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Thread: Greatest living swordsmiths?

  1. #1

    Greatest living swordsmiths?

    I asked this on a more knife directed forum, and I got several wonderful makers to peruse, from Yoshindo Yoshihara to Peter Johnsson. I enjoy perusing the work of craftsmen such as these, and I was wondering what your opinions are. Who do you think are the greatest living swordsmiths in their chosen historical/cultural area?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Boston
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    For a contemporary japanese style blade using modern steel and modern technique, I would say Howard Clark.

    For best contemporary Japanese swordsmith in the traditional manner, I would say, just to pick a name, Korehira Watanabe.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    In the Masters of Fire exhibition, my favourite piece was by Vince Evans. Otherwise, I've seen stunningly good stuff by JT Pälikkö. Plenty of other excellent swordsmiths. Howard Clark and Peter Johnsson as mentioned above. Jake Powning is frequently mentioned. I remember a great gold-and-garnet Migration Period sword (but forget the maker). That's all stuff that's Art and Sword together. Some of the art is in-your-face, and some of the art is subtle, but it's art, not just swords. But it's also swords, not just art. If one doesn't insist on art, but prefers maximum function, then the list could be quite different - that would bring in the performance sword makers and maybe push out some artists (or maybe not push them out).
    "In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.

  4. #4
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    Hi Timo, I think Howard Clark straddles that tipping point. His L6 swords push the maximum function of the blade. How you dress the sword after it is produced is the difference between at and functionality. This topic has been explored many time in threads about tactical katanas. However in these treads the discussions usually reveal that the materials used in traditional katana construction were in fact the most durable and pratical for the given application.

  5. #5
    Barta and Barrett come to mind.

  6. #6
    Rob Miller, for sure...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Durham, NC
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    47
    All greats, so I can only add Kunimasa Matsuba. I Love his work.
    Cheers, Jeff

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