In 2010, Coilin O’Dubhghaill asked if I would be prepared to use some gold and silver alloys that had been working on.
This knife is one of a set of six that was designed to showcase some of the series of patinated alloys that had being working on.
Shakudo (gold and copper) and shibuichi (silver and copper) are often seen used in sword fittings and decorative elements with traditional Japanese swords and armour. Using a combination of alloys means that a range of subtle colours can be obtained within a single metal piece.
Often when these decorative alloys are combined in a single piece, the aim of the craftsman is to make the join as invisible so that the transition from one colour to the other is crisp. Because of this, cold joining is often used and solder is avoided if possible because the solder shows as a different colour line in the piece when it has been patinated. I decided to see what would happen if I made a feature of my joints by welding them…I want the weld area to be a visually interesting, softer, alloy of alloys.
These knives are made using a new technique for me. It is a combination of traditional riveting and screw fitting. Because the scales are patinated, they need to be handled very carefully and with the minimum of workshop processes. The knives have the central part working as a complete knife, riveted together with titanium sides. The scales are then screwed on as the final process.
The blade is held between phosphor bronze washers and the spring has ‘secret’ internal filework.