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House for the Rising Sun

1 of 2

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.