Professor's Forge Bladesmithing

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Professor's Forge

My work focuses on pieces inspired by historical knives and swords. These range from European swords, seaxes, bauernwehrs, and messers, to Chinese daos, and Texan hunting knives and bowies. I attempt to get the most visual interest out of the steel I use, by making monosteel blades with hamons, subtle pattern welding that combines heat treatment patterns with visible grain effects in the steel, or by vivd pattern welding using a variety of patterns. Additionally, I have the skills and equipment to do smelting and hearth refining to make my own steel for special projects. Each piece is carefully finished by hand, using files, sandpaper, and at times etching and powder abrasives to highlight aspects of the blade's finish. The handle materials I use are too varied to cover here, but I limit myself to sustainable woods grown in North American forests where possible, and recycled or, "upcycled," metals and antler. There is awesome beauty to be found in natural handle materials available right here in our maple, walnut, and oak forests. It is not necessary to deplete the ecosystems of other countries in order to have a world class handles.

The piece on the left is a grosse messer, with complex, multi-bar construction and twisted pattern welds. I am happy to make pieces like this one, but tailored to the needs of the individual customer.

River Jian - This is a sword I made in collaboration with Charles Wu of 9dragonmetalworks.

The pattern in the steel is a 4-bar mosaic of my own creation. The wood is curly walnut stained with aqua fortis (a traditional stain that has been used since pre-Roman times).

Charles did the fittings (his real name is Wu Bin, but he prefers Charles when dealing with English speakers). He is a master of his craft, and I often do projects with him by commission.

Chinese swords are a love of mine.