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Matthew Parkinson

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Matthew Parkinson last won the day on June 12 2023

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About Matthew Parkinson

  • Birthday 05/16/1976

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  • Website URL
    http://www.dragonsbreathforge.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    wolcott CT
  • Interests
    sword making , black smithing, knife making, Sci fi books , motorcycles.

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  1. This is another of the Pictorial mosaic patterns I have been playing with. I saw a photo on the news showing Maui in the distance from the Lahaina side on the island, I thought I could make that shape so I decided to try and then auction off the knife with 50% going to Maui Strong, a 501C that is doing a lot of great work in Maui to help recover from the wild fires. Auction will be on my instagram page starting tomorrow (9/23/2023) Specs 8" blade 13" OV 2.125 heel 7.5 OZ Blade 1080/1084/1095 and 15n20 steel Handle Figured stabilized Koa furniture, sterling silver (bolster butt cap and pins) bolster was cast, but the butt cap is fabricated and is Bezel set in place.
  2. Hey guys Ashoken is coming up sept 15-17th we have some pretty awesome demonstrators this year and we will be sharing the the center with the Northeast blacksmiths meet (they have the BEST tailgating!!) MP https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Announcing-the-Ashokan-Blade-Seminar.html?soid=1132235123880&aid=f-sWwnyvYKc
  3. hollow is 4 sided, 3/4" wheel it was fun! I don't think I have one from the back, but I had coop shoot it and haven't see those shots yet so maybe? body of the sheath was cast , I did have to do a bunch of patching , I think I would fabricated it next time.
  4. This one was the last one I made for bladeshow, based on on original in a friends collection, these little daggers were carried by women as protections, the guard shape and silver sheaths seem to be a standard of the style. The blade on this one is made from CT river blacksand, it was a direct reduction in a crucible with equal weight of charcoal fines and a small piece of cast iron form a previous smelt to help consolidate .. very inefficient method do not think I will be repeating it. The guard is cast sterling silver, as is the sheath, the sheath is tipped with a ruby. The handle is carved from stabilized dyed birch .
  5. just got home I had a table in the ABS section.
  6. most of the recently finished old work was made for something. this one was originally for a class i was teaching , then I was going to finish it for a show that never happened with covid.. but it worked in this case!
  7. This sword is another one that has been sitting around unfinished a lot time.. I made the Wootz in 2019, forged the blade and got it fitted up in early 2020. for Peter Johnsons scabbard, little did we know that a month latter we would be in lockdown. In the class the sword was assembled but far from finished. .. it sat for a long time as other projects took precedence. I wanted to get it done last year for blade but the week I was going to start the scabbard fittings at Matt Berry's place he got covid so I panned it for another year. It seems this year things worked out so .. I finished it out for my table at blade show next week (11Q) Wootz blade, damascus fittings, sterling silver backstrap over ray skin. scabbard is felt lined wood core with linen and leather wrap and sterling silver mounts.
  8. I'll be at blade.. if I survive the shop this week getting ready anyway.. table 11Q. The materials are a mix of 1080 1095 and 15n20 the etch was a pain on this one . it was a lot of cycles polishing back to 1500 couldn't get the back ground to darken evenly so I left it bright.
  9. This one was sitting around Half finished for several years. I first made it as a sample piece for a western sword class i was teaching at NESM figuring on finishing it out for one of the shows that year.. well I didn't do any shows and got over whelmed with commissions and it sat. A customer saw is wanted it so it got finished out! blade is 350ish layer random pattern 15n20 /1080 the fittings are a lower layer pattern weld (30 ish layers) the pommel and nut are set with Lapus in silver. It felt really nice in the hand around 2LB total weight 30" blade 36" overall. MP
  10. this is the other half of the billet from the Ashoken Nights chef i donated to the whiskey tasting fund last ashoken, Pictorial mosaic blade, bronze bolster figured Koa handle. T his will be on my table at blade show 11Q MP PXL_20230515_175348736.mp4 PXL_20230515_173014378.mp4
  11. This is a subject that opens a very large can of worms.. Money, commissions, running a business, balancing life and shop and mental health in and around the business/ shop.. it is all connected. talking about it is very good but there is no right way every one needs to find a different path, one that is right for them. I have been full time as a smith for over 20 years. For a long time blades were a side business the main being railings/ironwork. Around 10 years ago I made the switch to blades only. Well that is a bit of a misnomer, I have multiple revenue streams almost different businesses. First are the knives and swords I make on commission and on spec, I teach in our school, make and sell tools , I also teach out side of the shop and a number of schools, do paid demos, have a patreon and write a column for Knife magazine. The last 5 years have been the most successful I have had from a financial/ business stand point. Even Covid only shifted things around rather than put a real hole in my income. (to be honest part of that was PPP loans but even with out I would have been ok) That said my commissions have become the most time consuming portion of my work but the least success full from a financial standpoint. Before the pandemic I limited my books to 3-6 months out and would not take orders past that time, when the lock down started I took extra orders and pushed out to a year. (figuring a bird in the hand) once a design was settled I took 50% deposits. Several things happened to mess this well laid plan up, my 1 year of orders is out about 3 years right now, fist once lockdown opened back up I had other commitments, shows out side classes demos all of these needed time scheduled out of commission work not to mention several tool repair projects that lingered and took a lot of my time. My mental heath started to take some strain from the perceived expectations of those high dollar commissions (much as Gerhard mentioned) as well as being late Made keeping contact with the clients become difficult. All of this was coupled with some health issues that have slowed my ability to complete work. Nothing life threatening , but several years ago I developed a auto immune disorder after getting Lyme and it has left me with all sorts of fun symptoms that come and go. Just when I was just able to start moving forward getting the auto immune in control I caught covid at blade.. that turned in to long covid and set off the worst auto immune flare I have ever had.. last winter was hard. I finally delivered the sword that I took and order for in April 2020 in march 2023 a full two years after I planed to have it finished. I had started that sword in dec 2021. I offered several times to refund the client but he refused, I did so in part because financially the commissions have become unimportant, the rest of my income streams are by far the majority of my income yet the commissions slow every thing else up and take up far to much of my time. I have one more commission left on the books and likely that will be my last, if a take any others it will be something I want to make and short term and with in 3 month start time. That said the rest of the guys in the shop have gone a different route. They are out 3 maybe 4 years now. how they work it is $100 non refundable deposit gets you on the list when your name comes up they finalize details and costs they then ask a 50% deposit , remainder due on completion. Will all of those commissions pan out? no but then they made $100 for nothing and they can then move on to the next person in line. This have the advantage of not having the pricing be invalidated by rising costs from the time the commission started until it is built, as well as allowing for rising price points/ labor costs. I know of several makers that ran into that trap with long back logs and deposits. I know of one maker that was in the situation of working on orders that the total value was less than the deposits on new orders.. his price point in the 3 years had tripled not a great situation to be in. I know if this happening with dealer orders as well, unscrupulous dealer, filling a makers order book then artificially pushing the second market value of the makers work up.. locking them up for years. just something to think about. MP
  12. Thanks Dick! Yeah the coop pic highlights a different part of the bolster, I think to help highlight the blade a bit more. . the Yew was actually from my front garden. when my wife and i bough this house 17 years ago there was a stump in the front planting bed , My grandmother in law that was living with us at the time tried to dig it out and finally gave up and reburied it.. about two years ago my wife decided to redo the bed. she and my mother in law dug it out axed and chain-sawed the roots and finally got the root ball out , the color of the wood was all over the place from purples to reds and pretty solid, so they saved it for me. I dried it and cut it in to blocks then sent it out for stabilizing. this is one of the planer sections these two paring knives are made from the same stump.
  13. Dick is defiantly one of the major influences in this direction of my work! He is one of the first I ever saw work in what I have been calling pictorial mosaic, this is the third sucsessful blade in the style for me, the first was Whiskey Sunrise then Ashoken Nights, the Babba Yagga Pattern I did last fall was not successful but also in this vein. I just returned from the NCCA show in Mystic CT took home best forged knife for this one!
  14. I started this piece around the first of the year. I got the welding done and the blade sat around until I had time to finish it out now that blade show is on the horizon, as well as the Mystic Knife show this weekend, it seemed like the time. The blade is forged of 15n20/ 1075 and 1095 steels. the bolster is sterling silver, ( Lost wax cast) the handle is stabilized yew root. I have one other blade from this billet forged rough ground and heat treated I am going to try and get that one finished for blade show as well. I have been calling this one A New Dawn.
  15. As predicted the blade was full of flaws, o ground and etched it any way to look at the finished pattern. mixed results.. I think i may try welding up the last one again with a really thick jacket and a LONG soak MP
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