A New Year

Each year I look back 12 months and marvel at the changes that happen from season to season. This year has been no different, and I can’t help but be grateful for the passing of time.

Here in Högen, Sweden, my small village in Hälsingland, I experienced what seemed to me a typical rural New Year’s celebration. In this case, typical was not boring, but brought a perfect sense of contentment with the end of my year. It was complete with gathering around a fire and cooking sausages for lunch, skating on the lake, enjoying a sauna, and playing folk fiddle music from the surrounding villages.

On the blacksmithing front, it has been Christmas present time. In my family it has become a tradition to make all of our gifts, and this year was no different. (My chosen trade isn’t very well suited to international shipping, however…maybe next year it will be gift cards.) Below are some samples of work I have done for my immediate family. They are patient guinea pigs as I experiment with new techniques and designs for their gifts. They are the best research and development team I could think of.

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Two views of a candleholder for my parents

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A puzzle for my nephew. More of a puzzle for me to create, I think, but a fun exercise in design and welding.

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Damascus knives of different designs, with hickory handles.

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My main goal was to experiment with different patterns, and do my best to use the pattern welding to create a functional advantage. I brought each knife to 1000+ layers.

As we begin this new year, I feel that we move together towards an ever more promising future. Health and happiness to all.

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