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Fluffy Bunny! a.k.a. Hare of Inaba

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After damaging my right hand in October 2014 I stayed away from the forge for a while. In the beginning of February I picked up the hammer again to rebuilt my strength, it was slow going, working for an hour a day.


The first thing I forged was a rough folding knife handle:



It sat on my bench for a couple of weeks while I worked on orders. After writing up all my job cards on a year planner I realised that I have to make time for my own work else I will never have anything in stock. I decided to make one object per month to keep the insanity at bay. The search for a theme for this knife ended as soon as I read the tale of the "Hare of Inaba" on wikipedia. I found a photo of a kozuka made with this theme and used that as original to work from. I guess one can call this knife an "utsushi" of sorts.










I had to make three more dot inlay punches, as the dots are of different sizes, and some are oval.

Carving and inlays on the front done:




Inlay with my mei on the back. It reads "Furuki", meaning "Ancient tree"




The finished knife:










Mild steel handle, with silver inlays. Bronze pivot pin

San mai blade. (Wrought iron with a random pattern damascus core)

The handle is sealed with three coats of urushi lacquer

Edited by Tiaan Burger
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Wow, when this thread first started I wasn't exactly sure where it was headed but the finished product is awesome. Your talent as a knife maker is greatly enhanced by your talent at engraving! Great knife, two thumbs up!!!

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Gorgeous...amazing engraving/inlay.

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Quite the welcome back project! Great work, and I'm glad to hear you are finding good health :)



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You know I looked at this thread yesterday and could not find the appropriate words to say what I wanted to say and still not sure this is going to convey my thoughts! The tittle of the piece, struck me as whimsical and not sure what I expected when I opened.


However by the time I got to the bottom of the text and pics. I am sure my mouth was hanging open in awe of the transformation I just watched this piece of steel make. I have always liked friction folders and this one took me to a different place and I learned some things along the way!


My friend your talents are awesome, I will be watching for anything you post from now on!


A very well done piece !!!!hatsoff.gif

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Thank you all for the positive feedback.
I did some heavy forging this week, and besides some stiffness the hand and wrist coped very well.


@ CCraft - I posted one of the in-progress photos on FB, one of my friends' comments was "Fluffy bunny!" so the name stuck. The story is also a bit whimsical: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_of_Inaba

A children's tale used as theme on sword fittings is something only the Japanese would do. I have seen the same theme used on tsuba.
I love working with scrap metal, bits of off-cuts turned into treasures. Besides the occasional bit of silver which I buy from a dealer most of my materials come from junk yards and from off-cut bins.

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I have been more and more aware lately of the importance of having a vision in your head, and with understanding the stages that a piece goes through before completion. In the past, I have felt discouraged when what I had in front of me was so far from a finished piece, and I would doubt in my ability to go from point A to the finish line (to mix a metaphor).


This piece you made really exemplifies the issue. It starts in a fairly humble manner, but gathered steam quickly to become a really cool end product. Forgive the rambling, please. I like the knife a lot, and it was great to see it evolve from beginning to end. thanks for sharing.


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Thank you Sean and Kevin.

I received the good photos from Tiaan van Niekerk (fellow bladesmith and excellent photographer):














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Great work Mr. Burger. It was a privilege to be part of the process and to see this vision come to life.

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Thank you. Yes, it does seem like magic. I got the knife back from Tiaan van Niekerk today, unwrapping it was like opening a present all over again. He brought me the large photo files, I'll try to attach one for a closer view. The horrible bits become very visible!


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