Friday, March 4, 2011

Born on a New Moon in Pisces> Two Happy Fish Camp Knives <:) <:)

I have been planning on a series of fish knives ever since I made the first one over two years ago.
Today was the day........I had planned to only make one,  but some celestial influences drew me to forging another. I had this vision of two fishes in my mind the whole time I was forging the first one...almost to the point of distraction, which is not really beneficial to the forging process; so it had to be done.

Focusing back in and flowing with the good Mojo, I finished forging the first one and immediately started and eventually finished forging the second one. I did my best to make them similar.
All my knives being one-of-a-kind, there will always be subtle variations just as in nature. It was a great adventure that started years ago and continued with a little sketch I did two days ago after looking at a large size production model of a Bob Lum Chinese folder. I thought that the Chinese blade style in the fish format was a natural. Camp knife/knives needed manifesting. Two of them Born on a New Moon that just happens to be in Pisces today. Which was something I found out later at my afternoon tea when my sweetie looked at a astrological calendar and said, hey did you know that.....................
Mojo Mojo Buba Gumta' FISH! FUN:)

I hope you Enjoy the images. I posted one of the original Happy Fish Knife just below these newly-born Pisces Pair. Please keep tuned as I will be updating this post with process pics galore as I continue on with these. Blessings to All:)

Below I have dome some selective de-scaling, and next will begin to draw file in the edge geometry and will begin sub-critical thermal cycles. Several of these will be done as I go along. Also the tang will be de-scaled and the forged-in taper will be refined and prepared to accept the handle material.

Next the tangs of each knife get some stock reduction. This is the first of three sessions to refine them as I am careful not to disturb the forged in fish scale texture. This texure will butt right up to the handle material. You can see above on the first Happy Fish knife where some of that forged in detail got removed as I mad the tapered tang flat in prep for the handle. I'll do my best to avoid that this time:) :)


Next the Fish get Happy Faces <:)  <:)

The Spines have been polished and radiused about 1/3rd of the way from the tip back and now they are both all Cleaned up with final sanding done and ready for Heat Treatment on the Next Full Moon one week from today:)

Both knives were heat treated on the largest Full Moon in centuries.... & they came out great!               I sharpened them and did some testing and WOW! I think these are among the sharpest knives I have ever made! Now to choose some handle material and decide how I will carve the wood.

Here are a few more shots of the knives in process. I decided to make 3-sets of 3. 
The Happy Camp, Utility and Guppy.
It was A LOT of WORK!
Here is a shot of the conceptual sketches.

  The Happy Fish Utility. I decided to forge the Utility out of 3/16" thick 1095 so it would be more robust. A great knife for the food-prep & other smaller tasks at home or camp.

And the Happy Fish Guppies. Here in the process of getting their faces and smiles put on:)

And as I get closer...the 3-rd and final Camp Fish was created and Heat Treated. Followed by a shot of the whole School of Fish Families:)

AND I am proud to present the first completed set....all except for the final sharpening. This first set got some Ebony that was detail carved. 
I think they came out great!!! :)

All of the Happy Fish Knives have rounded and polished spines and hand polished bevels.


  1. Don- Wow ! gorgeous work of inspirational spirit art.... Beautiful

  2. I love them, Don. Thank you for giving us a peak into your creative process!