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Sword Reflections on the Celtic Sword two seven day classes at Tannery Pond Forge hosted by Zack Jonas with me as guest tutor. Dates: 1st - 7th & 10th - 16th of September 2018 Back in January 2017 Zack Jonas and I arranged the first sword class in the series of Sword Reflections in his workshop, the Tannery Pond Forge in Wilmot, New Hampshire. Since then we have arranged 7 one week classes. The emphasis of the Sword Reflections curriculum is not primarily to produce a sword of a certain type but rather to study the essential principles of the sword, both functionally, and aesthetically. This year we offer classes on the subject of the sword of the La Tène period. The Celtic sword is a very useful topic of study because it offers a great perspective to sword making and sword design. Each attendee is expected to arrive at the class with a blade blank that is ready for heat treat on the first day. The dimensions and proportions of the blank is detailed in material that is provided to the attendees in advance of the class. By focusing on the work done after heat treat rather than the forging of the blade blank, we can spend more time reflecting on the subtle but important details in the grinding and finishing of the blade, studying how outline and distal taper work together with the cross section in establishing an effective balance of the sword. The knowledge generated from this practise will make the forging of a blade next time a much more purposeful and involved operation. Through out the week will look at archaeological material and relate to this as a basis for all our work with both blade shape and hilt forms. The use of historical material as a source of information and inspiration is in itself an important subject matter of the class. With the perspective from historical and archaeological material we get to explore what aspects may be important for function and what aspects rather play a cultural, traditional and asthetic role in the design of sword. We will also reflect on how we as individual makers relate to the traditions of the craft and how we can make use of exisitng, but often fragmentary information and facts (in developing new products, methods of making and identity towards customers). Zack and Karina are fantastic hosts that open their home to us over the week. All meals (satifyingly deliscious and nourishing) are prepared in their kitchen, which is also the place we will typically gravitate to for some late night discussions and revelry after long days in the work shop (that is just across the yard). I hope that some of you fellow guardians of the flame here on this forum will have the time and inclination to attend. Please contact Zack Jonas at: SwordReflections@gmail.com Or via his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zack.jonas Or his business page: http://jonasblade.com Zack can answer all your questions regarding details of the classes, locations, boarding and preparations. See you in September! Inspecting the batch of blanks in the morning of day one. Heat treating. (Placing the blades in press after quench like this is something I learned from Sam Salvati -Thanks Sam :-) ) Grinding is mostly done on the wheel rather than the flat platen: a technique we will study during the week. Typical view of the work tables upstairs from the smithy: a creative chaos with sketching and cutlery work in various stages. All photos by Karina Casement
Dear fellow keepers of the flame, On the podcast Chivalry Today you can listen to two conversation between Scott Farrell and me. The first episode focused on the cultural and symbolical aspects of the sword and how it relates to concepts of chivalry. The latest one is about the nuts and bolts of functional and dynamic properties of the sword, prompted by the recent publication of the Sword Dynamics Calculator by Vincent Le Chevalier. Perhaps you will find the latest one about sword dynamics most interesting, since we cover in some detail what these dynamic graphs can be used for and what they represent/how you can read them. This has direct bearing on the making of swords as you can use the online calculator to visualise changes in balance as you work with a sword.