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Matthew Parkinson

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Matthew Parkinson last won the day on September 15

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About Matthew Parkinson

  • Birthday 05/16/1976

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

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  1. It is mostly skill, sometimes the steel just hates you and doesn't cooperate. I figure that's fair i burn it and hit it will hammers. In fact this is very planned and based on experimentation and control in the forging process, parts of this did things I didn't expect (though looking back I probably should have) so going forward I will likely change my methods. This is still early in the concept, wail a successful piece it is not the vision i have in my mind, but it is a step toward it. MP
  2. Those that know , know. Last year at the Ashoken seminar Kevin Cashen started a New tradition by donating a knife to raffle off in support of the Saturday night whiskey Tasting/ Memorial I volunteered to continue the tradition and to do this years knife. This is an experimental pattern weld I did for my donation , the steels are 15n20 1080 and 1075, the handle is stabilized Koa and the bolster/ pin are bronze, the edge bard is 150 layer the spine 1075 the rest is mosaic tiles of 1080/15n20. the Idea is a moon lit tree line with a roaring camp fire, the image in my mind, represents some of my fondest memories of the fellowship I have felt attending Ashoken.. There is a more detail build through forth coming on my Pateron but i am happy to answer any question on how i did any of this. I will not be about to make ashoken this year (double booked with a teaching job) but the knife will be there and will be raffled off.. Tim Nue already mentioned how he is looking forward t it being in him kitchen I suspect he will be buying more than a few tickets. MP PXL_20220913_211809783.mp4
  3. I had a pro pic done of this one at bladeshow, just got the image back from Sharp By Coop, This one also won the ABS Moran award (best knife in the style of Bill Moran)
  4. got the Pro pic back from sharp by coop, managed to get the pattern to pop way better than I could in pics
  5. Great to see you back on here Dick!! I haven't had a chance to work on any others in this vein, I do have a bunch of ideas I drew out, that I plan to make. I think I can pull off a river scene with tree lined banks, and i have an idea for a lake flanked by mountains, I drew out and idea for Lilly pads as well .. that one I am less sure I can pull off. This one was really close to what I had in mind , a few things i want o do again, one thing the edge bar was just a little bit to dense I wanted a lot a chatoyance and it was so fine It muddied out a bit I think I'll also add a grace line around the reflection on the next one, it isn't as obvious as I would like.
  6. Fiebing's leather dye , Med Brown. trick is to sand back between coats up to 800 grit then use 0000 wool and several coats of oil. MP
  7. Just finished this guy for my table at Blade show, 400 layer ladder pattern blade this some of the most chatoyant steel I have ever made, the video doesn't do it justice. Nickel silver guard, curly maple handle inlaid in silver in a pattern based of one of Bill Moran's knives . Knife is a full take down assembled with a twist pattern Damascus nut. MP PXL_20220519_172854535.mp4 PXL_20220519_173034584.mp4
  8. long ago there was a guy on here names Dick Sexstone , he was the first guy I ever saw that would treat a knife as a canvas. He made a knife that wasn't just themed if was a picture, he had a technique he demoed at ashoken one year he called "die displaced damascus" that he used to make landscapes, in damascus. (among other things) the idea of patterning a picture is something that suck with me for a long time now. recently I saw Joshua Prince do a piece with a plug welded "moon", that gave me the idea to do a moon rise or sunset, I started playing around with this piece. (it took several tries to get one I thought successful) In working on this I became aware of several others working in this style including a Russian smith Vlad Matveev who is doing some really cool work in this style as well as a cool piece Dave Lisch did with a plug welded moon over a hamon mountain range. This is my take on the idea , I call it "Whiskey Sunrise" The blade is a composite mosaic the spine is 1075 the sun is A203E the horizon line is 1095 and 15n20 the refection is 8670 and the edge bar is 350-400 layers of 15n20 and 1080, in a dog star pattern. (radial ladder) The handle is stabilized Koa with 410 stainless bolster and G10 spacers, and a sterling silver. MP PXL_20220505_203544869.mp4
  9. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adirondackfolkschool.org%2Fafs%2Findex.php%3Fm%3DCourse%26cid%3D1831%26fbclid%3DIwAR3C7wZShf1775F1n5bC_ZE5pRKh238N7V5DUW2ULCtCidbCyUQRPKssIgM&h=AT1JnQTwYAeZzn-uRmSU-Iibt37Rgv-bX4MDLJg1Cr71haHsMx_lA83vOVfRRb8HYsY-qisESJf5ylMcrXj2neTmYZuS0ynlDZ-eRlTy-4pvBjqgrwjq5O10gNSGx1kA5W3AHEgGWGAPq_zfYA&__tn__=-UK*F I have space left in this class at the Adirondack folk school in Lake Luzerne NY. coming up end of July. This is a great beginner to intermediate level class. Ill be covering a forging a flush choil blade, fitting a guard , fitting a sculpted spacer and coffin handles , as well as more general Knifemaking like heat treating , sharpening, hand finishing, this class offers a lot of information that can be applied to a huge range of designs.
  10. My first instinct was to dismiss this as sour grapes. How ever I have been saying many of the same things for years, I even wrote about it in my column. First I will say in hind sight I think FIF is a symptom not a cause. The rise and the slow death of most of the forums and then the rise of the facebook smithing groups in there place are just as much a cause as FIF and in fact are also a symptom. a little history as I remember it. I started on the early forums back in 96 or so. The rise of early forums like Anvil fire, CKD (latter Knifenet) swordforums Iforgeiron. in the beginning it was just a bunch of like minded wackos. There was a lot of sharing and teaching going on. Knowledgeable smiths were known , and judged by there body of work and quality of advice.. then they grew and with that growth came the need for moderation. Moderation is a difficult thing , it can make petty dictators that suppress new ideas or through inaction give equal weight to the loudest voice even if that voice is wrong. Very few forums managed to find or keep that balance, (this one being an exception) the nature of the Larger groups is such that they become the lowest common denominator. I watched one group implode and kick out every smith with any kind of body of work in a week (my self included) that group quickly became the ignorant leading the blind. youtube has further caused confusion as what gets views is almost never the quality of the information, gaining following is about personality , story telling , and production. there is great stuff there but it is drowned out and lost in the noise. FIF put a small section of our world out into the public eye, but it would never have been made with out the 20-30 facebook groups with 40K followers. It has grown the base of both customer's and interested party's exponentially and with that growth has come problems. Many getting into sales and business to soon, putting out work of dubious quality. flooding the market with noise. Those with out the background or knowledge teaching, in shops that are at best uninsured at worst truly dangerous. There is nothing wrong with the "experience" class, some one that just wants to make a hook or a knife. when taught well those classes can lead to a more serious interest in the craft, or a larger appreciation for the work involved and make for a better customer. The oft lamented flood of new smiths has lead to both good and bad results, yeah use anvil/tool prices are a little crazy but a larger market has lead to an economy of scale and a lowering of new tool costs. you can buy a brand new anvil for what good condition old anvils were going for 10 years ago, 10 years ago you had all of three or four belt grinders on the market now there are 10-20 really good grinders on the market, some costing less now that a Bader cost ten years ago. The amount of innovation in tools , material, and equipment has skyrocketed with this influx of new makers growing the market. these are great things. This reminds me a little of the fine wood world 20+ years ago, when you had the home wood shops just explode, pretty tools of rosewood and polished brass, but also rapid innovation of saws and other equipment. It is important to the craft to talk about these things. to find ways to keep the quality of information available to new smiths high. To be the shoulders of giants that other will stand on. but it is also imperative to remember the other side, the opportunities that these "issues" represent. So often I have heard FIF scapegoated for all the ills of our community many times by those same smiths making a good portion of there living teaching classes. I hear complaints of no one respecting the old guard of smiths (mostly in the blacksmithing side) but there is no effort to sell them selves or even to do some basic marketing.. other then through groups and clubs like ABANA.. that drive new smiths out with there unwelcoming dated attitudes. just a few thoughts on this MP
  11. Working in Coal I would use flux as well. Especially for odd shaped welds like hawk eyes. its is the consistent soak time at temp that is key to breaking down the scale, I don't know that i could do that in a coal forge with out burning up the work flux would shorten that soak time. in fact to long a soak when using flux and the flux will get full of crud and cause issues. MP
  12. This may sound like it is going against the prevailing wisdom but I swear it is the truth. you don't need flux and you don't need to do any surface prep, for the last 5-6 years i have not used any flux for any Damascus work I have done, this is the method I use. For initial stack I just cut bars to length and weld the corners to hold everything in place on longer stacks I will run a bead down the middle. I don't prep any thing unless it has white paint (that can stop a weld flat). I weld in a gas forge running hot, the temp isn't super important hotter is better up to a point. you do want a fairly reducing atmosphere, that is a dragons breath out of the forge. If the forge isn't reducing you will get a excessive amount of scale and a lot of decarb on the outside of the bar. The weld will be unaffected. My best practices for a weld. 1st layers must be fit tightly. 2nd soak time at temp is key 2-10 min 3rd temp and amount of scale dictate length of soak time. 4th set the weld in one go, if it is to long repeat soak and fit requirements. Restacks I will grind for fit but even on mosaics I don't sweat getting every last bit of scale off. I have been teaching this method with hand hammers for the last two or three years, in that time I have not had any student that followed best practices get a bad weld. MP
  13. You didn't mention how you are judging the temps. For 1095 table salt works well it melts at 1474 degf. normalize three times right around this temp to reduce grain size, then quench from the temp the salt melts. heating slowly helps keep everything heating evenly turn the forge down and go slow. 1095 should be quenched in something like Parks 50, but In thin cross sections like a knife medium speed oils will work though you may get an auto hamon, in a pinch canola at heated to 125DegF or so should be fast enough for 1095.
  14. don't worry I'll get coop to shoot this one as well .. figured you all would want to see the delay in working on this one. MP
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