Since we married, Miss D. and I have developed a sort of annual ritual. Every year, I try to buy her a nice Damascus steel knife, something attractive and eye-catching. I often find good blades at fellow author Mike Williamson's booth at LibertyCon (well, what would you expect from a man who names his business [and its Web site] 'Sharp Pointy Things', and one of whose children is known far and wide as 'Sharp Pointy Daughter'?)
This year, things went a little differently. I did find a lovely dagger at Mike's booth, but a few of us decided it would be better suited for another of our friends. (Look for it on the cover of one of Tom's books in the not too distant future.) So, I had to find another knife for my lovely wife. Where to look?
Fate took a hand when blacksmith (and knifesmith) Sven from Hunchback Ironworks e-mailed me. He wanted a set of my books, and wondered whether I'd like to trade them for some blacksmith work. Well, now . . . yes, as it happened, I did have something in mind! Several e-mails to and fro later, and he had a commission to custom-make a knife for Miss D. Unlike any I'd bought for her before, this one would be built 'from scratch', including forging the Damascus billet, obtaining the raw wood, then hand-crafting everything from the naked steel to the finished product. A one-of-a-kind knife like that would obviously be much more expensive than a set of my books, so I threw in enough cash to make up the difference.
Sven's done a lovely job. Here are a few pictures to illustrate it. Click any one for a larger view.
to highlight the patterns in the Damascus steel
It's a simple but very practical design, and looks beautiful. It comes with a rustic-style distressed leather sheath, designed to look well-used. I think it'll go very well with the (sometimes ornate) costumes Miss D. likes to wear to conventions.
A tip o' the hat to Sven for some great work. He's posted a few more pictures of the knife on his own blog, and apparently some people have already liked it enough to place orders for their own versions. If you'd like to do the same, I can certainly recommend his craftsmanship from personal experience. Drop him a line at hunchbackironworks AT gmail DOT com. (No, he's not paying me a commission or anything like that to mention his name. I just appreciate good work, and like to let my readers know about it.)