Jeff Pringle Posted June 30, 2008 Share Posted June 30, 2008 (edited) Sheesh, reality keeps interfering with my virtual typing – I’m going to answer this in parts so Chris doesn’t think I killed his thread. Keep the questions coming, though, if any occur to you – I’ll have reality in check soon. The Viking period is definitely where I have focused most of my research and really tried to get inside the head of the ancient smiths to figure out what they were trying to do. At that time, swords were evolving quickly in effectiveness while retaining their aspect as a production of individual skill, soon after it seems to me the improving production technology and changing military requirements moved the sword into a more mass-produced, less interesting territory – though I may be subjectively reading too much into the loss of pattern-welding as a construction technique. I also like to work in the Japanese methods, the clarity of form and design as well as the skilled application of technique is inspiring and humbling at the same time; and some of the crucible steel sort of demands to be worked into the adventurous blade shapes of the Near East – and then I get to free-associate amongst all these blade traditions, which is really great too. I’m all over the map. That “Pringelrii” sword was a milestone for me, in that I chose to follow through in incorporating all my study of originals and research into the old construction & finishing techniques, and not cop out when it came to the hilt. I’ve been working on the theory that you can discover what the pre-industrial world was like to a craftsman, and make a ‘truer’ historic sword, by using the old processes and techniques, and try to recapture the mindset of the smiths of old. This time it worked – I recently heard that a noted collector of original swords got depressed after getting a good look at that sword, because a couple construction details he used as fool-proof fake detectors were done correctly, so he feels he can no longer use them to weed out modern swords pretending to be old. And that is about as huge a compliment as I can imagine getting on that sword! My Japanese-style stuff still feels too American to me, though, that might be a more difficult cultural gap to bridge in some way, or require more focused study…or maybe I just don’t need to go there, the Japanese-influenced American knife is one of my favorites of contemporary bladesmithing. Usually I have one project on the front burner that gets my focused time, and three or four in less critical phases that are waiting to take center stage but still moving towards completion. More on research and Crucible Steel soon! Edited July 20, 2008 by Jeff Pringle Jomsvikingar Raða Ja! http://vikingswordsmith.com Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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