Montag, 29. August 2011

*φoutanjā-lugra-moros!;-) my kopis: done.

 I finished the kopis that has been on my bench for some time now... I am currently a bit over the top, for I have to use my kitchen for knifemaking, grinding, polishing wood and antler, glueing, riveting, filing and making jam, drying food, cooking and the like. Certainly not healthy, and my home looks more like a battlefield on a junkyard than a place to live. I will have to get a proper shop. Soon. And completely rebuild this cavern I call home, for that mess has to stop. But for now it will have to do, and it does. I first made the bolster plate from a fitting from Karesuando, lazy bum that I am;-) and gave it a fit and a ball peen finish. The head plate I wanted to do from Mokume Gane Matthias made some years ago, but it was cold-rolled out and came apart when riveting. So, I thought, so what, "all art is a recovery from the first step"(Todd;-)) and made one from brass.
 The handle is reindeer antler. I first drilled three holes into the bolster side of the handle, about 1 mm less in diameter than the tang is thick. Then I drilled one hole from the other side of the handle, about the diameter of the tang´s width. I hacksawed the holes in the bolster side to make a slot and filed it to fit. Then I made the head plate from brass. Here you can see the assembly with the old headplate still fitted. I checked the tolerances between the handle and the bolster plate thoroughly. If you use a leather or birchbark washer between bolster and handle you can be a bit less precise;-). I, for one, can do with some filing practice, and welcomed the opportunity;-). Then I covered the blade with one centimetre of cardboard and gaffa tape for protection.
 I glued the tang in and riveted it with a ball peen hammer against the headplate, which I glued in place first, while the epoxy was still halfway through drying. Then I removed the gaffa and the cardboard and the glue that squeezed through the bolster slot. If you grease that part lightly beforehand, that´s quite a lot easier to do...;-). Then I polished the handle and filed some finger grooves in. Have to rework it some, though.
Tested the blade against mild steel rods and Karesuando blades. I would estimate it to be in the high 50´s HRC, 57-59 approximately.
 This is a detail of the head plate. I just did it and only after riveting I realized two things:

-the tang is bent off center by riveting*grml
-it has kind of a floral appearance;-)

This knife appeals to me, and I gave it a name in Proto-Celtic, since it is loosely modelled after a Dürrnberg and a Cologne knife design I coveted for years. I call it Lugra-Moros for the white handle(that will have to get a knotwork or spiral carving soon;-))
 Then I put a razor edge on it. I scratched the handle by doing so (clamped it in a vice but forgot the leather protection). I then went a bit off my rocker... weird? Me? For I realized the scratches all went of an imaginative centreline and could therefore be read as Ogham signs;-). I am currently writing a poem from the kennings and am quite sure a carving will come out, too.
 Inspiration goes weird ways sometimes, but this is the craftsmanship of a poet, and I haven´t done it for eleven years. Only but recently I came across a reason to be inspired again. Something to do with a harp in the woods and some nymphs involved;-) a BIG thanks for that ;-). It took me ver so far, and it went as it used to go years ago, when I created the "wheel of the Vaivari". Somehow myth has some dynamics to it that cannot but take its own way. I first wrote down the Ogham signs as I saw them. Drew a centreline, and read them from bottom to top, as a tree would grow, towards the blade, and away from it. Ogham letters traditionally had several meanings: First, the simple phonetic value, and then there were connotations to each letter, the so-called Kenningar (borrowed from Old Norse runeology). The Letter B for instance had the name "Beith" or "beth" (The Ogham "alphabet" is no alphabet, for it´s called Beith-Luis-Nion /Nuin), and among others the poetic connotation "highest brow and fine hair". That makes it a cinch to use for inspiration. I know this is not a scientific approach, mind you!;-) I am more than half-mad, a mental outcast and using it for writing poems or carving reindeer antler, so it´s your fault alone if you listen to my jibberings;-). Plus, I use Rober v.Ranke-Graves "The White Goddess" as a guide.Tutututut...;-)
All the Kenningar of this sheet make for a plot of a story. I have yet to find out where it may lead.... and I am fascinated.

Or better said:

Veit ek, at ek hekk
vindga meiði á
nætr allar níu,
geiri undaðr
ok gefinn Óðni,
sjalfr sjalfum mér,
á þeim meiði,
er manngi veit
hvers af rótum renn.

Við hleifi mik sældu
né við hornigi;
nýsta ek niðr,
nam ek upp rúnar,
æpandi nam,
fell ek aftr þaðan.

(Hávamál, Snorra Edda, quoted after: Wikipedia)

One word leads to another, one work leads to another work, and so the runes of life are learnt, from root to root, from stem to branch to leaf to tree to wood to sky. It´s the power of life that runs through all this, and I am fascinated again and full of joy at how everything is linked to each other.

All this will find its way into the creation process of this knife.

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