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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 2:56 am    Post subject: ULFBERHT blade sword from Ostrów Lednicki reconstruction...         Reply with quote

The sword was ordered for main price in tournement "Warriors Battle" in Grzybów, ordered by the Muzeum Pierwszych Piastów na Lednicy - where the original is on exposition.
I have published also the article about recreation process - you can find it here: http://mieczesredniowieczne.pl/rekonstrukcja-...dnickiego/ - this is in Polish language.
You can find there also comparision of parameters: original remains and new sword.

Below you can see the original, my computer reconstruction prepared after research and the final result.





Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Stephen Curtin




PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another lovely piece of work Maciej.
Éirinn go Brách
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your work and research on this sword (in the past I only knew of it from a drawing in one of Nicolle's books).

The size of the pommel interests me as it seems much larger than the typical Ulfbehrt.

Would you consider the possibility that this sword might have had a longer blade than usual? Even 85CM or more? It looks like you have faithfully followed the profile of the remains of the original blade, but this seems to have an unusually rapid profile taper for swords of this type. Perhaps it was narrowed by repeated honing and/or corrosion?

What is the centre of gravity on your reproduction sword? That might also provide a clue since these swords usually had CoGs that were quite far out: around 15cm or even more from the cross.

Maybe you talk about this in your article but I have not had chance to translate it yet.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Sep, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's really great. Really beautiful. It's amazing how far the sword making community has come in the last 15 or so years.
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2014 12:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you.
J.D. - very good observations and questions.
yes, the pommel is big - but not unusual. the pommel have a big hole near center. first I thought that it is one of well known empty pommels - but after some research I think it must be result of corrosion in this case.
I also think that the grip, pommel and hilt could be changed in time - I mean about 11-12th century - but - it`s only theory.

in my recosntruction CoG is 15,5cm - blade is sharp and have thickness near the hilt is 4,3mm, feeling of balance is very good.

I`ve considered little longer blade - but little longer blade was not good for proportions and balance. after that I couldn`t find similar +VLFBERH+T blade with the same inscription type AND longer Happy
In my opinion - after research, tests and many consulting -these proportions and dimensions are optimal.

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That sounds reasonable Maciej. That pommel still 'feels' big to my eye for a sword of this size, but as you say Uflberhts tend to have a moderate length. I was sort of hoping this one might have been the exception to the rule, because I like long, early medieval swords.

At any rate, I like your work and plan to go through your site in more detail.
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you J.D. - unfortunately my website is only in Polish at this moment Happy
- I will make it in English too - but it twill take me some time Happy

back to the sword - I`m not happy about the grip... I was trying to make it in one piece of leather - not as a strap.
but the museum wanted this- because of the remains of leather on the original are arranged with the strap wrapped around the wood core... but I`m not sure about this... it can be later replacement.
also the grip shape should be little flatter - looking from the side.
but I hope these details are not disqualifying for this reconstruction Happy

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Sep, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maciej K. wrote:
Thank you J.D. - unfortunately my website is only in Polish at this moment Happy


No worries, between my Polish wife and Google Translate, I will manage. Happy

Maciej K. wrote:

back to the sword - I`m not happy about the grip... I was trying to make it in one piece of leather - not as a strap.
but the museum wanted this- because of the remains of leather on the original are arranged with the strap wrapped around the wood core... but I`m not sure about this... it can be later replacement.
also the grip shape should be little flatter - looking from the side.
but I hope these details are not disqualifying for this reconstruction Happy


It sounds like you want honest feedback so I will give you mine:

The grip looks perfectly fine to me. It has a nice organic look to it and the rounded bulge promises a good comfortable grip that will not dig into the hand during heavy use. If you always used the same type of grip one would wonder, but you've shown three different types of leather wrap grip in your 3 threads, each quite different and each well done in their own way.

I like the blades as well. The look reminds me of Tinker's medieval swords (going by pictures, I don't own any Tinker blades). There is a certain subtle theme to your profiles (the 'well honed' look) but that may change as you explore more blade types.

The biggest strength of your work is that, based on the pictures you have shown of your viking, early medieval, and longsword, these actually look like Medieval swords. This is no mean feat, since most modern medieval sword reproductions do not achieve this for anyone who has spent years studying originals. To do this, you must have studied swords very closely, gained a lot of skills, and scrutinized your work very closely. This requires a degree of perfectionism.

I would say the weakness is on the finish of your pommels and some crosses (not the longsword cross which looks great). A rough finish with lots of pitting might suit some people's tastes and be appropriate in some instances, but if its always like this I think it will limit you in standing up against the 'big boys' in the field. However, other people with less talent than you have figured this out so I guess you can pull off a smooth pommel if you want to.

The other most important thing -how it feels in the hand-one cannot get from pictures.

In short, if you have come this far in just over 2 years of professional work - pretty impressive! Looking forward to seeing more from you.
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2014 3:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you J.D. , this is interesting.
I expected just honest criticism and advice - especially in this place Happy
This allows you to grow and make the progress.
It`s very important for me what you wrote and I agree...

...I think this is right moment to share some reflections - about finishing and hole my approach to sword making.
I don`t like perfect machine finishing - smooth and clear surfaces and artificial supersymmetry Happy
Why? simply - because I don`t see this on original medieval swords Happy (and I`m not talking about rust or something...).
I`m trying to be closer to them in my work.
Take a look on any human face - or leafs -or trees... - there is no exact symmetry in Nature.
Swords was made not by machines but by human hands - handmade works are closer to Nature.
No matter: Artworks or edged weapons...
Also - the perfect symmetry is artificial - it is modern way mass production - like a phones or cars which are exactly the same...
...and this is second thing: modern production methods allow you repeat exactly the same shapes.
Human hands and mind works different.
and this is the way what I want make the swords to be closer originals Happy

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2014 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maciej K. wrote:
thank you J.D. , this is interesting.
I expected just honest criticism and advice - especially in this place Happy
This allows you to grow and make the progress.
It`s very important for me what you wrote and I agree...

...I think this is right moment to share some reflections - about finishing and hole my approach to sword making.
I don`t like perfect machine finishing - smooth and clear surfaces and artificial supersymmetry Happy
Why? simply - because I don`t see this on original medieval swords Happy (and I`m not talking about rust or something...).
I`m trying to be closer to them in my work.
Take a look on any human face - or leafs -or trees... - there is no exact symmetry in Nature.
Swords was made not by machines but by human hands - handmade works are closer to Nature.
No matter: Artworks or edged weapons...
Also - the perfect symmetry is artificial - it is modern way mass production - like a phones or cars which are exactly the same...
...and this is second thing: modern production methods allow you repeat exactly the same shapes.
Human hands and mind works different.
and this is the way what I want make the swords to be closer originals Happy


I can totally follow your aesthetic ideal of sword making.
Total symmetry is also less interesting when you view faces. It the tiny discrepancies that makes it edgy and interesting. It makes things come alive instead of feeling dead.
It also makes it “your sword“- the problem for anyone who goes in the marked is that more and more people are getting used to this perfect symmetrical idea. People buy perfect shiny fruits (over irregular ones) even though they have no taste.
So keep making “botox-free“ swords for museums and please post them here Big Grin
If you go more open marked you can always ask customers what they want.......(and maybe then influence them towards your view with arguments).
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maciej K. wrote:

...I think this is right moment to share some reflections - about finishing and hole my approach to sword making.
I don`t like perfect machine finishing - smooth and clear surfaces and artificial supersymmetry Happy
Why? simply - because I don`t see this on original medieval swords Happy (and I`m not talking about rust or something...).
I`m trying to be closer to them in my work.
Take a look on any human face - or leafs -or trees... - there is no exact symmetry in Nature.
Swords was made not by machines but by human hands - handmade works are closer to Nature.
No matter: Artworks or edged weapons...
Also - the perfect symmetry is artificial - it is modern way mass production - like a phones or cars which are exactly the same...
...and this is second thing: modern production methods allow you repeat exactly the same shapes.
Human hands and mind works different.
and this is the way what I want make the swords to be closer originals Happy


Those are some very valid points. Our hobby area was probably influenced by 'fit and finish' standards from the the knife collecting community as well as the modern ideals you talk about. Both collectors and smiths/artists are driven toward pefection over time. On the other hand, some people like you and lately Michael Pikula seem to be rebelling against that.

You also raise the point about 'what is perfection?' if the goal is to recreate something historical, and historical pieces were not perfect. I have also discussed this and worried about this in the past. For example, the original Korsogaden Sword, which Jeff Helmes re-created for me, has a strongly assymetric guard. I had a small existential crisis about whether to ask for this to be replicated. Ultimately I could not decide so left it to Jeff, and he chose to do it symmetric. I'm happy with that.

Another issue is, how does the average collector discriminate between work that was purposefully left a bit rough or assymetric vs. work that is simply shoddy?

Ultimately, I think you will be judged against the explicit standards you set for yourself and the 'imperfections' in your work will be judged within the broader context of the general quality of your work.

-JD
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Sep, 2014 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I understand your point J.D. this is good that we can talk about this, because this is more important than we think Happy
let me write some suplement...

there is the difference between simple lack of symmetry - and artistic manual work.
in swordmaking lack of symmetry and unfinished surfaces means simply poor quality of work.
but - "perfection" is good for lifeless computers Happy
of course every swordmaker should try the best - but always according to the sources and original pieces and it`s character.

why we should make swords BETTER than they were made in Medieval times? Happy
there is no need for that...
like I said - we are used to present perfect everyday objects - today perfect plastic spoon vs medieval handmade wood spoon - for example Happy and every single one item made today is made by machines - and have no character - no "part of the creator".

and what about the collectors and modern recreators? what swords they want? - it always depends on their knowledge and sensibility...

let`s try to draw the circle by free hand - and then let`s take calipers and make circle.
by free hand it needs skills and sense and some experience...
by the tool - you don`t need nothing Happy you can do it perfect immediately without any involvement ...

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Foong Chen Hong




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Sep, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a beautiful marking there, I wonder how's your price on the swords?
Descanse En Paz
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Sep, 2014 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you Foong Chen Hong. about the price - it depends on the sword type and destination.
Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was going through your entries - I'm especially drawn to your Early Medieval stuff - 10th through 12th centuries
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Jerry Monaghan




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2015 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi maciej
Once again very nice sword and an work of art thanks for posting i love brazil nut pommels.
Once congratulations on an fine sword

Regards

Jerry Monaghan
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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2015 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a beautiful sword and congratulations on the inlay in the blade. That is always an achievement and can easily lead to shards in a scrap pile.

Interesting conversation on modern versus historical craftsmanship and finish!

I'm currently going through a major transition in styles and I as I evolve I tend to appreciate more and more the skill involved with making things 'perfect'. I like the idea that a person can, with their own hands and in their own tiny shop.. approach 'perfection'. I like to think that someday I will have enough control over my process that I can achieve this. To me 'control' is the watchword. That is mastery.

I personally don't have much interest in re-creating imperfections in the historical craftsmanship of fit and finish.. and symmetry. Why re-create somebodies sloppy attention to detail? :-) However.. I do appreciate the natural imperfections found in the MATERIALS themselves that were being used. I think here is where the opportunity exists to take advantage of imperfection as a strong element in aesthetics. And oftentimes in order to show off these imperfections.. especially those found within pre-modern forms of iron and steel... you simply must finish the piece! You can't very well show off natural pitting and wood grain effects if you haven't satisfactorily removed scratches from tooling and abrasive.

I've learned that the best of examples of 'rustic finished' pieces were most likely FULLY finished before they became 'rustic'.. if that makes sense.

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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