Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jesus Hernadez - Demonstrator Profile

This is the first of a series of profiles of the featured demonstrators for CanIRON 8. The text and images are being gathered from each individual's web site. Readers are encouraged to visit these, as in most cases there is not only a greater selection of each artist's work to see, there are often other goodies like techniques or video available.

Jesus Hernandez

Huntsville, Alabama

" I am a bladesmith. For a long time I have been fascinated with the ability to create both useful and beautiful objects by hand. The craft of a blade represents an expression of that ability. From understanding how metal moves under the hammer to shaping a piece of raw wood into a handle, every aspect of this art is capable of bringing a sense of satisfaction to the maker and to the owner of such creations. "

" I started making blades because of my interest in Japanese swords. I have practised and taught different forms of kenjutsu over the years. I regularly refine my skills at tameshigiri ―cutting tatami or bamboo targets― and I am a modest collector of Japanese swords. I have been a student of nihonto for many years. "

" Driven by a thirst for knowledge, I took the challenge of learning how the Japanese swords were made and what made them so special. Hence, I started a long road into bladesmithing. "

Ayasugi dagger

" This dagger is part of the first international exhibition of contemporary bladesmiths held at the Macau Museum of Art.

" This is a special project made of 1050, 1095 and 15N20 steel. Folded to about 100 layers and then manipulated to generate a pattern that will imitate the AYASUGI hada of the GASSAN school of Japanese swordsmiths of which I have been particularly fond. Cable damascus guard and pommel and stabilized California buckeye burl handle. The blade is 9 1/2 inches and the overall length is 14 inches."

Bamboo tanto

" Aikuchi style tanto made of tamahagane steel. Nagasa 7.5 inches. Overall length 13.5 inches. The hada is simply beautiful resembling a raging fire with lighting strikes in the hamon. There is utsuri. The fittings are delicately brought to a great finish to compliment the blade. Multiple materials are used for the koshira: a carved copper habaki, buffalo horn for the koiguchi, fuchi and kashira. Mokume gane menuki. Horn pin and high quality same for the wrap. The kojiri is reinforced with cured bamboo. Lacquered saya with gold paint of bamboo design. The red kanji letters read: 'Shadow of the Wind.' "

Tiger Tanto

" This blade's steel was made in a tatara at the first hammer-in organized by Kerry and Matt Stagmer at their shop in Maryland. The following year a portion of the steel was consolidated, folded and turned into this tanto. The saya is made of curly maple and the spacers are snake wood. The habaki is copper. "

Iron Smelting - Japanese Tatara and Southern European Catalan Furnaces

Also On Jesus's web site :
A series of photo essay tutorials that includes - Habaki making / Forge welding / Heat treating forge.
A much larger portfolio of his past work, including detailed images of most of the blades.

Unless otherwise indicated, Images and text are taken from the individual's web site, and are used here with permission. Full copyrights apply.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gallery for CanIRON 8

The CanIRON team is pleased to announce that Kelly Probyn-Smith has volunteered to handle the GALLERY aspects of the conference.

Although Kelly is a relatively new face to OABA, she brings a good depth of experience to the effort. Most specifically her ongoing series of gallery / sales exhibits 'Not Just a Trick Pony', and great ties to the arts and theatre crowds in Toronto.

Although its still early days for this aspect of CanIRON, some good ideas have been put forward:

1) Organizing the overall display more like a commercial gallery or artists exhibition, with stress on presentation of the included works.

2) More information for each piece, including some details on method and design inspiration.

3) Possible development of a pre-juried exhibit of higher quality works.

4) Still an area for 'works in progress' and work at the beginner, hobbyist, and journeyman levels.

5) Allowing for free public access to the Gallery collection over fixed (limited) hours.

6) Inclusion of networking opportunities such as 'meet the artist' and area for distributing cards and fliers.

7) Possible co-sponsorship of a longer duration exhibit at a local museum or gallery?

8) Development of a 'virtual gallery' web site, making a permanent record of the contributed works.

Expect more information on the Gallery as Kelly gets her plans drafted and in place!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Help Us Spread the Word!

Do you have a web site?
It would be a big help to get the word out if there were a number of links back to the CanIRON 8 web site.
(This also would raise the site on the Google listings too)

CanIRON VII - FErgus

Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex

Fergus, Ontario

Thursday July 28 - Monday August 1, 2011

The Ontario Artist Blacksmith Association
is pleased to announce we will be hosting the next Canadian National Blacksmith's conference!

Find out how things are progressing by visiting the WEB

The actual html code snippet that makes what you see above has been formated into a text (for Word / PC) and placed in a small file on the OABA / CANIRON8 web site - this is the direct link

If you cut, save and paste that stuff in to your own web site - it should produce the same thing you see at the top of the page.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Facilities / Content / Pricing ?

(A Personal Observation)

Right now, the CanIRON 8 core team (Brad Allen, Mick Smith, Shirley Young, Elaine MacKay, Darrell Markewitz) have gotten a pretty good start in framing up the event. A date and site have been chosen, a slate of demonstrators confirmed, a draft schedule and tentative grounds layout are in hand.

Last week's blog poll was directed to potential fees for the event. Although at this point the sample is admittedly small, the results were a bit surprising. A full 50% of those who responded felt that a fair cost for admission to CanIRON 8 would be $200. All but one of the other respondents listed $150 as a likely fee.

This puts the concepts of the organizing team right on track, as it is our hope to be able to fix admissions price for the event at something between $150 and $200. This also puts us pretty much in the same line as earlier CanIRON events.

One thing that will be of note to all those intending to come to CanIRON 8 : The main outdoor area booked for the conference is fully equipped with electrical and water hook ups for RV camping. Although it is a bare, flat grass field, it will be ideal for tents and trailers. The tentative fee for a camping site (paid through the Sportsplex itself) is $25 per night. I suspect that several tents could share a single site. This offers a low budget alternative to local hotels or B&B, plus will keep you right on the centre of activities.

The next task before us is to draft a budget framework for the entire event. The hope is that we can have at least a rough set of numbers available for our next full face to face in early January. Hopefully within a month we will be able to announce the participant's fees for CanIRON 8.