Where I began
I think it is important to humble ourselves and view our past as simply the beginning to who we are today. I started my love for this craft watching a now famous swordsmith recreate a sword from antiquity out of crucible steel. Within a month I owned my first anvil. After that I acquired tools and forges as a donation from a very humble yet academically honored Italian man.
In the beginning I used charcoal and coal, and built some of the foundations to general blacksmithing and toolmaking. As my knowledge and skill grew, my tools and shop grew as well. Before I knew it I was making my own tools to make more tools.
It was after a few years of building my knowledge that I decided to dip my toes into bladesmithing. I had a big fascination with Nihonto, and after reading the works of contemporary Japanese swordsmith Yoshindo Yashihara, I felt compelled to make small blades such as tanto and wakizashi. Many failures ensued and I decided to lay it to rest until I built other skills. Making blades allowed me to quickly learn that I have a zealous need for strict adherence to authenticity.
This zeal allowed me to befriend one of the most talented artisans I know, and a great teacher in the craft of smelting iron ore into iron or steel. My desire to make steel from ore was a constant drive. Its now been nearly 5 years of smelting, with over 60 smelts conducted. We have mined ore in the tonnage, and conducted many classes and experiments. This knowledge also helped me break the barriers of both Orishigane and Crucible steel.
After a few more years and mounting my first power hammer, I started to grow a fascination with Japanese kitchen cutlery. Many smiths and shops in Japan come to mind when I think of the ideal system of creation. Undoubtedly the methods of Kiyoshi Kato are what stuck with me the most. I find his methodology to be the most fluid for building a sanmai blade from the ground up. While not taught from him directly, there was enough footage available of him working that I was able to incorporate it into my own routine. It took a great deal of time and practice. At least 30 of what I considered “failed blades” were made before I was satisfied with the outcome.
Here I am before you, a bladesmith, a blacksmith, an ironsmelter, and an iron melter. My work is a culmination of so many areas of this craft, that I still have a hard time believing I have done all of this in less than 6 years. My journey has only now began, and with me, I invite you to share it.
“It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.” -Miyamoto Musashi
Orishigane, Crucible steel, Bloomery steel
Additional information on the steel I create can be found on the link below.
Additional information on the tooling I make and use to create blades can be found on this link below.
Further explained on the link below