The world is changing. The earth is coming alive with minute shoots of green, the air has a new potency to it. Whether this should be happening in mid-February is hard to say, and the beautiful sunny days have a sinister quality to them. Still, the birds are happy, and so are we.
I have felt a slow deceleration in the forge. Between running out of coal, several windy days, and preparation for the future, I have been spending less time pounding iron. Still, I am pleased to keep the thread alive, and have completed some exciting projects.
Knifemaking has been a substantial part of my work, and I’ve been focusing on laminated blades. This is the process of taking a high carbon core and forge welding mild steel on the outside, creating a three-layer blade. It is simple enough, and adds just a bit more durability. As with any technique, there are some dos and do-nots, and it has been fun to explore these. Refining my handles has also been a main goal. This is my least favorite part of making a knife, so finding the patience and techniques to keep improving is an important, but challenging task.
In between the forging there have been numerous lovely experiences. One highlight was baking kardemummabullar (Swedish Cardamom Buns) for New Year’s Eve. Yum! They made me think longingly of Sweden – just in time! In a little more than a week I head back, and I couldn’t be more excited. Many more adventures to come, I’m sure.
As I approach my final days in this landscape, I am struck by the majesty of the world. The skies which are forever changing, an unimaginably huge expanse. The mountains which seem to grow in stature every day, their snowy peaks newly chiseled against the crisp air. The red tail hawk keeping a weather eye out for a meal from the top of the cottonwood tree. There are too many facets of this world to really appreciate, too many stories to ever grow tired of listening.