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Christopher Price

Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

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Once I cut it off, I forge welded some wrought iron onto the stubby tang, so I'd have something to peen later that wasn't as hard as the blade.

TangWeld.jpg

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More to come on that one.  Meanwhile, here's the progression of the spear that was made from the cutoff piece, and a closeup of the pattern:

BirdsMouthSetup.jpg

SocketSetup1.jpg

SocketSetup2.jpg

SpearHead.jpg

PatternCloseup.jpg

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Joshua,

To be honest, my assertion is kinda wooly, in as much as I don't have good evidence from before the medieval period (where the bladesmith, cutler, and sheathmaker were all different people) but, similarly, in the Japanese tradition where there is one person who is the bladesmith, then another who is the sword polisher, and yet another who is the sayashi (Sheath maker and/or fittings-maker).  I laso see some 3rd world videos on YouTube where the blademaker, handle fitter, and sheath maker are all different people.  I don't do much research into other cultures, but I would be quite surprised to find that the person fitting rubies into a jade handle on a mughal dagger, or Indian Jambiya was the same guy that was in the back making the wootz blades.  Not to say one person couldn't do it, I'd just be surprised that it was done that way in the 17th century.

-Ben

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Thanks for the reply Ben. I'd be surprised if they were the same guy in any century other than the last one.

Thanks for the WIP photos on these two projects. That spear is beautiful.

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That's a good post!  Plenty of good work happening right there... I like how old-school your approach is in ways, doing badass things like forge welding on a wrought tang end to pein.
That spear is also dang nifty, especially the deft cleft weld at the socket.  I'm filing that one away, mentally!

I'm happy to hear that you have many irons in the fire, yes it can be stressful, but that's also a blessing!  It keeps your interest alive and builds skill in new ways.  Don't burn out though!
I want to thank you for your thoughtful and enlightening answers in this interview once more, and with that I believe I'll begin to bring it to a close-  obviously we're both quite busy at this time!  I really appreciate you taking the time for this.

If you have any closing remarks, please do pontificate at whatever length you may wish- and if I may pose one closing question should you have time or inclination for it:
What does the future hold for your bladesmithing endeavors?  I know you've picked up a nice new 88 lb hammer, and have another place and bigger shop to move to at some point.  What will you build then?  Do you have a grail piece or technique to try one day, or a new and fascinating direction for your work in years to come?

Also, be aware that as the current torch-bearer for this thread, it will now be your solemn duty (at your convenience) to pick a victim in turn, to interrogate!  I will remind you next year if necessary (that's what folks were kind enough to do for me... :P).

 

Edited by Salem Straub

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Thanks Salem!  Coming from a gifted artist like yourself, that's high praise!

I wish not burning out was something that I could just will myself into!  When I feel like it's coming on, I stop and clean my shop.  When my shop is clean (which is very seldom, by the way), I tend to stress out less, and I can keep on going.

This was a fun process, no thanking needed.  Next for me is slogging through the order list, and separating the wheat from the chaff on the list.  Just because someone hits you up for a katana, doesn't mean they still want to buy it after you give them an honest price estimate.  One other thing I'm thinking about is to go for my JS stamp.  I think it would be a good process for me.  My grail piece is one that I've been thinking about for a long time.  I want to do a replica of the Sutton Hoo sword.  I think it would be quite a thing to make.  If I ever get to move to the farm, I would really like to set up a school.  I enjoy teaching, and it can be kinda lucrative, if done well.

I will think about the next victim.  I have one guy in mind, but I need to cogitate for a tick before I send the request.  thank you for a great interview.  I hope to see you again sometime soon.  Until then, please give my love to your family.

-Ben

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I now have an interview victim (subject).  He is a person that many of you might know from personal experience, may have heard about from others, or could have seen on TV.  Please welcome Towanda's hometown hero, J. Neilson!!!  J., would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to the forum?

-More to come. 

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he's gonna get to it tomorrow,,,

 

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He 's still looking for a round tuit, then he'll be here.

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I'm sure he's a very busy guy. But, if he doesn't reply like 2 years from now, perhaps Ben could pick someone else? I have really enjoyed this thread. Everyone has very interesting origins. Far more interesting than my own for the most part. I bet Mr. Neilson is no exception! 

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It's a great idea and a great thread. It is one of those special things that everyone should read and think about if they want to be "well rounded". So many different stories, techniques, approaches, motivations, perspectives.

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OK.  Now that it's been a year I'm gonna go bug Ben!  Wish me luck...

Edited by Salem Straub
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Good luck Salem! May the Gods aid you in your endeavor.

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OK I bugged him.  Now I'm gonna bug him some more!

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Now there are frogs joining the crickets.

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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Now there are frogs joining the crickets.

The frogs ate the crickets. The crickets were poisonous. The frogs croaked.

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This thread has been an incredible read. So much info from so many great makers here. What happens when it stops dead like this? Is it over?

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As it's been 1.5 years, it seems it's time to move on.  Does anyone have an interview subject in mind?  The floor is open!  It can be any smith that intrigues you, from the rankest beginner to the oldest master.  Any volunteers to conduct an interview, feel free to weigh in.

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Well then Sir Longmire, has anyone interviewed you yet?

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On 1/24/2019 at 11:16 AM, Alan Longmire said:

As it's been 1.5 years, it seems it's time to move on.  Does anyone have an interview subject in mind?  The floor is open!  It can be any smith that intrigues you, from the rankest beginner to the oldest master.  Any volunteers to conduct an interview, feel free to weigh in.

You should see if you can get a hold of that kid Alec Steele I Think his name is and his buddy Will.  That would be one to watch. That would be a heck of an interview.  Maybe throw it on YouTube.  That’s my 2 cents anyway.

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