Just when you think ‘it’s done’…

It’s never done!

‘It’ being the process of crafting a sacred or ritual item, that is – in this case, my sword has suddenly decided it needs an overhaul.

I crafted my sword some 20 odd years ago so it’s looking a bit worn these days, admittedly – it’s a Tai Chi sword made from white oak, but I gilded the whole caboodle with silver leaf and painted some runes on, then wrapped the grip in silver thread (which actually works very well to give a comfortable, non-slip grip). Since then we’ve done a fair number of space clearings, an exorcism or two and countless circles and boundary walks, so the silver leaf is rubbing off here and there, the paint’s tired and chipped in places… so fair enough, it’s probably a good call to give the sword a make-over.

We began this morning with a thorough clean. I unwound the silver thread from the hilts, wire brushed the paint and silver leaf off the hilts and then sanded it perfectly clean, buffed the blade down hard to ensure there’s no loose leaf left on it, and then wiped it down with surgical spirit to make sure there’s no grease.

After that it was a coat of copper acrylic paint on the hilts (I’ll re-gild the blade in a couple of days), then sand smooth once it was dry and apply a second coat. They’re now drying thoroughly overnight and I’ll sand it down again and give it a third coat in the morning. I don’t yet know what colour thread is required for the grip, and this time I need to make a fancy silk tassel for the hilts as well. I have managed to talk the sword out of wanting a crystal set into the pommel – I think! – as that would be quite a major remodelling job!

Here the sword is, drying quietly in the workroom.

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That thing it’s hanging in is not a custom shamanic sword stand – it’s a Japanese braid loom called a marudai – one of two from my mother’s house which I’ve moved up to the croft. Whether I’ll keep one or both I don’t know but at least they don’t take up the amount of space her floor and table weaving looms do! Those will have to be extensively photographed and then dismantled for storage in the barn until they can be sold.

In the meantime, the tall marudai is just perfect for storing a sword in, admittedly!

I’ll post an update once the job’s further along.

In the meantime I’ve been working out what I can do by way of opening up for drum birthing and workshops again, now I’m not shielding my mother, and I’m planning on branching out slightly with an Etsy shop for staffs, wands, drums, runes and ogham!

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