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Posted By Thomas L. Buck


I just received a request to do a wakizashi tsuka using paper ito.  If you are not familiar with this type of maki, basically paper is applied much like regular ito, but then it is heavily lacquered. 

In some ways this medium is more dynamic than cloth, and allows for more stunning effects throuch sculpting and shaping. Often times the lacquered paper is mistaken for lacquered leather.  Here are three examples of older tsuka that were done in paper:

paper ito

paper ito

paper ito

Once lacquered, the ito is surprisingly durable and water resistant.  Here is what the paper ito looks like before being lacquered:

paper ito

I did a few sketches, and used a number of blog pics to put together a quick set of instructions on how to make the paper ito at: http://www.tsukamaki.net/paper_ito.htm

 
Posted By Thomas L. Buck

These are two shots of the same blade that was used last summer by the History Channel (see the blog entry for August 2008 ). 

The top one is just after it was used, and the bottom one is just after it came back from the polisher. 

before

after

 
Posted By Thomas L. Buck

sword

This is a blade that we have had for several years, but because it is ours, work on it has always been delayed by work on other people's swords. 

It's a nice blade, it is in full polish and the Shinsa at the '02 Chicago show papered it early Kamakura / Yamato-den. The nakago is O-suriage (cut down); originally the blade was around 34" in length.

sword

sword

The specs on the blade itself are as follows: early Kamakura period (1185-1225) tachi blade; 28" in length. Strong sori, high shinogi, fumbari; hamon is suguba ko-midare of mixed nie and nioi, ashi, kinuji; jihada is mokume with some o-hada, yubashiri, ji-nie.  Tons of battle scars too!

Sword

Sword

I built a new tsuka/saya for this blade; the Fuchi/kashira, tsuba, seppa, and habaki are all original to the blade. To get a step-by-step view of my tsuka & saya work, goto these pages:

sword

http://www.tsukamaki.net/gallery_13.htm

 

sword

http://www.tsukamaki.net/saya_01.htm

 

...Let me know what you think; it was a pleasure to work on, and, surprisingly, now that I'm done, I like to look at it too...

 

 

 
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Thomas L. Bu...
Duluth, MN

 
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