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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 7:45 am    Post subject: your opinions on some damascus subtleties......         Reply with quote

I have been working towards a personal damascus aesthetic. layers within layers and combinations of modern steel and wrought iron.....
I suddenly had a moment of questioning???
does anybody else care about such things ?
or more precisly does the market care ?
can you see a difference?
or am I wasting my time on a personal folly!!

I just finished up these two broken back seax blades , made in part for a BBC tv program on steel.......

One had a subtle twist running through it high layer damascus alternated with wrought iron and the other has a more obvious twist , they are both similar big blades other than that. Both blades have wrought iron backs then twist then wrought and then 700 layers at the edge.
Making the blade subtle adds a little to the cost.......
I would be interested in your comments.


forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of course people who are serious about this pashion care for such details. But also often just can't afford to care... Btw, both blades are beautiful in their own way...
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: your opinions on some damascus subtleties......         Reply with quote

Owen Bush wrote:
does anybody else care about such things ?

Yes, I do. And like Luka said, I think many people who are serious about this do.

Owen Bush wrote:
or more precisly does the market care ?

I think there would be people willing to pay for such things. Funds allowing, I for one would also. But "funds allowing" may be a problem...

Owen Bush wrote:
can you see a difference?

Yes. To me the second one more appealing. More "different" if you will. It's not that "everybody" can make the first, but it is more common in the market. So the second one stands out, in a subtle way that is not readily apparent, not even to people who know what to look for.

But even if it were not visible (like making your own wrought iron rather than buying it), it also has another appeal, comparable to a glass backplate on an expensive mechanical watch. Nobody will ever notice it in passing, but it is there.

Personally I like such things much more than, to keep the watch analogy, diamonds on the hands or the numbers... Confused

Owen Bush wrote:
or am I wasting my time on a personal folly!!

Time spent on technical or aesthetic improvement is never wasted... Wink

Owen Bush wrote:
Making the blade subtle adds a little to the cost.......

Just for interest, what does "little" mean? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, or you can send me a PM instead. But I am a bit curious.
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Bryan W.





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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I care. I definitely care.

Damascus/pattern welding is an art in and of itself and a complex, consistent or symmetrical pattern shows a higher skill than something "random" (assuming quality of the damascus steel and welds are equal of course).

Owen you ever ship to the USA? ;-)
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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks for your replies.

It is very hard to get an idea as to what people notice /know/ care about.
and heartening to know that some people think like I do.

price wise on simple pieces such as these which are 15 inch seax blades I would expect the price to be different by around 25 making these blades 190 and 200 (taking into account the small scraped fuller on the cheaper blade) .

for a full sword blade the difference would probably be nearer 200 to 300 between a modern looking patternweld and a more subtle wrought and high layer piece.
Including wrought iron into the piece brings with it certain realities , inclusions and a blade that will bend as oposed to flex.........
I still like it as a material and feel especially for seax it is appropriate and "rite"
I have made blades from ore and have enough smelted material. Iron , phosphoric iron and smelted steel to make some saxon blades from ore ...in fact they are in the pipe line and I should have a bloomery patternwelded seax by end of the month . That however will be in another price bracket all together. and it will be interesting to see if a market exists for blades made from smelted material from ore.....

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 21 Jun, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I think we can all appreciate the beauty of these blades but not all knowledgeable enough to appreciate the subtleties when looking at different or truly original patterns, so those who can appreciate them fully is a smaller group than those who still like them but just don't see the extra work or creativity involved in making original patterns or using different materials.

This doesn't mean it isn't worth the efforts you are putting in as an artist and maker but those who will fully appreciate them will be more limited in number and this may be a practical issue for commercial reasons.

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




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jun, 2011 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I prefer the second image. I think it lets the blade speak and is a nice detail, rather than being so overwhelming that it's all you can look at from across the room. It feels a lot more refined. Happy
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jun, 2011 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't normally buy any blades, as I prefer making over buying. But if I were in the market, then I'd be going for what's historically most correct that I could afford. I'd rather have one blade that's fully correct, then a whole bunch that aren't quite it. So in that case, if I'd have the option, I'd definately go for the more authentic patternwelded blade. Plus it's exactly the activity in the metal that really makes the blade interesting to me. It gives so much more "depth" to the blade. But you know me, I rather spend a lot of efford even to make things authentic which you may not even see at all in the end product. I'm not quite the average collector/maker there.

B.t.w. the high layer material that you use, is that composed of different steels or is it high layered shear steel?

Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
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Walter Stockwell




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Jun, 2011 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think those look really nice. I appreciate that you don't etch the heck out of the blade as well. I prefer the subtle finish so that the blade looks like a blade, but someone who cares can see the pattern when holding it.
Walter
www.stockwellknives.com
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Jun, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Owen Bush wrote:
thanks for your replies.

It is very hard to get an idea as to what people notice /know/ care about.
and heartening to know that some people think like I do.


I liked the layers turned up on edge, revealing the laminate nature of them. It is not often done today as most of us want to show of the fancy twists, ladders, etc. Its nice to have something embedded right there in the blade that shows the basic nature of what all of the rest of it is actually made of.........

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well if it means anything as a sword enthusiest it makes my jaw drop to the floor every time i see damascus patterns in blades, particularly swords , viking, chinese japanese, i always get excited at the sight of pattern welding. because its so... artistic. if nothing else.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I care and appreciate the effort and result very much as it relates to historical precedent.

I don't really have any passion for damascus when done for aesthetics only, infact, I often feel it detracts from a piece. In other words I like it only within a historical context.

I will absolutely pay more for pattern-welding or any non-monosteel composition which adds to the authenticity of a piece. I love the pattern of authentic metal finishes whether they be in shear steel, laminated steel, or pattern-welded composition.

I have 2 blades made by you of more complex make. One in a later period seax and another 14th. c. eating knife done in shear steel. If and/or when I decide to obtain an earlier period seax I will very likely come to Tod and you for a truly impressive example utilizing the type of wrk you are doing.

Monosteel can look too sterile to me at times. I would have all of my collection made up of more historically constructed steel compostion if I could afford it but alas. . . . .
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