Notifications
Clear all

[Sticky] Best Of 2019

7 Posts
6 Users
0 Likes
542 Views
Matthew Parkinson
Posts: 0
Trusted Member Journeyman Bladesmith (5yr)
Topic starter
 

Every year I like to look back on what I have done over the last year, looking back and seeing the challenges over come and the things I've learned.

this is my story and my contribution lets see yours, show us your best or most meaningful piece of the year, and if you like tell us the story of your year!

I don't want this to be bragging, it isn't ever about how awesome anything is. looking back it is about seeing our growth, we are all walking along this path some ahead and some behind all tying to go the same place.

For me this year was filled with changes and challenges.

Starting with my shop, I lost two business partners and shop mates early in the year. Mareko Maumassi moved back to the west coast, he was such an invigorating force in the shop changing a shaping so much of what we were doing it was a sad loss to see him go, then we lost Peter Swarz-Burt, when he and his family moved to HI, peter was a huge driving force in the shop and was around from the very beginning of the shop. his loss has totally changed the dynamic at the shop. change can be good and we have begun shifting the focus of the shop to take advantage of that.

I made a run to test for mastersmith. I spent most of my winter and spring working on that set but I decided at the last minute to wait, and for me it was the right choice, the knives I had made to submit may have passed and may not have, but I was not happy with them so it would have been hollow had they passed and I chose not to take that chance. I did show them around and got tons of good feed back on my set, building them and getting them done leaves me feeling more prepared for 2021 when I will have my next opportunity to test. building those knives fought me, but I learned from it and it has made me a better maker and I think person.

This year saw me began writing a column for Knife magazine, putting on that blue shirt has been a great experience and a wonderful opportunity, but one filled with challenges.. deadlines and writers block are hard to get past and no joke.

I learned to make wootz this was not in the plan for the year but I think it is the thing that will be with me the longest, wootz seems to be a very deep rabbit hole. Peter has made wootz as long as I have known him, over the years we spoke about what he was doing and why, I watchend him make countless ingots and refine his process, from him I learned a ton. I have used his material to make many blades. I took a order for a wootz knife, i found a few bars peter left int he shop and asked if i could use them .. both billets were the end of bars and had some flaws (why he had left them) but seemed to have enough volume to work around any issues. so i took the commission.. and both billets failed.. peter did not have a shop set up yet and was not able to make wootz so I decided to take that theoretical understanding and try it my self.. a couple of abortive attempts and I had a successful ingot. one of the hardest parts with wootz is going form ingot to bar. I managed that with only minor issues, and finally had a bar of wootz... I am hooked!
after almost 15 years of watching peter with interest but no desire to actually do any of it now I am hooked.. you will see more of this from me.

 
Posted : 24/12/2019 2:06 pm
Lin Rhea
Posts: 0
Member
 

That's a beautiful knife sir.

Lin Rhea, ABS Mastersmith

[email="lin@arkansasheritage.org"]Email me[/email]

www.rheaknives.com

 
Posted : 26/12/2019 9:49 am
Chad Kennedy
Posts: 79
Trusted Member Journeyman Bladesmith
 

Nice Matt!

 
Posted : 30/12/2019 10:20 pm
Gilbert Mccann
Posts: 0
Eminent Member Apprentice Bladesmith
 

Matt that Wootz is awesome and the knife is beautiful with cool file work. I have a dream of trying Wootz sometime I've really enjoyed Peters instagram post. Here is my story the saddest part was losing my mentor and friend Tim Hancock in July he was such a big part of my knife making growth lessons and phone calls answering my questions and sometimes just shooting the breeze I think of him often and he is missed. I tried some new things this year the first was an integral chef knife I was pretty happy for a first attempt. Here it is with a stainless San mai I hadn't done that but had used A-203E.

Next was Mosaic damascus I was pretty happy with that result and Tim's shorter critique made me feel good.

Lastly was my first attempt at a multi bar twist billet. I learned some lessons from that and I'm working on another one now.

When Tim signed my book he said to continue to challenge myself and I feel like I have, failures and success's included.

Thank you to all that share so generously with time and knowledge on this site.

Happy New Year

 
Posted : 01/01/2020 11:33 am
Matthew Parkinson
Posts: 0
Trusted Member Journeyman Bladesmith (5yr)
Topic starter
 

|quoted:

Matt that Wootz is awesome and the knife is beautiful with cool file work. I have a dream of trying Wootz sometime I've really enjoyed Peters instagram post. Here is my story the saddest part was losing my mentor and friend Tim Hancock in July he was such a big part of my knife making growth lessons and phone calls answering my questions and sometimes just shooting the breeze I think of him often and he is missed. I tried some new things this year the first was an integral chef knife I was pretty happy for a first attempt. Here it is with a stainless San mai I hadn't done that but had used A-203E.

Next was Mosaic damascus I was pretty happy with that result and Tim's shorter critique made me feel good.

Lastly was my first attempt at a multi bar twist billet. I learned some lessons from that and I'm working on another one now.

When Tim signed my book he said to continue to challenge myself and I feel like I have, failures and success's included.

Thank you to all that share so generously with time and knowledge on this site.

Happy New Year

Thank you this is exactly the kind of post I was hoping for!

I am sorry for your loss, I never had a chance to meet Mr Hancock, but for years I have heard of him and many of my friends and students considered him like you both an mentor and a friend. he will definitely be missed.

Great work as well thank you so much for posting!

MP

 
Posted : 01/01/2020 11:54 am
Josh Wisor
Posts: 55
Member
 

Hey Matt, Love the Wootz! I am super interest in the primitive ways of the craft, it always amazes me the level of craftsmanship some of that takes.

I think for me the my favorite/best project was one of the last ones i finished last year. I pushed myself and tried a bunch of new techniques with the ambition to learn and move forward. I did a quillion dagger, the blade was 300 layer twist damascus. The handle was where I pushed myself not having any larger equipment besides my grinder and files and, while I would definitely make some adjustments on the next one i was happy with the way it turned out. The handle is fluted desert ironwood, the guard and pummel are mild steel with copper spacers.

Now - if only i could learn to take a decent picture..

Attached files

 
Posted : 13/01/2020 12:52 pm
Joshua States
Posts: 1157
Member
 

I had to think about this for a bit. I had my highest production year in 2019, with 10 knives finished.

I am going to say something that most folks will not expect. The best of 2019 was not any of those finished knives, and isn't anywhere near as pretty to look at either.

You see, in 2019, I decided to try my hand at serious forge work. I decided I would try to make an ax by the wrap and weld method.

Forge welding heavy stock was not something I was particularly good at, and that's because I had never done it before.

Before I could even try to make such an item, I had to make a bunch of tooling to do the work.

So, I am going to say that the best of my work in 2019 was a bunch of tooling and an ugly ax.

I took some old jackhammer bits and made a couple of drifts and a couple of mandrels/bicks.

Then I took a piece of 2"x3/8"x8" mild steel bar and a hunk off an old leaf spring.

Then I got to forging. I was following a tutorial by Gerald Boggs (I think I have a Show and Tell post here somewhere).

This is after thinning the center, developing the poll, isolating the eye sections (langets), and shaping the cheeks.

The first attempt at folding failed, and I had to start over again. Eventually, I got to folding and forge welding the bit in place.

The day ended with this. (this day almost killed me)

The next day I did a little more forging, got a shape I liked and did some grinding.

This is how it remains today. I do not think I will ever finish this ax. I have moved on to another one, and I am a little more confident in my ability.

Joshua States

www.dosgatosforge.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

Also on Instagram and Facebook as J.States Bladesmith

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

 
Posted : 13/01/2020 9:41 pm
Share: