“Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire: The Art and Science of the Japanese Sword”

March 14th, at 7pm PST, Michael and Gabriel Bell of Dragonfly Forge will be the featured speakers of “Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire: The Art and Science of the Japanese Sword” at Linfield College in Mcminnville, Oregon. The panel discussion will include Tianbo Xao, professor of physic, Brian Winkenwder, professor of art history, Chris Keaveney, professor of Japanese, and Jesus Ilundain-Agurruza, professor of philosophy. The event will be held in Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall.

The event is free and open to the public. The lecture will also be live streamed from those unable to attend. Link to follow soon.Linfield - March 14th Seminar

Something Old & Something New

Tomboyama is offering for the 2016 school year something old and something new.

We’ve had many requests to do another Oroshigane Seminar, having not done so for several years. This is a weekend event on converting pure iron into high quality sword steel.

Oroshigane is the process by which carbon content is adjusted; It can be iron to which carbon is added or steel of too high a carbon content needing a reduction in carbon. Once adjusted this steel is termed Tamahagane, “jewel blade metal”.

We will be adding carbon to electrolytic sponge iron (denkaitetsu in Japanese), thus making Tamahagane.

This steel and the steel smelted from high quality sand ore are the only materials allowed in modern Japanese swords, as the two are chemically nearly identical.

The new part is this year we will follow up the weekend seminar with a five day course using the steel just made, which we are calling our Advanced Forging Course. This will include assembling a billet of steel and folding the metal for the required number of folds. When the folding is done a bar will be drawn out and cut to make blanks that will be forged to shape. Each student will have enough material to forge a tanto.

This promises to be an interesting and challenging course and will aid in the understanding of the Japanese sword.

An Alumnus’s Experience at Tomboyama

An alumnus of our dojo wrote about his experience here in 2015 during a Basic Forging Course.

“The course is not easy per se, but it’s deeply satisfying. I’d even say it was meditative. You’re able to comfortably lose yourself in the task at hand, while also earning a deeper appreciation of just how much time a steady hand takes to develop. At the end of the course, you have a living blade that you yourself have shaped and created, and a wealth of knowledge. It’s a beginner’s level course, but you leave empowered and equipped to return home and continue your education via honing your skills until you can return to Coos Bay for the next class.”

One can read the whole entry on his blog, The Parlous Professional

2016 Swordsmithing School Course Schedule

March 2016
Monday March 21 – Friday, March 25 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, March 26 – Sunday, March 27 – Kajioshi Course

April 2016
Friday, April 10 – Sunday, April 12: Oregon Knife Collectors Association (OKCA) Knife Show in Eugene, Oregon

Monday, April 18 – Friday, April 22 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, April 24 – Habaki Course

May 2016

Monday, May 16 – Friday, May 20 – Kajioshi-Habaki Combo-Course

Saturday, May 28 – Sunday, May 29 – Oroshigane (Steel-making) Seminar

June 2016
Monday, May 30 – Friday, June 3 – Advanced Forging Course

Monday, June 27 – Friday, July 1 – Basic Forging Course

July 2016
Saturday, July 2 – Sunday, July 3 – Kajioshi Course Course

Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17 – Introduction to Forging Laminate Wood-working Tools

August 2016

Monday, August 22 – Friday, August 26 – Koshirae Course
Saturday, August 27 – Sunday, August 28 – Tsuka-maki (Handle-wrapping) Course

September 2016

Monday, September 5 – Friday, September 9 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, September 10 – Sunday, September 11 – Habaki Course

October 2016
Monday, October 3 – Friday, October 7 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, October 8 – Sunday, October 9 – Kajioshi Course

2015 Swordsmithing School Course Schedule

March 2015
Monday March 23 – Friday, March 27 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, March 28 – Sunday, March 29 – Kajioshi Course

April 2015
Monday, April 20 – Friday, April 24 – Introduction to Forging Laminate Woodworking Tools

May 2015

Monday, May 18 – Friday, May 22 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, May 23 – Sunday, May 24 – Habaki Course

June 2015
Monday, June 15 – Friday, June 19 – Kajioshi-Habaki Combo Course

Monday, June 29 – Friday, July 3 – Koshirae Course

July 2015
Saturday, July 4 – Sunday, July 5 – Tsuka-maki Course

Monday, July 27 – Friday, July 31 – Basic Forging Course

August 2015
Saturday, August 1 – Sunday, August 2 – Kajioshi Course

Monday, August 24 – Friday, August 28 – Intermediate Forging Course

Saturday, August 29 – Sunday, August 30 – Habaki Course

September 2015
Monday, September 7 – Friday, September 11 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, September 12 – Sunday, September 13 – Kajioshi Course

October 2015
Monday, October 5 – Friday, October 9 – Basic Forging Course

Saturday, October 10 – Sunday, October 11 – Habaki Course