Thursday, April 11, 2013


There are two people who I have had the strange experience of knowing only by way of the internet, seeing each other only in pictures and speaking only with written word.  This kind of relationship is somewhat unique to my generation; it's like having lots of pen-pals.  Nevertheless, the two individuals of which I speak continue to inspire me every time I hear the merest squeak out of them.  They are both glowing with whatever that unnameable thing is which draws me so deeply into this journey of time and hands, of the eternity of organic materials and what they share with those who affect change on them.

These two I speak of are Luke Shearer and Myles Mulkey.  They are not seasoned veterans of bladecraft but enthusiastic young artists whose already impressive work shows more than just potential for many years of thrilling exploration ahead, new things being said and fresh things being made, the breathing lungs of our community because of their individuality.  They are full to the brim with the light that stories and brushstrokes bring us, and are carrying it forward.

Here is a link to Luke's making of the blade:

They have chosen to re-create, in their own vision, what I find possibly one of the seaxiest of saxes.  It's a large, broken-back war seax in the most well-known Anglo-Saxon pattern, and speaks very much to what I feel the essence of the Germanic war knife is.  I gained a deep appreciation for this type of object during my time with Owen Bush, having seen him work lovingly on them in all stages of development.  They bespeak hardiness, mercilessness and strength, as well as refinement, pleasing lines, aesthetic foresight, and surprising lightness and wieldiness.  I sincerely hope this is a piece I someday am fortunate enough to hold.

A picture I took of Owen's rough-forged but well-established sense of what a sax "is" in shape, material, style, and process.

To me, this project stands as a beacon of potential for a new era of this strangely niche art we have come to occupy.  Their work embodies the spirit that's hard to describe but so easy to feel, of stories that mean things to us, however difficult it is to say exactly what it is that they mean.  In our effort to explain it we must search within ourselves and without, and the world that pervades. 

To read more on Luke's very articulate and well-thought-out approach to story-smithing, read any of his blog, but in particular this fascinating article where he speaks of the inextricable spirituality of his work:

To learn more about Myles' powerful and holistic approach to where he stands in the grander scheme of craft and time, and how that guides his hands and heart:

1 comment:

  1. Elias! When are you back in WPT? I need one so bad!