This tsuba is in the Higo style, with two seashell, or ‘kai’ in Japanese, pierced and carved in negative silhouette. It is forged from antique wrought iron. It was pierced and carved by Anna Bell and given a finish and patina that emphasizes the inherent beauty of the iron’s organic grain structure.
The tsuba itself is only one piece of a larger ongoing collaborative mounted katana project by the Bell family.
The blade itself is a katana of 25 inch (63.5 cm) nagasa forged of cable by Michael Bell. Point is Michael’s standard extended chu-kissaki. The hamon shows excellent control with activity due to the cables grain throughout.
The tsuba, pictured above, is made of antique wrought iron by Anna Bell.
The blade has a copper habaki by Gabriel Bell. The koshirae is also by Gabriel. Black lacquered saya with buffalo horn kojiri, koiguchi, and kurigata. Silver shitodome. Tsuka is full-wrap same lacquered in black, with Higo style fuchigashia in shibuichi, wrapped in brown silk ito.
More pictures and information to be posted as work progresses.