A carving of a dragon on a wakizashi by Nobukuni Yoshinao. Kansei period (1789-1801)
The craft of the Japanese sword has followed strict traditions for a thousand years. At the heart of it is the slender, curving steel blade, rich in depth and texture. From master to apprentice, generations of people have worked together to perfect it.
The blade point
is like its face.
My images follow a traditional way of representing the blade. The back of the blade is seen as a thin white strip. The flat surface near the back has a mirror polish, so it reflects the black background. The body of the blade is less reflective, showing the pattern of the folded steel in shades of grays. The tempered edge pattern is seen in light tones.
A body detail of one sword by
Norishige who is renowned
for this "pine bark" grain.
Late Kamakura period
Each blade is a precious object with a unique personality that adds to the challenge of making its portrait.
I have been developing my technique of photographing the Japanese sword blade
for the last seven years while working with antique dealers, swordsmiths and polishers. I can now capture enough detail to print the entire blade at actual size.
Recently I've been making fine art prints of my blade pictures, including three beautiful katana made by the American swordsmiths Rick Barrett and Anthony DiCristofano. Please view the gallery of prints available for sale here.
Please contact me
to inquire about prices for blade photography, printing and framing.
If you want to see other web sites about swords, please visit my sword links page or click through some of these commercial sites below.