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.
Continue reading ““Michael Bell, Dragonfly Forge” by Dennis Ellingson – Knife World”
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.
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.
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.
August 25-29 Continue reading “2008 Dragonfly Forge Swordsmithing School Course Schedule”
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.
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.
It has been said the Japanese sword possesses a soul of its own–that it is an extension if not the very counterpart of the warrior’s soul itself. I believe this to be true, though I also maintain that the sword is a reflection of its creator–the tosho, the swordsmith. The swordsmith is charged with the arduous task of upholding a tradition that has existed for well over a thousand years. With only the barest of resources–iron, sand, fire–combined with his knowledge and the strength of his hands, the tosho must strive to create something greater than himself, instilling life in each blade with every strike of his hammer. Continue reading “Reflections of Steel, by Win Prue”
An older article from Swordforum Magazine.
” This year, the Alabama Forge Council’s (AFC) annual Bladesmithing Symposium featured special guest Michael Bell – a swordsmith from Oregon and one of the premiere smiths working today, trained in the Japanese tradition by five-year apprenticeship under Master Swordmaker Nakajima Muneyoshi in 1970.”
The rest of the article is available here.
Article and photographs by Adrian Ko.