Progress on New Swordsmithing School

This story has moved to website of our swordsmithing school, Please visit us there!

Online Deposit Payment now available.

We have been working to add an online shopping cart that will work with PayPal to make reservations and deposit payment for our Swordsmithing School courses easier. Using PayPal will allow customers to pay online with a credit card or bank account. This can all be done online at our new catalog.

Solution Graphics

“Michael Bell, Dragonfly Forge” by Dennis Ellingson – Knife World

This article is also available in PDF format with photographs.

I met Michael Bell on August 26, 1984 at a knife show in San Jose, California. It was a momentous meeting which I recall vividly. There were some star players at this show. Of special import was Bernard Levine who introduced me to Michael Bell and, in turn, also introduced Michael to Bob Loveless. Michael lived in San Francisco and was the owner of Mission Cutlery; and in addition to selling, sharpening and repairing cutlery, he also was making and repairing Japanese swords.

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Website Update

Much more progress has been made on the website. The Photo Gallery should be working now, but it will still be tweaked a bit. We are still working on putting more pages and information up.

There may have been some problems posting comments in the past. With the new website there should be no more spam and posting problems. Unfortunately, we lost comments previously had from visitors.

Website Changes

As you can see by the drastic change in style to the website, we’re making some major updates to the site. Hopefully it will allow us to keep the site up-to-date easily and provide more information.

As of now several features from our old site are still being transfered over: the photo galleries, the calender, and the “Ask Sensei” page. We hope to have them online soon. Don’t be surprised by more changes visually too.

Those of you interested in the dates for our 2008 swordsmithing course, they are available in the Swordsmithing School section. We hope to have the calender up soon.

2008 Dragonfly Forge Swordsmithing School Course Schedule

Basic Forging Course

This is a hands-on course designed to give the student a working familiarity with the tools and metals utilized in the forging of a sword blade. Each student will forge his own blade of at least wakizashi length from forge-welded steel cable.

Skills learned will include forging, grinding, filing and heat-treating, with attendant emphasis on metallurgy and proper shaping and aesthetics. All tools, fuel, and material included.

The price of the course is $1100 and is limited to four students per session. A deposit of $200 is requested, refundable up to 30 days before session begins.

April 21-25
June 9-13
July 7-11
Sept 8-12
August 25-29 Continue reading

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Interactive Gallery Tour

Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Interactive Tour of Japanese Arms and Armor

This link to an interactive tour by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has some very nice detailed photos, mostly of tsuba and other koshirae fittings.  We especially love nice Higo openwork iron tsuba.

Roadshow Archive – Three Japanese Swords

Someone sent us an email with this link from an episode of Antiques Roadshow on PBS.

She does not seem not qualified to judge Japanese swords.  The prices also seemed very high considering the lack of information on the blades themselves.

Light as a Dragonfly by Kathryn Ortland and Justin Speyer.

An article and photos from 2005 by Kathryn Ortland and Justin Speyer. The article is in PDF format and was previously available online and can be read here.