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Oak leaf sword fittings.


Patrick Hastings
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thanks for the info. im also sans tv. i think its a waste of time, not to mention money. so many better things to do, like make knives. :)

"fire can be a tool of destruction or creation, the difference lies in the hands of those who wield it". me

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Wonderful work Patrick. I've attempted rudimentary rust finishes - yours is gorgeous. Also, the use of something excreted from a bug is both weird and totally fitting with the nature of japanese work, in the sense that exotic, unsuspected elements from nature can come together to form a beautiful whole.

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Thank you Cylivre for the kind words.

 

I don't always use chemical to induce rust. I find that the environment I live in is very rapid in producing rust so I often take advantage of that when conditions are right. when I have to use something I use a solution that was passed to me in confidence.

I find that how you grow the rust is not as important as making sure it is grown gradually. For me the ideal is only to color the metal rather than mutilate it with the pits and bumps of aggressive rusting. I want to be able to see the finest detail and metal character through the patina. Working gradually day by day fosters this.

I use a hand scrubbing brush for the rub downs. They are good because the bristles are staggered in irregular patterns. they are designed to wash your finger tips. With a regular brush your fingers fall in between the rows and so do the edges of parts... These brushes work really well for rubbing down the rust. The nylon bristles are just right for knocking off loose material and burnishing whats left.

For the solution I use chips from oak burls I harvested in the forest. I boil them until the water is black. All kinds of tannin solutions can be used. Most use Tea leafs.

The final step is to seal with a wax while the piece is hot enough to melt the wax. This makes sure the wax penetrates deeply into the patina. Once its cooled you can buff it up with a soft cloth. I use a clean Horse hair brush to do buff it up as the last step...

 

patrick B)

 

 

Thank you for the information! I'll be looking forward to your wip's in the future.

 

~Chris

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Wonderful work Patrick. I've attempted rudimentary rust finishes - yours is gorgeous. Also, the use of something excreted from a bug is both weird and totally fitting with the nature of japanese work, in the sense that exotic, unsuspected elements from nature can come together to form a beautiful whole.

 

Some of that romance for me is the connection to the natural world on so many levels. Harvesting my own pine resin to create Matsuyani (the black pitch used to hold the Tsuba while chiseling). Gathering my own tannins from nature for the patina process.

The Ibota is certainly one of the more unusual aspects, not as common as beeswax or worm silk, but it is the same idea. I don't harvest anything that comes from the back of a bug, but I do take a certain satisfaction in the unusual connections to the world around us. It not just some sterile process insulated by brand names and plastic packaging. There are no do it yourself kits or books on the subject that really explain it. There maybe in the future, but for now its an unbroken chain handed from individual to individual. Its not just a another way to work metal its a philosophy unto itself, a way of life.

Unfortunately it is no longer a financially profitable way of life, but it feeds the soul...I am sure that many knife makers can relate...

patrick B)

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Bug excretions aren't as rare as you'd think. Shellac is a bug excretion, and it's not just for furniture, it's also used to give candy (like Skittles) their shine. Carmine is made from powdered Cochineal insects and is used as a red food dye.

 

Beautiful work. Can we get some macro shots of the gold highlights?

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I'm happy to say that I was able to see Patrick's work first hand at the Oregon Knife show this weekend. Truly amazing level of subtlety and crispness (something I couldn't spit out at the show!). I have seen Patrick's work over the years and have never failed to be impressed by the level of artistry and craftmanship that, you sir, employ in your work. First-rate all around.

 

 

PS-Sorry I didn't get back to talk more Patrick...too much to see! Can't wait to see that Loui Mills kat mounted! It was great to finally meet you and talk about your work.

Edited by B. Stark

"Wyrd bi∂ ful aræd"

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Patrick, I was going to ask you seeing as you posted this close up... where do you get your gold leaf for Nunome Zogan? I just get the impression that the usual western gold leaf is too thin for this kind of inlay and having seen a photo of the roll of leaf that Ford uses it makes me think it has to be thicker than the usual stuff.

 

Do you get it from Comokin or? if you do get it from a certain place, would you mind sharing the contact details in order to make a purchase? (Comokin no longer have an e-mail address listed on their website).

Grey hair and alopecia are signs of age, not of wisdom...

Rósta að, maðr!

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Thank you Howard, good see your still active on a forum or two!

 

Nice talking with you Stark, I really enjoy that show and all the good conversation. It does not make me any money, but I will keep going anyway. I might even make a knife for next year. Its a knife show after all... :P

 

Hey Hyllyn,

The gold is thicker than leaf by far. I make it myself in the rolling mill. You roll it down like any other metal then close the rollers tight on themselves. Then roll the gold/silver a few more times. anneal and roll again closer to the bearing journal. Anneal repeat. each time you repeat this the gold will get thinner until it just so flimsy you can't handle it or get it to feed anymore. Don't go that thin, but if you have a mill you can make Nunome stock yourself.

If you don't have a RM then I would suggest looking for Gum boo sheet. Otto frei sells it. They don't give a specific thickness, but It is much thicker that leaf. Last I saw it was about $60 for a 3"x3" sheet. It might be just the thing?

There is a range of thickness that works. Problem is they are all so thin that its difficult to get an accurate measurement for reference.

patrick B)

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Thanks a lot Patrick. That explains a lot.

 

I do have a mill so will be trying it sometime soon.

 

Am off to look at your uchi-dachi pictorial

Grey hair and alopecia are signs of age, not of wisdom...

Rósta að, maðr!

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coming up Mr. Richards... Menuki are zipping along at a snails pace. I am taking photos as I go...

patrick B)

for scale the acorns are about 7mm wide. They have been chiseled, scraped, scrubbed, and burnished. Now its time to add some gold accents to the entire fittings set. Almost done...

acornmenukipair.jpg

patrick B)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Matt,

The menuki are done. I am still working on photos, but here is the best of the lot so far.

oakleafmenukifinish-00530.jpg

These were gilded with a very thick application of electroplating. Then after the proper preparation they were "pickled" with the classical Niage process (boiling in solution of Copper carbonate and copper sulphate) This rapidly grows the lustrous crows feather black on Shakudo alloy.

patrick B)

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  • 3 weeks later...

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