Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Why no modern looking swords? Reply to topic
This is a Spotlight Topic Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next 
Author Message
Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Thu 12 Mar, 2009 11:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, these aren't exactly functional, being stainless steel and all, but this was what I thought of as soon as I saw the question: http://www.swordsswords.com/search.aspx?find=Samurai+3000

If they were made of good metal and all....
View user's profile Send private message
Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 4
Posts: 4,067

PostPosted: Thu 12 Mar, 2009 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I looked at this revived thread, I was surprised that Gus Trim's stuff wasn't mentioned. (did I miss it?) ATrim's designs cover a large spectrum, but his simpler, pared down, performanc is just about everything swords have a very modern tone. The class that most exemplifies this is his tactical line. Unfortunately, he seems to have discontinued those blades. I have one, the tactical cuttoe, a high performer that IMO is the essence of a modern sword.


 Attachment: 25.22 KB
cuttoe600w.jpg
ATrim Tac Cuttoe
View user's profile Send private message
Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Thu 12 Mar, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Much has already been said about the form of swords following their function and I agree that if you want something that is going to function as, say, a longsword, then there are certain constraints to what you can and can't do to the design of the weapon before it ceases to function. That function, though, relates to a combat form that relies to a large extent on you opponent being armed with similarly functioning weapons and so the design of modern "tactical" swords tends to vary substantially from the medieval sword archetype and usually - to my eye at least - ends up more in the form of a big knife than a sword.

That said, I think there are arguably modern takes on the implementation of that functional design coming out of the more knowledgeable smiths working in the movie industry. The various swords Peter Lyon designed for the LOTR trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia, and subsequent works he's built for the Weta Cave shop are to my mind modern functional swords.

I'm rather partial to the one the Weta Cave has on sale at the moment, Aearil. It's definetly a longsword, and there are elements of it that obviously have their genesis in late medieval sword furniture, but I don't think there is any doubt that it is a modern sword.

Aearil, a sword by Peter Lyon

--
Al.
http://wherearetheelves.net
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
P. Cha




PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 6:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The new line of dynasty forge euro swords look extremely modern...

http://www.dynastyforge.com/index.php/Europea...ducts.html
View user's profile Send private message
Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jan, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Why no modern looking swords?         Reply with quote

I'm less interested in fantasy swords as mentioned by G.L. Williamson. Their designs even look kind of weird and scary with spiked blades and guards (Example below).

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
View user's profile Send private message
Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 04 Dec 2009
Reading list: 17 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 671

PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 1:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just look atthat pommel Eek! I wouldn't want to handle that. I'd cut myself!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Peter Johnsson
Industry Professional



Location: Storvreta, Sweden
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,757

PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 4:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a maker you decide in what way or if at all you relate to the traditions of the craft. There is a great diversity in what is recognized as quality among both makers and customers. There is no real common ground in what is appreciated as key features of the sword. This makes the idea(s) of "modern" very open for interpretation. Where do you draw the line between concepts like historical, traditional, contemporary or timeless? How will the definition of these concepts impact the final shape, quality and aesthetic expression of the sword?

Each maker will work from ideas about what is essential in a sword: in what ways it relates to tradition, function, materials and methods of manufacture. To search for a contemporary form of the sword is an interesting design problem, I think. For me that would mean a timeless expression that builds on and relates to tradition but is not constrained by it. I cannot imagine a sword that does not fulfill a role that has already been been defined by historical sword types. I cannot hope to improve on concepts that were perfected by generations of craftsmen. Even with strictly defined dynamic properties and dimensions for each sword type (if it is to fulfill its functional role), there is unlimited space for artistic expression. The trick is to know when artistic license intrudes on functional aspects.

Below is an example of a sword that was made with the intention to be a timeless expression of a traditional sword type. A commission from a practitioner of Chinese martial arts, where the dynamic properties and function of the sword should be faithful to historical swords, but the form and material were chosen to be a contemporary expression of the craft.



 Attachment: 81.51 KB
IMG_3476.jpg


 Attachment: 121.63 KB
IMG_3473.jpg


 Attachment: 139.73 KB
IMG_3472.jpg


 Attachment: 121.24 KB
IMG_3470.jpg


 Attachment: 100.88 KB
IMG_3474.jpg


 Attachment: 111.55 KB
IMG_3477.jpg

View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice sword Peter! Did you make it? If so, how did you like making something like this opposed to a historical piece?
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Johnsson
Industry Professional



Location: Storvreta, Sweden
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,757

PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Nice sword Peter! Did you make it? If so, how did you like making something like this opposed to a historical piece?


Thank you Paul!

Yes, I made this a couple of years back. I shall surely continue to make swords on the same theme: basing them on traditional design concepts (regarding function, dynamic properties and functional dimensions) but craft them as contemporary objects. It is liberating to sometimes approach the sword as something outside a context of past time. To see it as something that is made on its own merits: it does not have to be judged after how well it represents something else.
A sword made for a contemporary swordsman by a contemporary sword smith. The challenge that makes such a project interesting is to make sure it still embodies the essential nature of a sword.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter, I think the relly important bit here is that modern make or no, that sword still represents what a sword ought to be - a deady weapon, that is made to perfection for the task it is intended for. Compare it to the crude... thing that is show in the picture on the top of the page in this thread by Shahril Dzulkifili. The sword you made seems to have style of .. "art nuveau" perharps it can be described? Yet it has the esential qulities that define a sword - elegance, purpose to the each of its components.
View user's profile Send private message
Gabriel Lebec
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: NY, NY
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Reading list: 32 books

Posts: 419

PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Below is an example of a sword that was made with the intention to be a timeless expression of a traditional sword type.

I really like this, Peter. I think you nailed the timeless-yet-contemporary feel—neither too radical a departure nor too recognizably traditional.

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
________
View user's profile Send private message
Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I want one of these:

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...+Wakizashi

A good looking compromise between a more or less traditionally shaped weapon and a modern handle sensibility, without being a black coated slab handled thing more akin to a machete or big knife.

I don't care if the whole "modern tactical sword" thing is overplayed, I'm going to take that thing out into the woods and cut stuff up with it.[/url]
View user's profile Send private message
A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Fri 05 Feb, 2010 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this sword. I't not modern, but it is relatively recent and it does resemble some of the modern "tactical swords."

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...al+Cutlass



 Attachment: 47.77 KB
Cold Steel 1917 Naval Cutlass. [ Download ]

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
View user's profile Send private message
Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 385

PostPosted: Fri 05 Feb, 2010 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't know if anyone has mentioned, but the swords from "Ultraviolet" (Movie with Milla Jovovitvh, not the english series) were kinda "modern" looking without being totaly stupid fantasy (unlike the rest of the movie)
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Sat 06 Feb, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
A sword made for a contemporary swordsman by a contemporary sword smith. The challenge that makes such a project interesting is to make sure it still embodies the essential nature of a sword.


That's a good point. When designing a modern sword, it's very easy to get caught up in aesthetics only. It's hard to design something without a starting point...

A. Spanjer wrote:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this sword. I't not modern, but it is relatively recent and it does resemble some of the modern "tactical swords."

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...al+Cutlass


Yes, it's a reasonably good (if slightly heavy) reproduction of a Dutch Klewang. The Dutch army used these in frontline service, I think until the early 1960's, in New Guinea. Today, it's use is completely ceremonial. In fact, in the 21st C., newly made Klewangs have been ordered from WKC in Solingen, but although nicely made, these are no longer the workhorses that they were.

Anyway, the Klewang may have been the last infantry sword that has actually been used by a western military, not counting private purchases among special forces units.

For a modern-age military sword, it would be a very good contender, but since swords are no longer used militarily, it seems that this lineage has been largely deserted by modern swordmakers. Modern made cutlasses, e.g. from Jody Samson, seem to have more in common with the "pirate" type...
View user's profile Send private message
Chris Cook




Location: Colorado
Joined: 16 Sep 2010

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always wonder that myself, why there's not a modern swords. Theres knew materials always being developed that could be used in a modern sword. But at the same time I'm sure that a swordsmith could come up with something useful on the modern day battle field. But at the same time bringing a sword to a gunfight isn't the greatest idea. Maybe if they somehow incorparated a pistol with a sword that might prove useful in close quarters combat. Its just an idea. Plus I think most swordsmith are content in doing the tried and true method of sword making, no sense screwing with something that works. And no buyers seem to want to push them to another level of swordmaking, something that could be useful in the modern world. The world changes and martial arts should change with it, and if that involves putting something new into their system they should, but at the same time respecting there traditions. I believe thats for the best.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Likes: 27 pages

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An interesting topic to revisit. To be honest, I have no idea what a truly modern sword would look like. For one thing, they are not used for combat anymore, so any sort of "new" blade design is difficult to imagine, since they would not be expected to encounter other weapons of their ilk in such a way that their design as a sword rather than a knife makes any sense (if indeed that statement makes any sense Laughing Out Loud ). They don't have any specific sort of defences they would need to overcome since no one is wearing anything like that anymore either, again since no one uses swords anymore. So there isn't really any specific design parameters in terms of function other than being light enough to be handy, sharp/pointy, structurally sound, and a reasonable size. Perhaps the only modification that springs to mind is that a cross guard isn't necessary since you aren't expecting to encounter another sword, so I would speculate that it would be small to nonexistent other than as a stop for the hand so it doesn't slide down the blade. To conclude, I doubt any sort of design parameter that could be thought up for a modern context has probably already been covered at some point in history. Though maybe there could be things like fullers that go all the way through the blade (aka cutouts), since you don't need to worry about it getting caught on another sword (though this may not be structurally as strong)...
Of course, this is all speaking in terms of physical function, rather than symbolic or metaphorical function. Also as a side note, they already tried swords (and other weapons) with guns in them (see the spotlight article) - judging by the fact that we're not still using them I would guess that it still didn't justify lugging around a 3 foot long piece of steel attached to the end of your pistol Laughing Out Loud

This leaves us with what aesthetic choices a modern sword smith might make. I would guess that modern swords would probably fairly plain compared to their ancestors, with little representational features or ornament, judging by the Modernist aesthetic that we are still under the influence of, in my opinion. I would think that they would be a study in form, transition, and line. Which sounds kind of vague to me, and really not all that different than a lot of medieval swords Big Grin In a way, I almost feel like Albion's NG line represents what I am talking about. I am not debating that they are not historical at all, but a lot of them have quite a stark (not sure if that's the right word) aesthetic about them. There's no representational ornament, nor really much surface ornamentation either (beyond the finish), they're nicely balanced compositionally. They almost feel like they are pared down to the essentials, in a way. To me, they really do look like experiments in formal composition as much as weapons.

Side note: This is not at all a bash on Albion or me calling into question their truth to the originals they are based on.

To repeat, I guess I'm not really sure what a distinctly modern sword designed for functionality would look like without referencing or repeating history. Though perhaps it's my imagination that's lacking (not good considering I'm graduating from art school next spring Laughing Out Loud) I guess the next question in this line of logic would be how much of a sword can you take away before you stop thinking of it as a sword anymore - is the problem that the idea of what a "sword" looks like is so firmly entrenched in our mind that it's difficult to modify it without breaking the association...though perhaps not judging by the sword like objects in the media...Perhaps it's the other way around - we think of any hand-held object with a cutting edge and/or a point as a "sword" because that's all most people know about swords now...

Food for thought. Happy

www.addisondelisle.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chris Cook




Location: Colorado
Joined: 16 Sep 2010

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: True         Reply with quote

I have seen some of these "pistol swords" but from what I've seen, there a pistol attached to a bayonet type set up, not what I'd really call a sword and granted I'm sure the market would be rather small for this. To be honest I'd say that maybe the only people that could be interested in it would be from the Spec Ops community. Some still use crossbows if the mission calls for stealth. Espeically since alot of modern Spec Ops like to view themselves a modern day samurais, I'm sure alot of them would want a modern updated sword in there collection, and if they could us it in a realistic way in battle all the better. Thats were the gunsword could come in, something you could draw fast. Just in case your main gun ran out of ammunition at a bad time. But can still has some reach to it, so you could take care of the baddies up close and those outta of range of the sword element. Its like my dad always told me it's not the weapon that make the difference its the person behind the weapon that counts. And I'm sure a Spec Op could figure outta a way to use it. If you want them to get somethin done tell them they can't do it and they'll figure out a way just to piss you off. Now I'm not saying a full on sword would be best at most maybe a 20 inch blade at most. It would still need to be balanced. So you could still aquire target at a fast enough pace. The grip would diffenatly have to be modified. I don't see a pistol grip being effective when used as a sword. But I could be wrong. I'd just think it would be awesome if someone would give it an honest try, bringing the old and new together. Remembering the past but still looking toward the future.

Note: If I stepped on anyones toes sorry, but thats what makes America great. Bringing new ideas in and seeing if they work or not. We didn't get to were we are by sticking to tradition. We got were we are by respecting our tradition but still open to new ideas. Until recently were we've seemed to just throw tradition to the side and now were scratching our heads wondering what happened. Just my opinion. Thats all.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Brawn Barber




Location: In the shop
Joined: 20 Nov 2008

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 10:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The reference to martial studies within this topic provides another insight. Peter brings up an an excellent point, but it not only relates to the tradition of the crafting of swords, but in the ancient arts in general. To study an ancient and authentically traditional art of Kung fu would be based on techniques that have been handed down and practiced effectively in battle since ancient times. Since they are proven to be effective and unique, there is no reason to alter them. It would be the same as saying that Bruce Lee's "Jeet Kune Do" was a traditional and ancient art. It may be a compilation of several ancient arts, but has no real "evidence" of having existed as a singular "traditional" martial art in ancient history.
"Haltet den Kopf unten and den Hammer am Schwingen!"

http://facebook.com/medieval.armour
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chris Cook




Location: Colorado
Joined: 16 Sep 2010

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 11:18 pm    Post subject: Actually         Reply with quote

Actually if you research Bruce Lee you'll find you that most of his "traditional" martial art peers didn't like him because he broke from tradition and taught people of other races the chinese martial arts. It even went so far that another sensei challenged him to a fight and if he lost he'd no longer be able to teach martial arts through the honor tradition. Of course he won. And why did he come up with Jeet Kune Do because he saw the weakness of his own art but saw the strengths of the other arts. So he did the logical thing and incorparated the strengths of the other arts into his own, Whing Chun. One of the arts he incorporated was Ikeado which is a relatively new martial art that came to in the beginning of the 1900 hundreds. Which focus is to use your oponites energy and use it against them. Plus the nunchucks he used didn't exist before him in the traditional martial arts. If you really want to get down to it Bruce Lee is the perfect example of sticking with tradition, but still looking for new things.

I didn't mean to piss off any swordsmiths or blacksmiths. I do realize that you guys are artist and do exeptional work. I respect you guys even more because the art isn't around as much anymore. I was just trying to say this is how a modern sword could be. But at the end of the day a sword is a weapon and as such it should keep up with the times.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Why no modern looking swords?
Page 3 of 5 Reply to topic
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2019 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum