For as far back as I can remember, and long before I ever considered trying my hand at anything in the arts, I have been captivated by fantasy, myth and legend. Ancient artifacts, lost mythical swords and holy relics have filled my twilight hours. Storytellers have often described magical swords that rippled in the light like water or shimmered like flames leaving one’s imagination racing as to what such a thing would really look like. So when I found that such legendary blades actually existed, I was thrilled to say the least.
In reality, dating back over a thousand years man has created many such weapons and they have always been highly prized. Often only a handful or perhaps even only one smith in a generation was skilled or knowledgeable enough to craft such things. And if it was not passed on, it was lost for many years before being discovered again elsewhere, so it is not at all surprising that they quickly found their way into folklore, and thus into modern fantasy.
Today there is no real necessity for laminated steels; its creation resides solely in the realm of art. And as far as laminating non-ferrous metals, and colored porcelains, it has only ever been an exercise in creating art by means of deft and intent manipulation of materials. All of the principles in the formation of patterns and manipulation of whatever material is being used remain the same however.
That is because you have to think in four dimensions to work the material, it is not just the physical shape in three dimensions. The material itself has layers of complexity that can be carved into and revealed, it is not just the surface. This is one of the aspects of working in this way that appeals to me so much. Nothing on any of these objects is merely a thin skin on the surface, painted or glazed on that can be scraped or rubbed off. Every pattern you see runs down through to the core, it has real depth. The pattern is the very structure, like the grains in wood.
The creation of all of these pieces, no matter the medium requires an immense amount of time and patience. The metal pieces also require a large variety of tooling and equipment all of which I made myself. Weather it is made of steel, copper, silver, gold or clay there is something very powerful and elemental about having the precise control of heat, pressure and time required to make these pieces. Having actually made them and knowing precisely what is happening down to the molecular and atomic level doesn’t take away from it at all. To me, it’s still damn near magic.