Yale Peabody Museum’s “Samurai and the Culture of Japan’s Great Peace”

Last month I visited the Peabody’s Samurai and the Culture of Japan’s Great Peace exhibition. www.peabody.yale.edu  I found the technology to fabricate a sword of great interest. In order to produce a flexible sword with a hardened steel blade the sword maker coated the steel with clay on the non-blade side. When the metal was heated and then quenched to harden the tip, the rest of the sword was protected from the extreme temperature changes by the clay and cooled slowly. This allowed the metal in the sword to remain flexible and the blade edge to be razor sharp and hard. I was reminded of jewelry process that uses ocher to protect soldered joints to continue working on other details in a piece. I plan to experiment with these techniques to protect my metal vines from damaging heat as I work to increase the intricacy of the forms. Has anyone worked this way? And what were the results ? Any advice.  Thanks.

sword woodcutSword

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