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jake cleland

Late Gothic Ballock Dagger (pic heavy)

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This is what I've been working on for pretty much the last 3 months. It's probably the most difficult piece I've ever made, but I think I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - it's not perfect, but honestly I think it might be my best work to date. It is based of a ballock dagger in the Smithsonian, though I took some liberties with the design. The blade is about 10 1/2" of 1095, clay hardened . It has quite a complex geometry, with the raised back edge and hollow ground 'flat', and has been given multiple etching cycles in FeCl for a deep French Grey look. The guard is forged and carved from 200 year old wrought iron, deeply etched and oil blued for a glossy black finish, and is framed by sculpted copper spacers (fitting those was no picnic...). The handle is made in three parts from a single red deer stag's antler,  carved and pierced to show the twist forged tang within, and finished with shellac. The pommel is again wrought iron with copper accents, and the pommel nut is carbon steel sculpted into a dogwood flower and heat blued. The scabbard is built up from layers of magnolia veneer, lined with felt and covered in waxed lamb skin, with black deerskin trim and a cold forged copper chape and suspension ring for the belt loop, which holds a carved bone wrench for the pommel nut. The scabbard houses a by-knife and spike, both clay hardened, with oil blued mild steel guards and copper spacers, with carved bone handles. Anyway, pics:

ballock 6.jpg

ballock 7.jpg

ballock 8.jpg

ballock 1.jpg

ballock 9.jpg

ballock 11.jpg

ballock 2.jpg

ballock 3.jpg

ballock 4.jpg

ballock 5.jpg

And here's the original:

ballock wip 1.jpg

there's also dozens of in progress pics on my facebook -https://www.facebook.com/jake.cleland.14 - , as I was documenting it for the customer,

 

anyway, let me know what you think...

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I am sitting here trying to fathom the amount of work you put into this.

Truly a powerful piece. Thanks for sharing! 

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I'm trying to find words, and coming up with nothing.  Absolutely incredible work!

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What an exhilarating feeling to complete a personal best! Especially when it's an awesome piece like this :rolleyes:. Thanks for sharing Jake!

 

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All I can say is "Wow!"

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36 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

All I can say is "Wow!"

Oh, I can beat that... B)

Jake, dude, I know what it took to do that, and even so I am floored.  You've outdone the original, and that is not easy!  You really leveled up on this one.  I'm going to pin this so you'll stay on the front page for at least 90 days after the last comment, this needs to be seen by everyone who visits the forum.

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Wow indeed!  Thats pretty amazing, And a complete step up from your already amazing work.  

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:o  !!!!!!!

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Amazing work.  I'm fascinated with the detail levels that go into some of those old blades and the modern day recreations

 

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Thanks guys. It's now on its way to its new home, but I took one more shot of the knife that shows the overall shape a bit clearer:

ballock 13.jpg

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I watched this progress on FB as I got the updates. Stellar work Jake.

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Beyond fantastic.  I love the way the handles of the buy knife and the pick form a medallion when they are lined up together in the sheath.

Doug

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Sure is a lot going on there. 

Outstanding work, man. 

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Awesome work Jake!  Wow Indeed.   Really like the see through handle with the twisted tang.  Don't think I've seen anything like that before.   Great Job!

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What can I say that hasn't been said Jake?

Inspirational....like so much of the work here.

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Absolutely sweet piece of work, Jake! Much respect.

Tom

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Amen

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Holy mother of God, that is a truly astounding piece!  The ballock dagger I have been working on and off for the past few months is laughable by comparison.... no, it can't even be compared, yours is a true master piece!

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Oy!  Wonderful!!!!!

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Jake - I have always been inspired by your work. For years. This demonstrates that you are moving up in a serious way. Thanks for showing this to us!

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Truly a labor of love for the artistry we all aspire to. Such a beautifully crafted piece honors your knife making skill and dedication.

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