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Jeroen Zuiderwijk

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Jeroen Zuiderwijk last won the day on February 19

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    Bronze age, iron age, early medieval.

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  1. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    Yeah, I had even one involved in a little experiment, using his 3D printer to print out a 3D model of an artifact found online, which I then cast in bronze. The conclusion was that the models and printer did not give the quality in detail required. It would have been a lot easier and more precise to make the model from scratch.
  2. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    Pretty sure I'm not going to write a book When I happen to have free time, I will much rather spend it on metalworking then writing a book. Right now free time is a very precious luxury that doesn't come around very often. P.s. for historical bronze casting, this is also a good place to have a look: https://www.facebook.com/groups/experimentalhistoricalbronzecasting Also check the files and photos, where I've uploaded all sorts of info.
  3. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Refractory suggestions

    Sand will just blow allover the place and create a mess. When using clay, mix in a good amount of sand. If you have horse dung to mix in even better or if you are squeamish about that, hay or other organic fibers. It will still form cracks though, but if it can crack without falling to bits, the cracks are not really a problem.
  4. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    Well I'll end it with a last piece. Pretty much all I do is reproductions of ancient artifacts. I've been toying with personal designs, of which one I materialized, sort of. I had more plans with enlaying the hilt with scrimshaw decorated bone and metal wire, inspired by 18th century gun grips, but that I had to skip to finish it at some point. But it made me realize I'm not really in my element designing blades myself. I'm so used to not using personal inspiration, but instead sticking to archaeological evidence that I find it very hard to just let my fantasy run wild. I'm much happier just stealing the work of smiths from millenia ago This did make me appreciate those bladesmiths who can design blades from scratch, and even invent whole new styles.
  5. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    The patterns are not an easy one to survive in the archaeological record, but we do have these wooden patterns from Ireland: Also, sword moulds have been found which clearly have the imprint of a wooden pattern being used: Further, I've been using dried clay patterns as well. These have not been found, and would not survive due to turning back to clay in the ground, but were a very helpful tool that could have been used: But for thinner shapes, I've also carved the shapes directly into the clay. And for lost wax, you have to make the wax each time you make the mould, although there are some ways to copy the waxes as well.
  6. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    Practice And I learned a lot from various other casters: Neil Burridge, Erik Schouten, Anders Soderberg and the Irish group Umha Aois. A lot of early things were not so good, but with experience I got better at it. The advantage is that I started the hard way, with bronze age means only. From then on using modern means to simplify things made the rest feel easy. It's a lot harder to cast a simple flat axe the way they did it in the bronze age, then a sword with some help of modern tools and materials. Simply things like a silicon carbide crucible and steel tongs already made casting far more reliable, taking care of the whole issue of melting the bronze and getting it out of the fire and into the mould in time.
  7. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    A so-called "scramachette", from Lithuania, 7-11th century AD. Hilt and (unfinished) sheath not based on finds: Eating knife: late 14th century AD, London, UK. Laminated wrought and spring steel:
  8. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    And now for some iron, starting with seaxes. Short seax, Weingarten, Germany, mid 6th century: Type II narrow seax, Krefeld-Gellep, Germany, late 6th to early 7th century: Broad seax, Germany, mid to late 7th century: And some broken back style seaxes, 8-11th century, UK:
  9. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    I've also done various joined projects with Neil Burridge, using bare castings of his sword blades, and finishing, workhardening and hilting them: Middle bronze age rapier, UK: The most iconic bronze age sword, the Ewart Park type, around 800BC, UK: Type G sword, Greece, 1300-1100BC: And one of the very last European swords to be made in bronze, a Mindelheim type sword based on the find from Kemmathen, Germany, 7th century BC:
  10. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    Reproductions of the world's oldest swords from Arslantepe, Turkey, around 3300BC: Bronze short sword with bone hilt, Iran, 1100BC: Reproduction of a giant ceremonial dirk from Ommerschans, Netherlands, around 1500BC:
  11. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    Some axes, roughly in the order of age of the originals: Copper shaft hole axe from Varna grave 43, Bulgaria, 4600-4200BC: Same axe without haft, and copper axehammer from Naxos, Greece, 2500-2200BC: Copper flat axe, 3000-2000BC, Netherlands: Decorated (punched) bronze flanged axehead with stopridge, Wassenaar, Netherlands, middle bronze age (1500-1100BC): Labrys from Athens, Acropolis hoard, dating to around 1300-1200BC: Bronze axe type palstave, Leimuiden, Netherlands, middle bronze age (1500-1100BC): Two socketed axes late bronze age (1100-800BC), Netherlands: And finally something iron, an early medieval axe based on one from Dorestad, Netherlands:
  12. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    A number of bronze age knife reproductions: And a few of my favorite, the Appelscha knife: I will be uploading more the next few days (due to limited time available online). So more to come!
  13. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    This is a reproduction of a khopesh, based on a find from Tell El Daba, Egypt, dated ~2000 B.C. The original had a hilt of bone I found out after making it.
  14. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    So, for some more reproductions. This is a reproduction of the oldest sword from the Netherlands, a Sögel-Wohlde type sword from the chieftain of Drouwen, Netherlands, 1800-1600 B.C. The blade is decorated with punches, which was a first for me.
  15. Jeroen Zuiderwijk

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    Thanks! I'll upload a selection of my favorite reproductions in the following posts. I've not worked sites, but I have worked musea and the Archaeology Faculty at the University in Leiden. I've made various reproductions for education purposes (to show students what bronze swords would have looked like originally), use wear traces on swords, axes etc and providing material for exhibitions. The nicest exhibition was "Vlijmscherp verleden" (=razor sharp past), where several of my reproductions were shown next to the originals. That had been a long wish of mine. Included were the seax above, and also this Gundlingen sword reproduction (coincidentally also based on a find from Heusden): The sword is an early iron age bronze sword, from around 700BC (iron was still rare at this time). This was spare one from the sword use wear project for which I delivered a series of swords. Those did not have to be polished and finely finished. This one is part of my own collection, so this one is nicely finished. I still need to take some good quality photos of it by itself. Another example was this early bronze age sword Sögel-Wohlde type sword. The original is from Nijmegen, Netherlands, 1600-1500 B.C. Interesting fact, of two of the 3 reproductions I made, both have a similar flaw in the same spot halfway down the blade, due to a charcoal inclusion. Those were very lucky mistakes
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