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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 11:01 am    Post subject: Strengths and weaknesses of various custom work         Reply with quote

If I understand correctly, Angus trim and Tinker make excellent blades. However, my understanding is that complex hilt work is not their strength. So this is where people like Christian Fletcher come in and other people who make the furniture for the blade?

What are the possible combinations of blades and people who make hilts/furniture?

Obviously there are many custom smiths who can do everything well, such as Patrick Barta, Ollin, and others. How do you assess which are each custom makers strengths and weaknesses (and who to best pursue with a particular commision, whether it be a joint project between two or more artisans, or a solitary artisan)?
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the only way to do that is to look at (and if possible) handle some of their work (as much as you can) and then determine if that they do is what you are interested in. Even then you may occassionally be disappointed, which means you will know not to order from that maker or shop again. In a nutshell there is no magic formula and no substitute for experience.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris,
You're going to find that there aren't neat and tidy answers to most questions. Happy Who people choose depends on what they want in terms of looks, durability, historical accuracy, wait time, and price, among other factors.

For starters, check out as many of our nearly 200 reviews (199 and counting) as you can. Check out the collection galleries for even more items. You'll find our pictures are generally better (some say much better) than you find anywhere else. Since you can't handle every item we have, the pictures and words of experienced reviewers can be a good substitute.

Do forum searches for more info on specific makers or models.

People functioning as cutlers are somewhat few. Christian's work for Gus has already been noted. Eljay Erickson's work on basket hilts with blades by Del Tin, Gus, local craftsmen, etc. is another case. Darkwood Armoury mates hilts to Del Tin blades, some of Gus's (I believe) and some of their own.

Erik Stevenson used to be another of course. It's sad he's no longer in the biz.

Most folks who do custom or production work tend to do the whole enchilada if they have the tools and supplies. Relying on others for major components like blades can add layers of headache to something. When you construct the whole weapon, you control the whole project. On top of that, I would imagine it's easier to control handling and mass distribution when you made all the pieces.

Some custom makers will hilt antique blades.

What will also help is to look at as any quality photos of antiques as you can. If you can see them in person, that's even better. Handling them is the best. By knowing the characteristics antiques have, you can better discern how good a reproduction is.

As Russ said, there is no substitute for experience. Experience takes time and a little patience. But, hey, knowledge is fun. Happy

As the old GI Joe cartoons used to say "Knowing is half the battle." Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll try to keep reading the reviews and looking. I'm also trying to find out if Christian Fletcher will work with blades from Tinker... does anybody happen to know?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2008 11:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Artman wrote:
I'll try to keep reading the reviews and looking. I'm also trying to find out if Christian Fletcher will work with blades from Tinker... does anybody happen to know?


Easiest thing to do is to send him an e-mail and find out directly. Big Grin

Anything one of us could say about that might be based on " old or erronious " information as I think he changed his mind about this over the years i.e. working only with blades/swords bought through him at the moment, but at one time I think he did work with customer supplied blades ? ( Could be wrong, just basing this on what I may have read here years ago ).

In any case any exceptions to his normal way of working and accepting " commissions " would be completely up to him.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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