Working on specialized projects where I define all the parameters is key in being able to try new ideas that would otherwise be very difficult to describe and sell. Going out a limb is important and something I always try to keep room for in the production cycle.
This short sword, known as a tanto, was created by good friend, Taro Asano, in 2013 at Zack Jonas’s shop in Wilmot, New Hampshire. This sword is actually 1 of 2, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Watch the video introduction for this project for more insight into the story of this blade.
The goal for this project is to create a house for this sword. This really goes back to my roots, as my journey in bladesmithing really began with Japanese sword smithing. My beginning, in many ways, was akin to jumping into the deep end of the pool without even really knowing how to swim. I have since distanced myself from trying to create Japanese specific work, simply because I’m not Japanese and not a formal graduate of that tradition.
Having decided to carve my own path doesn’t mean I’m not influenced from the years I spent studying the Japanese sword and that is usually pretty evident in my work. In this case the sword has already been forged, signed and permission has been given to complete it as I see fit. There is definitely still work to be done to the blade to create a final cutting edge and polish it to a point where the steel’s true beauty can be revealed. That work is already pretty well defined however.
The creative opportunity will be in redefining the complete look and feel, the house that the blade will rest in. I’ve hesitated for years to attempt some of the ideas I have, driven by my complete respect for the only uninterrupted sword smithing tradition in the world. A confluence of factors, including permission, make this sword the perfect opportunity to apply my thoughts in hopes that they are well received.
For more information, including why this is 1 of 2 swords, watch the video created to start this project.
Two clients who helped support Origin Blades very early on are represented in these blades. They are also the two first purchasers for commissions and have been very patient as I fulfilled other work to sustain the business in our launch phase. Thankfully the work for these blades can now take priority and will so be brought to completion.
The Legacy series is a wonderful and carefully considered template, but these blades will be created with very customized steel that is in the area of 8 distinct steps to make the final pattern. Making steel along has been a very long process, but the end result seems very promising. In addition to creating the knives which were also ordered with our best knife box to contain them, I decided to forge rings made from the knife steel recuperated at various stages of the steel making process.
Stemma is a Latin term to describe a recorded genealogy of a family; a family tree. This blade has been commissioned by a son as a gift to his father. This gift will represent their lineage and his father’s importance in his life. This will be a carbon steel culinary knife.
This knife was commissioned as a heirloom blade and will have customizations that will make it one of a kind. We and the client for this blade are open to this becoming an established series for Origin Blades, but we’ll wait until this first one is done before making it part of our regular portfolio.
The blade is currently designed to be 10″ long, forged from one of our pattern welded steels and adorned with some personalization that will be revealed over time and only after the blade has been gifted to its final recipient.
I spent many years roaming from one teacher to the next, slowing building my own unique foundation from various bladesmithing traditions. Being nomadic is definitely an apt description for my last 15 years. This new blade design incorporates all of my foundation into a new form, and as the name insinuates, this blade will attempt to put my journey into function.
Although perhaps difficult to truly appreciate in the concept drawings, the work for these blades will be quite complex. Precious metals will be applied for some of the fittings work with the goal of creating unique variations in all 5 finished blades.
The start of this project has been kindly commissioned, making the first of the 5 blades we create for 2020 already sold.
Currently for this short run series, we are still in the raw production phase creating the blade steel and other alloys. Following updates about this project on our social media channels and subscribing to our newsletter is the best way to see when we have the other 4 blades available for purchase.