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Other | 5 comments

A Turkish archery thumb ring …

Here is a Turkish style archery thumb ring that I cast from the native copper found in the mountains of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My version has ‘himotoshi’ drilled into it so that it can be used as a netsuke.. or necklace.  

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