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Hello all,


Next semester I will be graduating from the Professional Crafts Jewelry program at Haywood Community College in NC. One of my goals upon entering the program was to make a sword, so I guess now is that time. I plan to make my first sword for my graduate show in May (I hope I can do it...).


Following are two potential designs I have been working on recently:


Umbra Blade 1.jpg


Umbra Blade 2.jpg


This is the simpler of the two. It is not based on any historical piece or type, but rather was designed to fit a character in a particular story (the same is true of the following design as well). This is a longsword, 42" overall, hilt is 8". The guard is S shaped and twisted, the pommel is octagonal at the base but tapers nearly square with large semicircular grooves cut into it. The medieval design theory of Peter Johnsson's has been particularly influential on my work of late. I love the symbolism and beauty achieved through number and geometry. This sword was designed around the number 6, the number of man, the shadow of God, who has fallen into darkness (as I see it). The sword represents shadow, hence the guard and pommel will be darkened mild steel or wrought, the handle will be wrapped in black leather, and the blade itself will be darkened in some manner. I may leave some forged texture in the piece for a rougher look.


Lucis Blade 1.jpg


Lucis Blade 2.jpg


This is a far more complicated piece. The blade form is similar to a type XIX, but does not have a fuller. This piece also will be 42" overall. The guard and pommel will be sand cast using a nickel alloy for color. I would like to use ray skin for the handle wrap. There is a flush set, faceted stone, likely white quartz, in the pommel in this design (possibly one in the guard as well). The crisscrossed design on the flat section of the blade will be made using silver wire inlay. I haven't tried this technique yet, but I am eager to learn it. This sword is designed to be the counterpart to the one above, and represents light. It was designed around the numbers 8 and 4 (the days on which God created light and the sun respectively; 8 being the first day as it is one more than 7).


These designs are by no means final. I plan to begin working on both pieces this semester and finish the one that works out best (or possibly both if time allows). I would appreciate any comments and critique. Is there anything that needs to be changed from a functional or aesthetic standpoint? Are these designs crazy for a fledgling swordsmith? Any advice from those with experience would be appreciated. Questions are also welcome.

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Thanks guys,


I plan to begin forging next week. I will post my progress in the show & tell forum.

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