Saturday, July 07, 2012

Some Recent Work

Along with the organizational challenge (read insanity) of preparing for DARC to L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC (Friday morning), and Goderich Celtic (three days after LAM), I have been really, really attempting to get some new work finished.

The first here is actually from mid June, one of three replica pieces ordered on very short time frame for Red Bay NHSC. The major object was a whaling harpoon, but the order also included this oil lamp:

Original artifact, as found
My replica

You can see the original is broken off at the sides of the handle, so anything above that line is purely speculative. I was shown an image of a replica that had been made for the Rooms at St John's, which had an 'iron' handle (obviously wrong) and a long length of S loop chain. I chose to reduce the size and complexity of this chain. (Which of course is not supported by the artifact in any case.)

I really wanted at least *something* new for Goderich, and Summerfolk the weekend following (Only three clear days between them, and there is an offload and re-pack in there too.)

The ideal would be to have something as completed objects that represented the three months I spent on the Bloom To Bar project:

Starting billets - bloom iron with spring steel cores
Rough forged blade blanks
I had prepared two billets I intended to lead to a very specific bladesmithing design. The top one is iron from Slag Pit 2 ( # 49 , November 2011 ) an the bottom from Black Rock (# 14, February 2006 ) In both cases the iron was deliberately used before much welding and folding had been done, specifically to allow cracks and irregular edges. I actually had gone a bit *too* far on the Slag Pit 2 iron, ending up with most all the flaws removed. For the second attempt, I was able to restrain my natural desire to forge in all the imperfections.

In the lower image, the two blanks are at different stages in completion.
The top blade has had the blade profile roughed out, and the first pass on forging the edge completed. The hilt is only vaguely shaped at this point however.
The bottom blade is complete in its forging. I had ground the rough forging to the basic lines I wanted for the finished knife. I find it easier to check for warps and wobbles if I do this first. Then the blade was forged again, first to correct any irregularities, second to refine the edge. (Forge thin - grind thinner). It is now ready to be surface ground, then the finished surface to be created on the belt sanders. Then heat treated. Then finish polishing. (The actual forging out of the knife shape is by far the fastest part of the whole process!)

Stay tuned for images of the completed knives...

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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