I am an Anachronism I am very much a modern artist yet I work with one of the most ancient of materials I embrace the uniqueness of materials in a world of mass production from bits and pieces of discarded metal I make useful and artistic objects I form utilitarian objects that have grace and beauty all their own I am an Anachronism

I am a bladesmith I entered a invitation only fantasy blade competition each entrant was given a number and box with that number in each box was 2 materials that had to be used and a slip of paper that said whether the competitor was to make a Sword or a Dagger and it had to be finished in 6 months each competitors box was different

When I opened my competition box I saw a polished spiral horn 48 inches long My first thought was what the hell have I gotten myself into then I picked up the folded piece of leather I felt its softness and suppleness then I unfolded the leather it is a half a ray skin I knew that only three people in the world are capable of making it and they are all national cultural treasures of Japan My next thought was are my skills up to the task of working with these materials lastly I opened the slip of paper that said whether I was making a sword or a dagger I knew that no matter which I got it would not be easy the slip of paper read Sword so that's a minimum blade length of 24 inches right then I knew that I could not use the horn as a scabbard

I pondered my predicament for 2 weeks while I was working on other Knives when my Apprentice asked me what has you so distracted Boss I told him about the competition he replied that he remembered when I accepted the invitation and asked what the mystery materials were I showed him he picked up the Spiral Horn looked at it a while asked me what kind of horn it was I told him it was Kudu horn then in what seemed a very natural movement he wrapped it around his arm so his hands were free to pick up the leather he picked it up and felt its soft suppleness and said with reverent awe this is ray skin then he said I am going to guess its got to be a sword I nodded He looked thought full for a while then just as he was about to say something I asked him is that comfortable I pointed to the kudu horn spiraled around his arm he flushed and said I forgot it was there . I asked him to show me how he wound his arm around it he did then I asked for the horn after a minute or two I was able to have it spiraled around my arm easily

I walked around for a few minutes I asked my apprentice as I struck a guard pose " if you were to make a sword with this horn as its handle the way I am holding it where should the balance point be my apprentice used to me quizzing him like this thinks for a moment and says mid forearm for a blade 30 inches or more the center of the palm for anything 24 to 30 inches long that way the sword becomes a natural extension of the arm itself now where would a sword with a handle like this be worn my apprentice didn't pause to think along the spine at waist height in a breakaway scabbard I told him he may make journeyman soon I dismissed him for the day saying only that I needed to consider appropriate blade length style and decorative and design elements I told he would be free Tomorrow to work on the projects for his journeyman's test

That night I spiraled the horn around my arm then I went through my Tai Chi exercise routine as I flowed through the meditative movements I knew that this Sword would challenge me in many way I wondered in what ways this work would push my growth after my evening Tai Chi I set to work on designing a sword worthy of my reputation and the materials I was given by the time I was ready for sleep I knew what I wanted it to look like. I had also decided to make a mockup out of plastic the next day then have a friend of mine who is a martial artist give me an idea of how it would be used I want insure I got the balance point and blade length correct because of the uniqueness the design I want an expert to give me some feed back before I commit myself to metal I also want to know what a user of such a sword would expect out of a blade out of the design and material I am planning to use I refuse to make a blade that's not functional as well as beautiful