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Arctic Fire 2016 Announcement


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Fellow Smiths:As you may know, some of the less savory elements of this worthy forum occasionally gather for an event called "Arctic Fire." We've had two of them so far, and we've finally committed to a third. Here is the official announcement. It's a bit whimsical, but we've decided to finally abandon any pretense of making money on these things and simply enjoy the ride.

 

This time we've decided to re-create artifacts that we imagine may have been in the fabled Hoard of Grendel from Beowulf. If you'll recall from that epic tale, after our hero mortally wounds Grendel by ripping off his arm, Grendel flees to his underwater lair in a bog. Later, Grendel's mother (an equally unpleasant troll) emerges from the lair and kidnaps one of the king's men. Beowulf enters the lair and slays Grendel's mother when he seizes a sword made for a giant that was lying in a hoard of "ancient weapons and treasure."

 

Since almost not further mention of what might have been in that treasure was mentioned in the tale, it leaves us free to imagine what may have been in there.

 

Also, of course, recent (and not-so-recent) archeological findings have unearthed a great deal of information that many of the details on which the tale of Beowulf were based were not fiction after all. Actual artifacts that may or may not relate to the formation of this story do exist, and it's fascinating and fun to have madmen like Owen Bush, Petr Florianek, Peter Johnsson, J. Arthur Loose, Michael Pikula, Jake Powning and myself working in that creative space.

 

Lots more to follow (WIP threads as everyone creates their artifacts), but for now, I give you our announcement video.

 

Grins,

 

Dave

 

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All:

 

The Arctic Fire website is launched. http://www.ArcticFire.org

 

The full 2013 video is available for free on the front page. No download, just stream through youtube.

 

The 2012 videos are being uploaded to Youtube and we'll be putting them up on the web as they are approved (when you post a long video to Youtube they review it to make sure it's not copyrighted material).

 

Cheers!

 

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents:

 

We are slowly loading the 2012 videos onto youtube for free viewing now that the license agreement with the previous distributor has expired.

 

This is the page that will have them:

 

http://www.arcticfire.org/videos.html

 

So far, we've uploaded J. Arthur Loose's video demon of Niello inlay.

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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Awesome :)

 

I was going to sign you up for a hoppy refreshment of the month club as a thank you, but was surprised to learn Alaska is a state that restricts shipping of such things. I'll keep working on that...

 

Many thanks!

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Dave, and everyone else who participated in this... I can't thank you guys enough. I should be studying right now for school but you just got me on an arctic fire binge right now. Enjoying with a nice beer in my hand and ideas going through my head. :lol: I'm in the middle of Mr. Loose's Niello demonstration right now.

Edited by Austin_Lyles
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I have a quick question about the Niello demonstration. J.A.L. poured the liquid out into an angle of some sort. It looked very light like it was aluminum. Is the angle material important?

 

Oh, another question. The title track music, is that Carmina Burana?

Edited by Joshua States
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OK, I just watched the Jake Powning video......The Swordsmith as Storyteller. My brain is on total overload.

The history lesson alone was mind boggling, but the drawings! and the swords! Holy Jamoley! Jake, that was beyond astounding.

Thank you, and special thanks to Dave for making this happen.

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Hey Josh- The angle iron is a good way to pour because it allows the niello to run, and the runnier bits are the better bits. One of the things that seems to make good niello is allowing a small percentage of it to cool to the point of starting to solidify and then pouring. You'll lose about 25%, but it seems that this helps create the proper proportions of material and the cleanest, darkest, most consistent material. Couple that with the angle iron and what usually happens is that the good stuff runs down the iron and the less good stuff stays in a blob at the top, or in the crucible. Other people certainly do it differently.

 

DanM is right- I think you could pour it into just about any material that will take around 1000F.

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J:

I understood the use of the angle to get that nice and handy rod for applying it to the work piece. I saw that and thought "that's brilliant!"

I just didn't know if the material of the angle was important to keep the Niello from sticking to it, or prevent contamination from oxidation or something else.

You made a special point in the demo video about doing the pre-pour swirl to consolidate some of the silver crystals and isolate the better stuff (I took notes).

 

Dan: I do have some wire/pin molds I use to bake bronze and silver pin stock. It has 4 different sizes from 1/16" to 3/16". I could use that, but I'm thinking I probably wouldn't get the separation J gets with the angle iron.

 

This was just too cool not to try.

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  • 1 month later...

I finally found the time to sit through this.

I took two pages of notes and probably should go back and take more.

What a wealth of information. Dave and Peter, you have my eternal gratitude.

 

I had one question on the engineering side of things. Is there a golden ratio for tang width to blade width at the tang/blade junction?

I assume it largely depends on the type of sword, but I was wondering about that.

 

Can we purchase these videos?

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