My Other Art

SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

I once heard the observation that artists are often writers while the obverse isn't always true. Sometimes the reason a writer might not be deemed an artist (apart from writing) may be due to the fact some types of art aren't as readily recognized.

 

True enough, I write. Yet I also work with wood and metal in ways that could be deemed art of a simple sort.

Handles.jpg

I crafted the handles in the image (freehand) from zebra wood and oak, with a bit of poplar thrown in. Arthritis makes the hands less steady than I care for, but such is life.

 

I wish I still had some of the etched blades I crafted from phosphorus bronze and silicon bronze nearly forty years ago.

Comments

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    I modified scrap from other projects. Once I can get a few pieces of equipment I can cast tsubas based on two I have locked away.

     

    I used to pound out the blades, but no anvil at present.

     


    TheJesusNinja wrote:

    Very nice. Did you do the metal work as well?


     

  • Wow! Smiley Surprised Beautiful work!!!

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    You're being kind. It's good for freehand and no way to adequately steady things while shaping, but my eye spots things.

     

    Perhaps when I can use the bench in the small shed, then maybe I can achieve beauty again. The few tools I am missing would go far towards that goal.


  • SphinxCameron wrote:

    You're being kind. It's good for freehand and no way to adequately steady things while shaping, but my eye spots things.

     

    Perhaps when I can use the bench in the small shed, then maybe I can achieve beauty again. The few tools I am missing would go far towards that goal.


    Well, I couldn't do anything remotely like this even at gunpoint.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Ron,

     

    In turn I have difficulty with the traditional art forms which you excel at. Though I suspect you have the required patience for working with wood and metal, meaning I believe you could if you had the tools and the need even if some trial and error happened (as it does with learning all types of art).

     

    Handles2.jpg

    This handle is purpleheart with oak pegs and spacer. Roughly 3/8" too thick for comfortable use, it is functional until I can acquire a small drum / belt sander to remove the excess. Purpleheart is fairly dense and hard to work with simple hand tools.

     

    Both daggers originally had bone / water buffalo horn handles that looked okay but were basically cr@p that would fall apart with even minimal use. I prefer function and esthetically to work together. This is why I miss having a shop I can craft things in, as I find combining form, function, and esthetically pleasing to be oddly relaxing.

     

    I suppose the art we create also touches upon our ambition or motivation behind why we do what we do. The Reconstruction Era prohibition on open carry of swords, daggers, and other bladed weapons ends on 1 September, with certain area still being restricted like schools, hospitals, bars, places of worship, etc...

     

    Forty years ago people wanted a beautiful handcrafted blade for a five and dime price that was insulting. Today they'll pay me what my work is worth. I really don't want money badly enough to turn my art (as deadly as it can be in the wrong hands) into a revenue source. We hold ourselves responsible and accountable for our actions.

     

    What I will do as I can get the tools and the time is go through my armourer's crate (4'l x2'w x13"d) and fix or modify what needs TLC, craft the princesses both long and short blades for when they're adults, and tinker as I can. Perhaps I can craft some scale armour for them.


    Ron Miller wrote:

    SphinxCameron wrote:

    You're being kind. It's good for freehand and no way to adequately steady things while shaping, but my eye spots things.

     

    Perhaps when I can use the bench in the small shed, then maybe I can achieve beauty again. The few tools I am missing would go far towards that goal.


    Well, I couldn't do anything remotely like this even at gunpoint.


     

  • I don't do well with anything 3-dimensional. In that regard, my wife is the craftsman of the family. 

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    For me it's higher mathematics, I can "see" or "feel" things or objects others describe with numbers. If I can visualize something and have access to both tools and materiel, I can usually craft or fabricate something close to or identical to what I can visualize. With access to enough information I can do predictive trend analysis like nobody's business even though I can't explain exactly how I do it.

     

    The Wife is literally the mathematician. She wrote her own algorithms in college instead of simply copying something already in existence, and her work functioned better than what others were copying. Sadly, the Wife can't cook which may be part of why she puts up with me -- I have a knack for cooking.


    Ron Miller wrote:

    I don't do well with anything 3-dimensional. In that regard, my wife is the craftsman of the family. 


     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I've been wanting to do some metalworking, but I need to clear the space and clear the time, not to mention acquire adequate tools. Not sure I could come close to your work three, but I've always wanted to make a blade. I have some odd ideas about integrating old light bulb filaments for tungsten content...

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Either Salinas or Monterey should have a shop where you can order a small amount of metal that meets your requirements for blades. There are several companies you can order Damascus steel billets (carbon or stainless) from online, though if it's sword length it gets pricey in a hurry.

     

    As for adding tungsten to strengthen hand-forged steel, you'd need a forge capable of melting steel which is hot work. I've operated in 150 degree F environments and it isn't easy. I'd suggest drinking a lot of water with some salt and lemon juice mixed in.

     

    Other avenues would be buying a blank then working it. For knives Atlanta Cutlery or Smoky Mountain Knifewroks has some decent quality and prices for those starting out. Sword length, again it can get pricey.

     

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=sword+blanks&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

     

    There are some decent sword kits you can also find online and adapt.

     

    I prefer to use hardwood, especially some exotic varieties others use for building expensive fancy furniture, but it all boils down to what you're trying to make as well as your personal preferences.

     

    Just remember, it's like writing and can get very frustrating until you get the hang of it, and even then there are moments where you'll want to yell in frustration.


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    I've been wanting to do some metalworking, but I need to clear the space and clear the time, not to mention acquire adequate tools. Not sure I could come close to your work three, but I've always wanted to make a blade. I have some odd ideas about integrating old light bulb filaments for tungsten content...


     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    Good News: the 64-bit desktop arrived (unannounced) yesterday evening. I put the hard drive back in, everything worked great, and I was able to copy my working files over to the external drive.

     

    Bad News: the Demon Warrior Princess are still true to form. I caught the not-quite fourteen-month-old in the act as she straddled the 3.5-year-old and bounced her older sister's head on the floor.

     

    Some days I fear I won't get anything finished until five years after my demise.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    In light of the high melting point of tungsten and the difficulties of forging it, my thoughts were running along the lines of sintering. I had some ideas for a sintering jig that should let me make a good blank from which to work, but again, it's still in the "I ought to do that" stage.

     

    One of these days.

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    With a forge and anvil you could possibly do the same thing by making Damascus steel, but still a hassle.

     

    Once I can get a vise I can run a cord and hook up the wire welder to affix a few tangs.

     

    But that's a round toit waiting to happen.


    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    In light of the high melting point of tungsten and the difficulties of forging it, my thoughts were running along the lines of sintering. I had some ideas for a sintering jig that should let me make a good blank from which to work, but again, it's still in the "I ought to do that" stage.

     

    One of these days.


     

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