Swordsmithing

The sword is a relatively new endeavor for me and one that I did not take on lightly.  There is nothing easy about the craft of this noble weapon.  Successfully forging and heat treating a sword blade requires the discipline to control every aspect of the geometry in a long, thin three dimensional structure. If any aspect of the symmetry and balance are off, then the harmony and beauty collapse.  An unbalanced sword can come out of the fiery quench in a maelstrom of warp and twist.  But the sword blade deserves this kind of respect. It is ones of the world’s great and powerful symbols and has deep meaning for just about everybody. The sword lives in the dreams of both the child and the inner-child of the experience-hardened man.  The goal for me, as a budding swordsmith, is to make the sword that is in the dreams of that inner child.  To make a sword seething with story and meaning.   The sword should be fully functional and a true weapon and tool.  I do not believe in cheap wall hanging art.. although the sword should look beautiful in this regard as well.  I like to use  traditional, ancient and rare materials in my work but I also like to use modern technology so that the weapon evolves beyond it’s ancestors.

I forge my blades from either modern steel, laminated steel or pattern welded steel (damascus) but I also have several projects in which I’m working towards historically correct blades using processes that have essentially been lost to mankind.  I use a more modern style of hilt construction in which fittings are mechanically wedged into place and the grip is fixed to the tang using the highest quality epoxies available. The tang extends to the pommel and I then cold peen it over. This is a method that Albion Swords LTD uses and is a method in which a hilt can be constructed to last through the ages of time.  Hot peening in the ‘old way’ usually results in loosening of the components and fracturing of the grip over time.  I want my swords to be heirlooms of lasting value.  I work hard at making sure my swords handle and feel like true weapons. They should be light, well balanced, fast in the hand… made for their intended purpose.  I love seeing people’s eyes light up when they hold one my swords and their surprise at how light and dynamic it feels.

The artistic vision I’ve used so far in my sword craft has been to make weapons that COULD HAVE BEEN.   I’m interested in the swords used by the working class soldier or mercenary. Swords that show the tell-tale signs of a long campaign.  Sometimes I enjoy a ‘fantasy’ component as well and sometimes more of an antique/relic feel.  But my vision is always evolving.

 

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