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Eric Sherwin




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Skautrir, New Commission By Jeff Helmes         Reply with quote

Hello fellow forumites. I'm one of the many who have lurked on this site, read the myriad posts and reviews, gleaned loads of useful and interesting information, but never really felt like I had anything to contribute.... Until now.

My interests in swords span centuries, from the Bronze Age up to the Renaissance. I've been collecting since 2003, and each sword I own has an attribute that speaks to me, from a kind of grim beauty, symmetry, proportion, or understated elegance. But, of all the eras that swords were used, I'm partial to the Viking era.

I've never commissioned a sword before; I've wanted to, but life always intervened. But this year I got lucky, so after lurking some more on this site, I saw some creations of Jeff Helmes and knew that I had to have one of his pieces. I wasn't sure at first exactly what sword I'd want him to make, but I was impressed by his quality. After several pleasant correspondences with him, we both decided on a Ringerike style that would be, in his words, "Historically plausible, but flirting with the realm of myth". Jeff has been terrific, bouncing ideas off of me and guiding me towards what will be my ultimate sword. I've given him full creative license for this commission, and its really paid off. In coming up with a name for the sword, Jeff wrote, I have named it Skautrir, which is as near as I can get to "border dweller". I named it that because it represents a number of thresholds for me and primarily it represents the fine line it stands in between a historical replica and a mythological fantasy sword.

The blade is composed of a combination of steels 430 layers to achieve a bright, lively pattern. According to Jeff, its 31 inches long, 54 mm wide at the tang, and weighs 2 lb, 12 oz. which should make it a fearsome chopper (but I wouldnt dream of swinging it at something and possibly marring the blade). The pommel and guard inlays are of silver and the grip is carved reindeer antler. Jeff is in the process of creating a scabbard, and I cant wait to see what he comes up with!








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Brian K.
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Absolutely stunning work. I am very envious of your commission and hope to one day get a custom blade made of great quality like this!
Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
Joined: 06 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A first commission? You certainly weren't shy, a bold choice to say the least. I too am eager to see the scabbard.
Fantastic, Eric, Jeff.

Thanks for showing this.

Jon


A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice! The whole thing is great, but I am especially envious of how the hilt turned out. Magnificent! Jeff is great to work with too.
A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Eric Sherwin




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Skautrir         Reply with quote

Thanks, guys, I'll post more pictures as I get them from Jeff. I need to mention a couple of minor corrections: The style of the original was thought to be Ringerike, but Jeff spoke to Dr. Geibig, who thought that the hilt was more from a 10th century context. The grip carvings are slightly modified Jelling motifs.
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J Helmes
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Location: Lanark Highlands Ontario Canada
Joined: 06 Mar 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Guys! Thank you for the compliments! This is a really great project to be working on.

I often find myself sort of tongue tied when faced with describing my work, so I tend to shy away from making statements about what I do. With that said though, I will be happy to answer questions that anyone may have.

Jeff


Last edited by J Helmes on Sun 02 Jun, 2013 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Eric Sherwin




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 6:03 pm    Post subject: Skautrir         Reply with quote

Forgot to mention that the photo of the original is by Niels Provos. Many thanks for allowing its use!
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James M.





Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Positively fantastic piece of work.

The hilt's color really works wonders to bring out that silver inlay. Very sort of chiaroscuro effect, beautiful!
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J Helmes wrote:

I often find myself sort of tongue tied when faced with describing my work, so I tend to shy away from making statements about what I do. With that said though, I will be happy to answer questions that anyone may have.


Ahhh Jeff, since you're so modest, let us be immodest for you. Looking at a sword like this makes one think of the great works of art hanging in major museums; the Van Goghs, the Monets, the Rembrandts. One can only hope that one day your sort of Art gets the same kind of recognition. Once it would have - if you were alive 1200 years ago you would have been making swords for the great kings of the day. Thanks for making some of us feel like Kings for a day!
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Skautrir, New Commission By Jeff Helmes         Reply with quote

Eric Sherwin wrote:
I've never commissioned a sword before


This is a heck of a way to start!!! Kudos! Great sword from a great smith. Nice to see Jeff flexing his muscles a bit with this one. I love the whole kit and can't wait to see the scabbard but the grip just has me mesmerized. Beautiful.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 8:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the risk of making Jeff blush, I have to say that I haven't seen much before that would impress me more in aesthetic qualities of all parts of this sword and as a whole.

Carving, texture, folded steel etc etc etc ...... superlatives are hard to find to do it justice: This is at the highest levels of art as well as sword arts I can think of. Big Grin Cool

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




Location: Reston, VA
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations on a very beautiful sword.
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Jim Adelsen
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Location: WI
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great looking sword. I don't remember seeing the original before, but I like it a lot! Good choice.
www.viking-shield.com
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stunning work Jeff, stunning.
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Julien M




Location: London
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Amazing work all around, down to the tinniest detail. Love the carving of the handle too.

Hard not to think about Barta or Robert Moc when looking at such detailed and accomplished work, and this is saying much.

Jaw dropping really.

J
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Philip C. Ryan




Location: Omaha, NE
Joined: 04 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That has to be one of the most beautiful swords I have ever seen. Stunning design! You should be proud to own it.
Skjaldborg Viking Age Living History and Martial Combat
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P. Schontzler




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 15 Apr 2013

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
At the risk of making Jeff blush, I have to say that I haven't seen much before that would impress me more in aesthetic qualities of all parts of this sword and as a whole.

Carving, texture, folded steel etc etc etc ...... superlatives are hard to find to do it justice: This is at the highest levels of art as well as sword arts I can think of. Big Grin Cool


I completely agree. It's the most beautiful sword I've seen.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that's an heirloom! I can see that sword being passed down through generations of Sherwins.
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Eric Sherwin




Location: Texas
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Now that's an heirloom! I can see that sword being passed down through generations of Sherwins.

You're right on the money, Roger, this one's never leaving the family.
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Robert Mc
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Location: Zvolen Slovakia
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2013 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful sword and perfect work.
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