A word about my swords and myself:
When chosing a custom maker to make you the sword you desire, it‘s necessary to know the maker‘s philosophy to ensure both maker and client are on the same page. Otherwise frustration and disappointment is just waiting to happen. So I think it‘s important that I write a bit about my own views on swords and about what I want to achieve in my pieces. I apologize in advance for the long read that will now follow…
Let me first tell you a bit about my background… I‘ve always loved swords, as most kids do, and slayed many a dragon with the first wooden sword my grand father made me (that thing must still be around somewhere). When the time came where most kids move on to other stuff, I didn‘t. As it was the closest thing available, I started sport fencing but as much as I enjoyed it, it wasn‘t quite what I wanted. Eventually I came across the Sword Buyers Guide Forum and found out that there actually were people (adults!) buying and playing with sharp swords. It was a huge eye-opener to me and from that moment I knew I had to get my own sharp sword. Being around 15-16 years at the time I took me a good while to save up for one and I ended up getting a Cheness Tenchi ko Katana as well as a H/T longsword later on.
Over time though, I realized the shortcomings of these swords. Not having the financial means to purchase an Albion but having always enjoyed making stuff myself, I fixated on the crazy idea of just making my own swords. Again, the SBG forum and especially Brendan Olszowy of Fable Blades (who has a similar story I believe) showed me the way. I first started doing customizing projects but fairly quickly moved on to actually making the blades myself. Of course, the first few turned out so-so…
Then, I came across HEMA. I had played around in the back yard before, cutting stuff up and posting videos about it but that turned out to be a totally different thing to actually fighting with it. Bottles don‘t hit back (or first)… I immersed myself in learning German longsword fighting and continued to make swords on the side, always implementing what I learned about their usage. That was in 2011, when I started med school and came across a HEMA group at university. Around 2014 I started to realize that I couldn‘t ever imagine not making swords but at the same time became frustrated because of my lacking equipment. I decided that the only way to finance better equipment was to start selling my work and eventually, that decision led to the making of this website. I am not doing this full-time though. My main job is med school (almost done) and then, at least for a while, I’ll be working in that sector with sword making remaining a precious hobby on the side that happens to pay for itself 🙂
My maker’s mark reflects my two occupations in life… medicine and swords.
The HEMA group I joined back then (www.schwabenfedern.de) has since grown immensely, both in number of participants as well as level of skill. I am now an instructor there and quite a successfull fencer, having placed high in several regional and international tournaments.
This (finally) brings me to my sword making philospophy… Steadily learning more about how these swords were used back in the day, historically accurate performance is my primary goal. I use solely modern materials and largely modern manufacturing techniques but I want the end product to handle and perform as a high quality sword would have back in the medieval and early renaissance period. That also means (and this is important to know as a customer!) that incredible durability is not my primary concern. It‘s not even my secondary or third concern. Swords were damaged and broken in use all the time. People back then knew that and consciously decided to have swords that cut and handled well instead of being particularly strong and shrugging of abuse. Because many sword enthusiasts (especially in the beginning) have a flawed idea of how swords should be used and how they can be expected to perform, this can lead to problems. Endless discussions have been made in online forums about what kind of damage should be expected when doing xy with a sword, with things getting quite heated at times.
That being said, I of course go to great trouble to make a sword that is a reliable and thoroughly functional weapon. I use my sword myself very often for cutting and solo drills, their performance is a main concern of mine and I continuously strive to improve it.
My second concern are aesthetics. I want to make swords that are pieces of (functional) art, beautiful in every sense and satisfying to the pickiest customer. This comes at a price of course. I could make cheaper swords that perform just as well but if I‘m not happy with the visual result, the sword is worthless in my eyes. Because let‘s face it: the functional aspect of swords, despite how much we enjoy cutting stuff with them, is essentially unnecessary nowadays. It may be of concern to us practicioners but not to most people. However, I want to reach something in „most people“, too. I want them to marvel at the beauty of finely polished steel, at the carefully designed shapes and lines. Even if the functional aspect wholly escapes them, I wish for them to see my swords as aesthetically pleasing objects. In that sense, I consider myself an artist who explores the mysteries of the past and brings them to life again in the modern world.
I said in the beginning that as a customer it‘s necessary to know if what you seek is in line with what the maker offers. I hope this post made it a bit clearer what it is that I offer.