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Hand-made by Skalla

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posted on May, 11 2013 @ 01:18 PM
reply to post by Theflyingweldsman

well i like your "use it or lose it" rule, so if you decided to edit the post i guess we would have to make up a spurious stone-age convo to cover our tracks

interesting to see how much he sells his spoons for though: £12-£14... now his are very much trad greenwood-work/bodger style and very very nice but unfinished re a polish or oils. mine are kinda non-trad in that respect but i'd be happy to sell my teaspoons that price, but my larger wavy ladle kinda spoons i'd probs want about £20 plus - ideally, but then perhaps reality would intrude onto that ideal.

i loved his long handled hook-knife too, and my work will be easier when i finally get my act together and get a side-axe like his... been "planning" to do that for a few years. kinda not so great at planning and stuff

a great story though, i hope he gets the business to carry on doing that untill he decides to go back on his wanderings again

posted on May, 11 2013 @ 01:47 PM
reply to post by skalla


Here's a link to a London Spoonmaker..

BBC Article

Edit to ask... Why don't you just make a bent handle for a normal axe?

... or make a handle for an old, rusty one? Side axe restoration

edit on 11/5/2013 by Theflyingweldsman because: A question, sir. A question!

posted on May, 11 2013 @ 03:22 PM
reply to post by Theflyingweldsman

your time travelling news reporting skills are quite remarkable

i've considered the restoration angle a few times (and will do it at some point if only as a cool project) - i think what gets in the way is that i sometimes flit from one thing to another, then forget my shopping list for another craft and then just end up working out fixes to get me around the issue.
i dont even own a draw knife, froe or shave horse for example (while i have used them a great many times in bodgers workshops etc) and have just developed a variety of idiosyncratic techniques, stances and knife-holds instead that i use when making at home. while i will get these pieces of kit at some point, it's kinda cool all the same as it means my work differs in style from much of what i see made by the trad crafters i've worked with, and i get great feedback from them and they are always keen to know how i do things and admire my results - as i regard my self as strictly amateur in comparison to guys who've worked with wood their whole lives i like that i have a style of my own.. i even get different grain patterns in my spoons as i make mine from split off cuts from walking stick shanks rather than axe or froe-split wood from logs.
my mother always said i was a contrary sod as a kid, and that carries over to how i do some of my making too

axe carving is something i have dabbled with a little with some old pro's, and i will purse it further at some point.

eta: in my experience it would need to be a side-axe for that task, a hatchet or similar lacks the neccessary profile and bounces off the wood or skids rather than cutting.. bill hooks work ok-ish, but side axes are perfect
edit on 11-5-2013 by skalla because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2013 @ 03:32 PM
reply to post by skalla

This is my Brotzeit knife.

0.8 mm Titanium Copper alloy (2% Copper)

Strong but flexible. Very sharp, but no Tang.

*slices very nicely through layers of wood, as I have proved on my desk*

I have sycamore wood for a handle, if I ever get round to it.

This is a horned knife I found on the ground at the Oktoberfest...

Typical Bavarian. Best knife I ever had. Still use it as my preferred culinary weapon.

This is my sharpening tool

I think you should stick to using your own tools, it makes your work stand out, and that's good.

edit on 11/5/2013 by Theflyingweldsman because: Unicorn-horned Knife.

posted on May, 11 2013 @ 06:00 PM
reply to post by Theflyingweldsman

cool- thanks for sharing - so my powers of google suggest that it's for traditional bavarian buffet type nosh?
now that knife that you found is rather awesome... have you considered giving your brotzeit knife a grind to shape it in a similar fashion?

posted on May, 11 2013 @ 07:30 PM
reply to post by skalla

Both knives serve roughly the same purpose in bavarian culture, just on different levels.

The one with the unicorn horn is a rich-boys toy for eating expensive brotzeits with.

It belongs to the traditional clothing, the "tracht".

Many locals bring the knife with them to the Oktoberfest, it adds to the fake authenticity.

This is a bavarian brotzeit.

This was my brotzeit

The brotzeit knife is not pretty, but it's form serves a purpose.

It cuts hard-crusted bread easily and then spreads nicely as well.

No onion, radish or tomato can resist being sliced thinly by it.

It's a breeze to clean and it never rusts.

I used it to slice pretzels horizontaly,

which is so brutaly difficult, they even invented a machine (jig) for the job.

Bavarians take their Brez'n very seriously. PDF link

My Brotzeit knife grew in symbiosis with the Brez'n.

It's ugly, but it performs its job marvelously.

It's also only 0.8 mm thin, so changing the shape may weaken it,

but I'll think about it.

I've joined the knives forum, so maybe I can gets mes somes inspirations theres.

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 07:22 AM
reply to post by Theflyingweldsman

i understand how the flexibility is a real positive feature.. i disagree that the blade is ugly though, it just needs the right handle to compliment it.. something like a butter knife's handle perhaps. that could be done with wood, bone or horn. antler would look fab too and may be even easier to affix than wood, being easy to hollow out, then just fill it with epoxy and maybe add some antler dust from the sanding to the epoxy to help it act like a filler as well as a glue

Highland Horn are a leading supplier of bone, horn, antler and many other delights - they are extemely helpful and flexible too, but their online shop is temporarily closed for a week or two to handle bulk orders which happens every now and again.... it's basicly droolsome pornography for crafters

ETA: due to sharpness and purpose, i doubt much tang would be needed either
edit on 12-5-2013 by skalla because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:15 AM
reply to post by skalla

Thanks for the pics and ideas.

It's nice to see ugly knives for a change...

I've been drooling over homemade precision-milled and heat-treated hunting knives and went completly off-track...

I may go with a sandwich-handle from an appropriate sycamore branch.

2 holes in the tang area and glued /bolted together, then filed and sanded to shape.

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 04:14 PM
Lovely stuff skalla, and I don't use the word lightly.
I can see your love of the materials, and the tools you use -- and your respect for the way things should be done. Work like this comes from the heart.
I worked for architects for many years, and I noticed that many of them "never made a mistake."
They never learned as a direct result.
You've obviously learned how precious our mistakes are, how they guide and inform us.
Leading to a very different result.

We become what we do.
You'll be fine.
You're not just making things -- things are making you.


posted on Aug, 20 2013 @ 12:09 PM

Originally posted by mistersmith
You've obviously learned how precious our mistakes are, how they guide and inform us.
Leading to a very different result.

We become what we do.
You'll be fine.
You're not just making things -- things are making you.


Very astute and i could not agree more! There is immense value and potential for self growth in hand crafting, and part of yourself enters everything you do - examining what you have made at an earlier time is really enlightening too... some of my favourite items are those i made at earlier skill levels, full of "faults" but very fondly regarded. You can learn a lot about others from what they make and how too, i worked with therapeutic crafts with Autism for a long time and it's a profound and transformative relationship.

posted on Aug, 20 2013 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by skalla

skalla - I'm wondering what kind of equipment you're using regarding heat ?
Does tempering interest you ?
Melting glass ?
Forging iron ?

I used oxy-acetylene, but wish I'd discovered propane forges much earlier.
I built one a couple of years ago in Andalucia, and it really extended the range of what was possible.
Cost is minimal, they are portable, and suddenly you're dealing with Earth, Fire , and Water!

This is an old file reshaped and reformed, polished roughened and tempered -- just right for striking a flint.
I'm not sure about the technology, but that may connect with ironwork snaps too.

More recently I've been turning wood in a tentative sort of a way, reducing large beautiful pieces of wood into tiny objects of indeterminate shape and uncertain purpose.
The difference between shavings and shrapnel with a woodlathe is dismally thin, and I've been lucky several times. But it's up there with crack coc aine as regards being a bit "Moreish."

If you have to live by selling what you make, I hope you do better than I did.
As Seasick Steve says, I started out with nothing, and I've still got most of it left.
What I do have, is a gallery of railings, gates, stairways, weathervanes, balustrades, sculpture etc, in the surrounding area, representing my time as a smith.

If you get the chance to put your work in the public domain, and build it up over the years, there's a feeling your time wasn't wasted.
Even if, like me, you have to be a "Ragged Trousered Philanthropist."


posted on Aug, 20 2013 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by mistersmith

Hey Mistersmith - i dont have any hot working gear of my own (except a gas hob for heat straightening sticks/shafts). The beadwork was done in someone else's workshop using lamps/torches run on propane/oxygen iirc and i may get my own at some point, especially if i do eventually move to making at least a partial living from crafts but stick and stones are my main love. The knife was done in a woodland forge set up, and also utilised an iron-age forge that we rigged up there and then with two fur and hide bellows attatched to copper tuyeres (i guess that's the right term) that we shielded with clay. I'm exploring the possiblity with my gf of buying a woodland for the purposes of setting up tipi and yurt camping and running workshops etc there so may eventually build a similar forge just for my own fun and experimentation if we eventually pull it off... i've known a few smiths and picked a bit up along the way, but it would only be basic stuff at most.

I really like the striker you made and plan to work some old files myself and maybe make a drawknife or two, crooked knife etc eventually, but my to-do list is prohibitively long! My knife still needs a fair bit of filing and i know how i'd temper it, but other projects just seem to get in the way, again due to my love of wood and stone which i just cant shake!

One of the things about some of these crafts that really makes them so addictive, and satisfying is doing it all (or as much as possible) from scratch - sourcing raw materials, making the all the tools where possible and doing it as primitvely/old styled as possible. I repect folk who do it with modern equipment and power tools and so on and their art and craft is equally valid but i have a bit of an obsession with trying to learn and practice the complete skill and set ups... i'll likely never master any of them but ofc that aint the point.. in a way i'm trying to get myself a full primitive/stone age-ish tool and skill set that means i can do/make things starting with absolutely nowt but knowledge and skills.

as is often the case when i talk about this stuff, i'm beginning to ramble, and it's late! so i'm signing off but io really appreciate your interest and i love exchanging ideras and feelings on such stuff so ta!

Funnily enough you found my "old" thread on some of this stuff, i posted another one of some more recent bits earlier today but it got buried pretty quick, so it's here if you fancy a gander

Some of my recent makings

If you have some more pics of your own ironwork, i for one would love to see them!

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 03:56 AM
reply to post by skalla

Morning skalla,
I'm 64 today.
My better half assures me she will still need me, still feed me, but I reckon I should watch my step...
Anyway - (assuming the pics of walking sticks aren't a scurrilous attack on my advanced years), I enjoyed the other thread, thanks for the thought.

I like to cook, so herb and spice jars come in handy :-

These items went in an Elizabethen Great Hall on Pendle Hill :-

Now I'm retired, I work with collecting tools for people in cooperatives in Africa. Sometimes fascinating antique tools come in, and often the donor allows us to sell them to cover our shipping costs.
I get to restore all kinds of ancient stuff, a couple of adzes recently would have got your attention for sure.

As you say, work reveals the essential information about the maker.
When we all used to build our own motorcycles, I could tell a lot about any rider from his bike.
Now I just get an idea of how much money they've got.

I'm just off to find a curly walking stick to wave at the traffic, while shouting that it was all fields round 'ere...


posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 04:23 AM
reply to post by mistersmith

Happy Birthday! and that is some seriously gorgeous work - i'll be sure to look up tfsr too.

Now go be a nuisance to that traffic, i look forwards to becoming increasingly cantankerous and getting away with it, hats off to you

posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by skalla


posted on May, 28 2014 @ 03:43 AM
Hi skalla.
Wow, you and mrsmith are sooooo talented.
Thanks to woodsmom for sharing this link with me.

Giving you an unashamed 'bump' in the hope of seeing some more of you and mrsmiths work, and hopefully others too.

I am no where near as talented as you guys. But in the last 6 months I have taken to upcycling/repurposing old furniture that is beyond being restored to its former glory, but far to good to go to the local dump. I have completely re-vamped my living room and bedroom, and sold on any pieces surplus to my requirements.

I am all for sharing the hidden talents and gifts ATS members have. Here's a link to another such thread......


posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 06:10 AM
a reply to: angelchemuel

Thanks Jane, but i think that we all view our own work as "ok" to "good" but are highly impressed by the skilled work of others in different fields as it's part of a skill set that we ourselves are unfamiliar with. I've never restored or renovated furniture before, though i have a few pieces that I jolly well should and yet I keep putting it off as i don't think I'm up to the task. I'll bet you're a lot better than you give yourself credit for.

I saw the painting thread at the time too and was rendered speechless by what i saw

posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:37 AM
a reply to: skalla
Congratulations on your marriage!

I hope it's OK for me to post an example of one particular piece I acquired and saved it from the dump?

This poor thing....

Became this.....

Bit Boho and mad....but it looked fab and somebody bought it! Result!


posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:05 AM
a reply to: angelchemuel

And i love how it looks... so i'll enjoy my little "i told ya so" moment

So much of this kinda stuff just gets dumped or turned into kindling, so keep on keeping on - before you know it you could be learning about different woods, makers, varnishes and stains and beginning to see that you could make a living doing restorations.

Food for thought!

ETA: and thanks! it was a great day, chuffed to bits that we did it

posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 03:20 PM
a reply to: skalla

I'm impressed. Thanks for sharing!

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