...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 - Spring 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
Process: Making a Futokorogatana

Making a Futokorogatana

Futokorogatana (懐刀) is translated as “clothing fold sword” and describes a type of tanto mounting meant to be carried in the kimono sleeve or fold.

Also known as kaiken, this humble style of hidden mounting is usually unadorned with a smooth profile and lacquer finish. The article features several photos and videos documenting various stages of the project.

See the photo essay

Differential Hardening Sunnobi Tanto

Sunnobi Tanto Yaki-ire

Sunnobi tanto are larger than ordinary tanto (nagasa above 1 shaku/30cm) and may have sori (curve) similar to ko-wakizashi.

A mixture of natural clay, polishing stone powder and ground charcoal masks the back the blade. When heated and plunged edge-first into cold rainwater the edge cools faster and hardens while leaving the masked area tough and resilient.

Watch the video

Using simple tools for forging habaki in the charcoal forge.

Process: Forging Habaki for a Tanto

Making a habaki (blade collar) from reclaimed copper. Material is scrap copper from an electrical bus bar, forged and bent to shape, silver brazed with hard silver solder in the charcoal forge with fuigo bellows, finish work done with files and rasps. Link to the full length version in the article.

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.

Copyright © 2018 Crossed Heart Forge, All rights reserved.

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