These pieces represent only a few of the large number of knives, tools and weapons I have made since the late 1970's. In the past I have made everything from small 'hide out' knives to full sized 'bastard' swords. In fact, my very first blacksmithing projects were knives - as is the case with so many smiths! Rather than go over information you can find elsewhere on this site, use the 'send' button at the bottom of the page if you want more details on custom bladesmithing by the Wareham Forge.
Most of these knives are samples of my work with layered steels, most specifically with the Early Mediaeval technique of pattern welding.
Pattern Welded Norse Seax - spring 2007
The billet for this blade is primarily mix of mild steel and a low nickel
alloy called L6, along with a layer of high carbon steel. The L6 simulates the
use of meteor material in my historic blades. (L6 is .5 % nickel and a middle
level .5% carbon - meteorites are closer to 5 % Ni, but with no carbon). The
initial stacks were at 13 layers, these have been welded and folded to four
to give a 52 layer bar.
Pattern Welded Sgian Dubh - spring 2006
This is a custom knife created for a customer who wanted to mark his upcoming
wedding with a distinctive heirloom object.
'Rivendale' was just one of a number of potential blade profiles I had designed for a customer in late 2003. The project involved creating a striking letter opener using the pattern welding technique. This particular profile, I had thought the most striking of the lot, was not the one the customer selected. Latter (early 2004) I decided to make up a small billet into this blade. In keeping with its function as a letter opener, it has no carbon steel core and is only sharpened at the very tip.
This unusual piece - a Layered Steel Opener , was ordered by a customer as a special gift for a friend. It follows the form and function of a wine bottle opener - cork screw and foil cutter. I worked together with silver smith Brenda Roy - who created the silver bolster block inlayed with semi precious stones. Overall the piece has an Art Nouveau feel in terms of colour and line. Completed in December of 2003.
'Possibilities of Damascus' was created for the exhibit 'Traditions & Innovations' in 2003. The billet it was forged from was actually made up several years earlier. This was a practice bar to show the effects of a number of possible surface effects on an even, high count, layered stack. Again I used the heavy one piece blade and handle style that I like so much.
Orc Knife was a piece done at the very end of 2002, a couple of days after I had seen 'The Two Towers'. It was an experiment in a number of different ways. First - I had looked at the production designs used for Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings', and had tried to work in a similar style. Second - I had used the air hammer for about 90% of the forging, giving me good practice in shape generation on that tool. Third - this object was offered on sale over Ebay, my first experiment with that venue.
'Sword of Heroes' is a Pattern Welded Short Sword produced in early winter of 2000. This blade formed the centre piece of a short television segment that originally appeared on 'Discovery.ca' in November 2000. This featurette was produced by the Royal Ontario Museum, as part of their continuing effort to relate their collection to the work of artisans employing traditional techniques.
This object 'Cult of the Head' was specifically created for the exhibit 'A Celtic Renaissance' in 1999. The blade is made of two five layer cores surrounded by ten layer edge blocks, all a combination of mild and high carbon steel. This piece takes its overall form from early Celtic Iron Age knives. The first use of iron was confined to weapons, with the profiles copied from even earlier bronze working traditions. The use of heads as pommels is also a feature of a number of artifact blades. This is another reflection of the Celtic 'Cult of the Head' The sinuous curves of the forged hilt reflects those typical of La Tene decorative work..
These Kitchen Knives are two other blades created using the 'one piece' style. The first uses wrought iron, high carbon and L6 (.5% nickel) alloys. The second has no high carbon in the layers, but more of the L6 - and was also etched using different acids. Both have two decorative layered slabs that are then welded to a central high carbon steel core. (Sharpening exposes the carbon steel cutting edge.) Both were commissioned as gifts.
These Tool Axes are all part of the selection of Norse woodworking tools created for the 'Viking Encampment' - the living history program at L'anse aux Meadows. The first group includes a belt axe, a splitting axe and a two handed fighting axe (L to R - all 3/97). Each of these is made of a large block of mild steel, folded to create the eye. A sliver of carbon steel was welded at the overlap to create the cutting edge. The second pair are two fine wood working tools - a finishing axe and hand adze (L to R - both 4/97). In this case both have the eye punched out of a solid block, a method typical of Norse axes. These two pieces are exact reproductions from tools from the Mastermyr tool box (circa 1100 AD).
This small Belt Knife is my constant companion (9/97). It is made up of two layered plates with a high carbon core. Each side plate is made up of two twisted rods, each of 14 layers - a total count of 57 layers here. This is a technique I am using for most of my layered steel tool knives now, as it blends the excellent edge holding characteristics of carbon steel with the decorative effect of layered steel. The one piece design is inspired by the same Romano-British knives mentioned above, and I have done several blades in this style.
This is a set of layered steel Steak Knives that was commissioned as a wedding gift (6/94). Each is about 100 layers, in this case in a flat stack Damascus (rather than twisted pattern weld). The handles are caribou antler, the box of cherry.
These three pieces represent some early work with 'Cable Damascus' - a technique where braided steel cable is forged into a solid billet (7/93). The image is fuzzy - but the pattern was not dramatic in any case. More important are the blade shapes themselves. The top is patterned after the 'ulu' knife of the Canadian Arctic, with a caribou handle. The other two are variations on table knives from the Romano-British period (circa 100 - 400 AD).
The three knives show here are all made of flat stack - 'Damascus'. The two small skinners (5/93) have olive wood handles with brass cross guards. One features a rough peened back edge as a decorative treatment. The larger "nanchez" pattern bowie (1/93) is hilted with ebony and brass. The pattern here is created by cross peening the layered billet, then grinding the block smooth before forging the blade shape. All of these knives are early experiments with layered slabs on carbon steel cores.