The campus newspaper article came out, the exit interview of my forty years at the college. I had mentioned this in a previous blog. It was pretty good! More than that, I even liked the guy they were writing about. Still, it is weird.
One of the slug lines mentioned that I’m spending my retirement in writing, blogging, and making knives. All true, but I think writing and blogging might be the same thing, so actually I’m just doing two things. Hmm
When I look back at the hours spent and the time commitments, it is pretty accurate. I write in order to blog, I blog in order to write, but most of this is not tangible. I photograph in order to give voice to internal vision, but it is at the core two dimensional. I am a sculptor who is currently without stone.
So I make knives.
Real knifemakers 1) pound and forge their own steel, 2) cut their designs, 3) do the decorative filework, 4) place the hilts, 5) put scales on the handle and finally 6) install a pommel and maybe lanyard.
I’m not currently doing 1or 2. For some people it is similar to calling yourself a jeweler when all you are doing is stringing beads in a creative fashion. I get that, and I really would like to pound some steel.
Until then, I buy blank blades, making some original cuts, dress them up, and then apply all the other standard steps. The photograph of Spanish Notch is an unusual feature of some traditional fighting knives. It is both a defensive and offensive tool. In a long blade of seven inches or more, there is the possibility of a blade to blade parry or block.
When the edges of the blades meet they can slide down to the hilt where they stop until the next attack is planned. The blade with the Spanish Notch can actually drop the opponents edge into the notch, which locks unto the blade, and then with a flick of the wrist the opponents knife is flipped out of the hand and falls to the ground.
Wow, I liked the story, I like how it looks on the knife, and I like that I have the ability to make the modification. The knife can be a great art platform. I’m learning so much about balance and how it feels on the hand. And yet it is not just art, it is a sharp thing, or as Rudyard Kipling wrote, it is a sharp tooth to even out the fangs that surround us.
I felt so inadequate just recently, when my pet cat crawled up to sleep on my stomach. My t shirt was raised about two inches and her paws touched my naked skin. They were so soft, so gentle. Then she sat down and started kneading the rest of my body with extended talons. Buried in the soft catspaws were natural weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, I have fingernails that break by merely looking at them. Inadequate!
But I can pound steel, and make my own sharp tooth! So there!!!