...upon which histories and possibilities hang...
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Historical Knifemaking: keep it simple, do it the hard way
Traditionally crafted knives for folks who wish they could take things home from museums.

Island Blacksmith - Winter 2018

"The swordsmith was not a mere artizan, but an inspired artist, and his workshop a sanctuary. Daily he commenced his craft with prayer and purification...Every swing of the sledge, every plunge into water, every friction on the stone was a spiritual act of no slight import...Perfect as a work of art, there was more than art could impart. Its cold blade collecting on its surface, the moment it is drawn, the vapours of the atmosphere; its immaculate texture flashing light of a blueish hue, its matchless edge upon which histories and possibilities hang; the curve of its back uniting exquisite grace with utmost strength; all these fill us with mixed feelings of power and beauty, of awe and terror."

~Inazo Nitobe, Bushido, The Soul of Japan
Featured Work: Yozakura Tanto

Yozakura Tanto

The nightime viewing of cherry blossoms by moonlight is cherished for the unique perspective and focus the experience brings. 

This small tanto is reserved in its combination of colours, evoking the feeling of a familiar treasure. A stylized sakura petal graces the copper fuchi as a reminder that even a single petal falling to the ground does not go unnoticed and is not without significance.

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Tools: Making a Kanna from a Reclaimed Chisel

Making a Kanna

A custom mameganna (small “bean” plane), such as might be used by furniture makers, can be made fairly quickly from an old chisel.

This type of kanna might be used for shaping saya or tsuka or for other small woodwork projects requiring a custom radius or access to tight spaces. Materials for the project are simply a scrap of oak and a discarded chisel blade that has been reshaped.

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Process: Yakiire – Traditional Clay & Water Quench
Watch a blade being born through a traditional clay and water quench in the charcoal forge.

Process:  Yakiire – Traditional Clay & Water Quench

The immersive experience of being in the darkened workshop during a traditional clay and water quench using a charcoal forge. A hamon is created on a tanto using a 1mm thick layer of roughly 1:1:1 natural clay, charcoal powder, and polishing stone powder.

Watch the video

In the shadow of Mt. Arrowsmith,
deep in a forest clearing,
away from the things of man,
there is a place where blades are born
of earth, and air, and fire, and water.

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