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I have questions about these Maker's Mark's

Do they have to be earned, or is it a unique signature you design for your pieces?

Is it limited to my imagination, or is there some form of 'accepted' standards?

Is there a listing so I know I wont duplicate someone elses?

(i plan on using a symbol or hybrid there-of)

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As a group, bladesmiths, cutlers, blacksmiths, and such, are not organized enough to have a registry of marks or a governing body that would award and monitor marks. The exception to that rule is the ABS (American Bladesmith Society). The ABS recognizes and awards two marks, JS and MS, to signify that person using that mark has undergone the ABS procedure and passed the testing.

 

I don't know of anyone who has used the ABS mark without permission and been sanctioned for it, it's an honor system.

 

It's unlikely that you'll duplicate another makers mark, but you want to do some research, just in case. Many of us start with our initials, which doesn't make for a very good mark, too generic.

 

Geoff

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After some thought, I settled on using my family crest.

A heater style shield with a horizontal stripe and 3 fluer de lis

heres a pic of some of my gear, and my shield that i painted by hand.

207066_1015244472501_1566750094_30075895_2029_n.jpg

 

that sword is the one Lee Sauder forged a new tang for me on.

Thanks again lee, this thing is indestructable :D

And thanks Peter for posting the 'technicals' behind sword tangs on Albion Swords.(that was you right?)

Edited by Eric Leonard
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Eric, one thing I would add to the good advice already given is that someone should be able to find you based on your mark. I've used several different marks, but I've settled on an etch of my last name in simple easy to read letters. If you Google "Knifemaker Gdula" or "Bladesmith Gdula" you can find me and my website. It's fine to use your family crest, but I would also use a searchable word - your name, or the name of your site.

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It's generally accepted to not copy the mark of another smith working in the past 100 years, but usually your mark should be very personal to you, that this would not happen anyway.

 

You might laugh, but I've been using an offset "TF" for Tidewater Forge since the late 90's, and then a couple years ago met Tom Ferry, who uses a similar (though not identical) "TF" in a circle. They're close enough that the uneducated buyer might mistake them as the same maker using 2 different styles, but those who know can differentiate. Mine is far more stylized than his, though, so I hope nobody confuses it.

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I don't know why but I really like the makers marks that you have to do your homework to know who was the creator I don't think I will ever purchase a knife with a name on it not that they are not great knives but they just don't appeal to me. Initials are good provided they are somewhat discreet.

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My maker's mark is DLESTER with the "ESTER" part slightly smaller case. Just an effort to make it unique just in case that there is another D. Lester out there. I'd just be careful if you know that there is a similar maker's mark. There may be those who rather like Bob Loveless's old naked lady logo. If one was wanting to buck social correctness and use a another naked lady logo they should make it recognizably different than what he used to use.

 

Doug

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any one know about asian makers marks? i was just thinking of using my full chinese name. idk if thats traditional or not at all or if theres any rules about that.

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