Octagonal Wood Handled Dagger with Wooden Sheath by Todd Bitler
This hand forged blade is made to resemble one salvaged from a broken small sword tip. The blade has a hammered medial ridge that runs the entire length; it also has a through tang and a brass octagonal endcap. The crossguard is hammered from iron and ends with two small flattened round finials. Behind the crossguard is an iron band that protects the handle from the guard. Blade is tapered and thin and is sturdy with good flex in the tip. This dagger has great balance and holds extrememly well (not blade or handle heavy). The blade has knicks and dings to resemble its wear of being used as a frontier knife. The blade is aged and stamped with touchmark. The sheath is made from pine with a brass endcap and a brass entry guard. On the entry guard is a brass belt clip with a shell design soldered to the cap. Both brass guards are scalloped and inletted into the wood. On the wood are several totems; one depicting a thunderbird with a heartline; the other figure is a turtle depicting a clan animal. On each side of the belt clip are incized carved figures representing kills or a kill record and captives taken by the owner of the knife. My interpretation of this knife and sheath is a battle trophy taken from a rifleman or possibly a market hunter redecorated by its new native owner. Touchmark is encased in a diamond shaped piece of brass soldered to the back of the brass entry guard.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers