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Stephen Pearson




Location: Washington DC
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 12:18 pm    Post subject: Spreading the Wealth         Reply with quote

When I started collecting, one of the objectives I set for myself was diversity both in terms of types and makers of swords. As my tastes (and budget) continue to evolve, I find myself gravitating towards a single maker: Albion. This is happening for two reasons they keep making designs that I feel are appealing and their NextGen swords fall in price/aesthetic/quality niche that Im looking to buy in. On the one hand, this is great they have a fantastic reputation and wonderful customer service. Sometimes I wonder, am I doing a disservice to the sword industry I love by limiting my purchases to only one maker? Or does it matter?

Questions:
    Should we, as collectors and practitioners, purchase swords from many different makers in an effort to maintain the health of our hobby?

    Do we owe it to the long-term health of this market to spread our buying dollars around?

    Can one fully appreciate the quality of a sword without owning one made by a different maker?

    Does an informed comparison of a new sword require one to own swords from multiple makers? Also, do aesthetics/workmanship/quality comparisons require apples vs. apples comparisons, or are apples vs. oranges enough? For example, comparing one XIIa to another XIIa by another maker, or can one compare a XIIa to a XVIII from different makers?


This is not to say that Im an Albion man for life. Im going to have to purchase another baskethilt and a Scottish Dirk in the next 12-18 months and Albion makes neither of these products. The other thread on competition just got me thinking. Do we have a collective responsibility to help maintain the fragile makers that feed our habit? Also, for the integrity of our collections, are swords by multiple makers required?

--Steve

The only situation a commander can know fully is his own: his opponent's he can know only from unreliable intelligence.
Clausewitz, On War
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Spreading the Wealth         Reply with quote

Stephen Pearson wrote:


Questions:
    Should we, as collectors and practitioners, purchase swords from many different makers in an effort to maintain the health of our hobby?

    Do we owe it to the long-term health of this market to spread our buying dollars around?

    Can one fully appreciate the quality of a sword without owning one made by a different maker?

    Does an informed comparison of a new sword require one to own swords from multiple makers? Also, do aesthetics/workmanship/quality comparisons require apples vs. apples comparisons, or are apples vs. oranges enough? For example, comparing one XIIa to another XIIa by another maker, or can one compare a XIIa to a XVIII from different makers?




No

No

Yes

No/depends
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Randal Graham
Industry Professional



Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Joined: 20 Sep 2003

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I think it's up to the manufacturers and the makers to provide the diversity that you are talking about, not the patrons.

"If you build it...""" you know how that one goes. It's very true I believe.

There is nothing stopping another company or even individual from putting out the same considerable time and effort as Albion has to raise quality, authenticity, and diversity of it's own offerings. But it's costly, financially and emotionally... I know only too well. Some other folks on the continent DO care that much, they are working towards it... but many don't. It's not the swords, or the craft they love. It's the money. And money ain't enough to make stuff like the Peter/Albion creations happen. Like the willingness not to make any for a long while, for example.
Some of the stuff folks are getting from Albion right now I have watched come to being over the last TWO YEARS...hours apon hours of reasearch and expierimentation, mistakes, re-trys, on and on. They'll never recoup a great deal of that time if money is the only yardstick by which all that effort gets measured.

But still, the people at Albion, Gus, A&A, myself and other individual makers CHOSE to do this gig. So it's up to us to create the product that's demanded by the customer base, to listen to what's wanted and try to go in that direction. It's not up to the patron at all, at least in my thinking.

anyway, that's what i think FWIW

R.H.Graham
Swordsmith
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gee Stephen, you make us sound like the Sierra Club, or Green Peace Big Grin

It's a business, nothing more nothing less. Spend your money wherever and however you choose.

When judging the quality of a sword, be it antique or modern creation it does help to have as great an exposure as possible to others of similar type.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:


When judging the quality of a sword, be it antique or modern creation it does help to have as great an exposure as possible to others of similar type.


Very true, and you don't need to own to compare (although it can make it more convenient to do so if you do). I like your motto. Is it original or a quote?
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 870

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Stephen

I have to go along with Geoff in entirety.

Like Randal said, its not up to the consumer to keep the business' alive. If we can't do it well enough to attract enough coin, then we don't deserve to stay in business......

My guess is we'll all still be here next year though.......

swords are fun
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree there is no obligation on the customer to try different vendors.

However it can really help build expereince, appreciation, and eye for detail. Perhaps not so well as seeing originals, but there is something to be said for sampling a variety of products before deciding to concentrate on one or a few.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 4:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
I agree there is no obligation on the customer to try different vendors.

However it can really help build expereince, appreciation, and eye for detail. Perhaps not so well as seeing originals, but there is something to be said for sampling a variety of products before deciding to concentrate on one or a few.


Hmm. I think that pretty much summed it up for me, Joe.

I've owned things from dozens of makers/vendors over the years. In fact, I try very hard to get a good sampling from every current maker (there are a few I have not seen still!) just to give me a good basis for comparison. I don't, however, feel compelled to purchase and/or keep items from each and every maker, though. The process of getting this exposure to various makers can be a costly one; and certainly has been for me over the years. Ren faires, stores, knife/blade shows, WMA events, etc. are all good methods of seeing a variety of pieces without requiring them to be purchased.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The process of getting this exposure to various makers can be a costly one; and certainly has been for me over the years. Ren faires, stores, knife/blade shows, WMA events, etc. are all good methods of seeing a variety of pieces without requiring them to be purchased.

Don't forget the occasional collector gathering. There is one upcoming in Ohio, and these are great ways to see a wide range of products. Really the best way I've come accross so far. Happy

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2003 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:
Patrick Kelly wrote:


When judging the quality of a sword, be it antique or modern creation it does help to have as great an exposure as possible to others of similar type.


Very true, and you don't need to own to compare (although it can make it more convenient to do so if you do). I like your motto. Is it original or a quote?


Hi Geoff,

If you're refering to my signature line I'm afraid that's all mine. It used to be one of my favorite recruit "motivators" during my instructing days at the academy.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Tom M. McIntire




Location: Hastings, Nebraska, USA
Joined: 14 Nov 2003

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2003 5:28 pm    Post subject: The Mostes for the Leastes         Reply with quote

What we are talking about here is the biggest bang for the buck. If we can't provide it here than it will be provided elsewhere. There will always be a small nich for well made custom American blades but what happens when the foreigners see a market for that and start to fill it? If there is money to be made they will find it !

Tom

I like Del Tins !
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,417

PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2003 8:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom,

I'm not really sure I agree with your assessment . There is truth to what you say, but I'm optomistic that there will be room in the market for the forseeable future, especially based on some of the discussion in other threads here.

Besides there is probably much more money to be had at a higher margin serving the people buying from HSN and such.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Ciaran Flanagan




Location: Dublin, Ireland
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu 11 Dec, 2003 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One area tho that I feel merits some spare cash is the up and comming smith area. Normally when they are trying to make a name for themselves the prices are good and if the weapon is of good quality then a good review and lots of Piccies can really help them out and benifits us all.


Just a thaught

C

Ciaran

A wise man is someone who has travelled to heaven and hell and knows the difference.
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