...upon which histories and possibilities hang...
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Traditionally crafted knives for folks who wish they could take things home from museums.

Island Blacksmith - Summer 2019

"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
Repair broken Natural Waterstone with Urushi

Repairing a Waterstone

This Kumamoto binsui-do, a natural waterstone from Japan, was broken in half on its journey overseas. Natural urushi lacquer is strong enough to repair the stone but will not interfere with sharpening and polishing.

Carving a cypress base to hold the stone together as well as using urushi lacquer to reattach the halves provides a double solution.

Watch the video

Installing the Higuchi (tuyere)

Rebuilding the Forge

The higuchi (tuyere) is the point where the air enters the forge and temperatures are very high. In this case the fire clay is a traditional brasque recipe consisting of 6:2 charcoal powder/fines to natural clay, mixed with just enough water to stick together well.

The forge must be allowed to dry fully before lighting or steam will crack the clay.

Watch the video

Island Forge: Part 7 – Kajiba Tour
Island Forge Project Part 7: A Quick Tour of the Kajiba

Island Forge: Part 7 – A Quick Tour of the Kajiba

The last in a series of photo essays documenting the preparation, construction, and set up of a simple swordsmith style kajiba (鍛冶場, forge building) from the ground up. The main inspiration for aesthetic, form, and technique is the humble Japanese inaka naya (納屋) style of a century ago.

Almost ready to chop some charcoal and light the forge!

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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.

Copyright © 2019 Crossed Heart Forge, All rights reserved.

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