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When I saw this year's KITH were going to be an eastern/culture theme, I was pretty excited. I don't know much about eastern culture or design (aside from Japan), so it was going to be fun learning something new! With that in mind I started pouring through the links in the signup thread & hitting Google hard. The first inspiration I had was this crystal-hilted kard. Nice shape, cool handle & the general idea I had in my head; a larger knife. That was a good start, but why not change it up a bit, put a gentle recurve on the blade? Recurves are eastern right? I'd end up with a yataghan shaped kard, pretty neat! Well, a little more searching through Middle Eastern blade galleries & auction signs yielded the exact shape I was sketching out, a Turkish bichaq! It looks like it is true; there is nothing new under the sun! With my knife type chosen & did a bit of searching for Turkish or Ottoman metal work for the sheath fittings, where I decided to keep things simpler, a leather wrapped wood sheath with a bit of metalwork around the throat & tip, with just a bit of engraving & peircing to fancy things up. I found a pretty cool bronze platter with an interesting basket-weave type pattern (unfortunately the picture I managed to get is too small to see the details) that I used around the throat fitting, perhaps stamping it into the metal for a extra texture on the piece. All in all it was pretty fun designing this knife. I'm not sure I'll get to starting this one anytime soon, nevermind having the skill to do the it justice, but perhaps one day! Let me know if you've got comments or critiques, it would be great to hear any feedback. Turkish Bishaq 10.5" (265mm) low contrast layered damascus blade with thin fuller 4.5" (115mm) walnut or olivewood handle with bronze/red brass bolster & buffalo horn pommel cap red/brown leather wrapped wood sheath with bronze/red brass engraved & stamped fittings