Hey! What’s the Hold-Up?

No, I’m not dead. Yet.

Once again, I’d like to thank the Shadowhunters who have ordered blades from me for their stellar patience. You guys are the best!

I’m currently doing my best to cut through the two-inch acrylic with Jitterbug and the newest member of Inkblade Studios: Hellscream.

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Hellscream is a circular table saw which, much like Nibbles before it, only cuts in straight lines. It is even more adamant about this policy than Nibbles was, in fact and will SHRIEK LIKE THE SOULS OF THE DAMNED at the slightest provocation. Hellscream’s favourite things include: lurking under the work table, screaming, biting anything that comes close enough, and flinging bits of hot melted plastic at me.

Jitterbug and Hellscream make for an awkward duo to accomplish the task of cutting the sword outlines. It’s rather like hunting demons with a box-cutter and a cannon. I either have to chip away at it with many small cuts or make big, not spectacularly accurate cuts while trying not to damage anything I want to keep intact.

It’s getting done it’s just … slow. And quite frustrating. Boo. Wish me luck guys! We’ll git ‘r done one way or another.

Having a Little Trouble

Wow look at that awesome sword! … what? You can’t see it? It’s inside that block of plastic there. It’s going to be spectacular as soon as I can get it out. When? Um … well, the thing about that is …

Nibbles is broken. My band-saw, Nibbles, is doing poorly at the moment. Something’s happened to the alignment of the wheels and the saw blade keeps popping off them. I’ve tried everything I can think of to fix it but the fact is, I’m an artist, not a mechanic.

So, I have six orders left to complete before the year’s end … and no band saw. This makes Ethan sad. Sad and quite frustrated. Making people pretty things and bringing them joy is my happiness. Kind of like Santa Clause without the awesome beard.

I’m working with slabs of two inch (5 cm) thick acrylic instead of my usual 1 inch in hopes of being able to do more 3D cross guards and generally have more freedom of design. I didn’t take into account that Nibbles would not be on board with my decision.

Nibbles is NOT on board with my decision. Nibbles chewed on that bit of acrylic for about twenty minutes and had a breakdown. It’s now packed away in the corner of the workshop questioning its life choices. I may just join it there cause holy cow I am super frustrated.

What am I gonna do? Well, my current game plan is to visit the hardware store tonight and search for something a little bit more robust than a hobbyist band saw. Maybe a chainsaw. No, I’m not even remotely joking. I just need something to strong enough to strap the plastic to and I will take a fracking chainsaw to it if that’s what I have to do.

No, I don’t think you quite understand.

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This slab of plastic weighs as much as I do. The tablesaw I bought specifically to cut pieces off of it is too small to handle it. The chunk I removed to make the sword I’m working on (stalled on) right now took over 3 hours of sawing with that big beautiful wood saw you can see there. I’m going to have amazing shoulder muscles when I’ve finished my commissions for the year.

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You can see where the table saw started crying for mercy.

So uh, that’s my update for now. What will happen next? Not even I know. Stay tuned for more insanity from Inkblade Studios!

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

I made a thing!

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It’s a nice thing. ^_^

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Shiiiiny.

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So very shiny!

If you think you’ve seen this thing before, it’s probably because it’s based on that thing.

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We couldn’t tell what the rune in the middle was so we guessed.

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I like this thing. 🙂

If you want your own thing, you’d better hurry. I’ve only got one more crafting slot left for this year!

That’s all from me for now. I think I earned a nap.

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

Holy crap I broke it.

Wow! That’s the second time I’ve busted a saw blade on Nibbles. Even though the acrylic slab I was working on is only an inch thick, it is a super dense material that means business. Don’t worry! No one was hurt. I’d like to thank the fine people at Cotech for designing a band saw that keeps the blade inside the machine when it snaps so it doesn’t come lashing out like Izzy’s whip. o_o Still scared the pants off me though.

Anywho, after about a half hour of farting around with a new blade, I was back to work.

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Here’s a brand new short sword I’m working on. Yes it’s the one who broke Nibbles’ teeth LOL Remember, it’s not the size of the blade in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the blade! This beauty is feisty and takes no crap from anybody. It’s modelled after … well, can you think of anybody short, feisty, and take-no-crap who might wield it?

So what about that long sword I was working on last week? I’m so glad you asked hypothetical person!

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Whoa! What’s that on the hilt?

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I can put metal studs on the handle? Sure I can! When we design a blade, you’re free to let your imagination run wild. Each Shadowhunter is a unique individual with their own preferences. It makes sense that their seraph blades are too, eh?

Enough jabbering though. More shinies!

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Hello darkness my old friend … I’ve come to light you up again …

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Demons despair; your end has come!

Yay shinies! … kay that’s a slightly less intimidating battle cry. Anyway! I just want to leave a small note here to let you know that I have two crafting slots left for November. Yep. All the Halloween slots are taken. As you can guess, they’re very popular and are grabbed up pretty quickly. But there’s still a chance to get some sweet seraphy (that’s not a word) goodness for the Holiday Season. 

That’s all from me for now. Stay safe out there Hunters. 😉

Destiny’s Arc Blade (plus a note)

I haven’t had much time to post updates as I’ve been hard at work on this.

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This is my very first sci-fi sword and I’m quite proud of it.

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The handle is a reinforced polymer clay with a faux-leather wrap. It gave me many sleepless nights just figuring out how it should all fit together.

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It seems I possessed the greater stubbornness, though. The result is quite nice. Interestingly enough, the light is actually a deep blue. The camera, however, seems incapable of picking up this frequency and interprets it as a light pink/purple.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this break into new territory. It was very exciting for me. 🙂

I mentioned a note in the title. It’s down here. I have two crafting slots left for this year. I take a short leave of absence from the workshop for medical reasons in December. I estimate being back on light duty in February 2017. So, if you’re hoping for a blade for the holiday season, best poke me now!

Where’d He Go?

Sorry I’ve been quiet guys! I caught a gross plague last week and it took me out. I’m still kind of goo-filled … sorry TMI? (And not the TMI we’re fans of!) Haaaah. Ha. Yeah I need more sleep. But I’m semi-back in the workshop today and working on the last of the three longswords for this month.

I finished the Azrael that you can see in all its shiny glory above.

Aaaaand here’s the Ouriel:

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Love how the handle came out. Best one I’ve done so far I think.

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Yay shiny!

Okay back to work. *shuffles off coughing and sniffing disgustingly*

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

Bam! Here’s my table as of five minutes ago. How’s that for hot off the press?  Here we’ve got an Ouriel and Gabriel both buffed up to a 600 grit polish at the moment. The Azrael on the right there is all polished up and has passed its Reading Test.

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Yay! So the polishing on the Ouriel and Gabriel will probably be finished either tomorrow or Wednesday depending on how charitable my muscles are feeling. Haha! Want really buff shoulders? Polish swords for hours a day! Fun fun for everyone!

For the last part of the week, I’ll be fitting these beauties with their leather hilt wraps. The Gabriel in the middle there is destined for something a little special. 😉

That’s all from the Studio for now. Stay safe out there Shadowhunters!

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

GAH! I’m sorry, this is more like “What HAS BEEN on Ethan’s Table This Week?” I’ve been running back an forth to appointments in between chugging away in the workshop. On top of that, I’m painting my living room. I’ll post pics when it’s done, promise. You’ll cringe at the absolutely hideous wallpaper that was there before. Well uh … I hope the landlord likes bright red! Lalalaaaa …

Okay, here’s what I’ve gotten done so far on the three longswords:

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Ouriel, Gabriel, and Azrael all have their light slots cut. I’ve gotten a stock of smaller, but just as powerful, LEDs so I can now make much smaller recesses in the handles. I like this because the less material I remove from the hilt, the stronger the sword will be.

Azrael has been polished up to 1000 grit and the polishing should be completed today. Ouriel and Gabriel still await polishing but I have an apprentice coming in to help me on the weekends now so it shouldn’t be as time-consuming as usual. 🙂 Woohoo!

Now back to the workshop with me! Stay awesome everybody.

What’s on Ethan’s Table This Week?

I apparently had a secret wish to kick my own butt this week. I accidentally scheduled three longswords this month. That means a certain weird little guy is going to be working on weekends in an effort to get all three swords done on time.

*sad trombone*

Oh well! I might have kept my screw-ups to myself, but you know, I really want to let you all know that even professionals make mistakes and there really is a human being behind the keyboard here. To claim the title of “professional” though, I really feel it’s important to take responsibility for mistakes and do what is necessary to make them right. For me, that means overtime. So it goes.

We’ve got a Gabriel, an Ouriel, and a Raziel on the table this week.

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Halfway done cutting out this Raziel, who I also like to refer to as “The Shotgun” cause it looks a bit like one in the beginning. (I also like Angel With a Shotgun. Don’t judge my music preferences! *sings into his dust mask*) The cutting will be finished by tomorrow.

Now it’s time for me to crash for the day. Got a busy week!

Introducing Zaapiel and Tauriel!

Here comes the bride,

Blades at her side …

Yes indeed, these beauties were made for a Shadowhunter’s wedding. I wish the happy couple a prosperous and demon-free life together. Huzzah!

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Zaapiel was modelled after the Chinese ring-sword, a very stylish blade. According to the historical writings we can find, the rings were meant to entangle the other person’s clothing or weapon, or foul up the edge of the opponent’s blade.

The rings and wrapping around the handle are made of anodised aluminium wire.

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The pommel holds a resin jewel that I cast and then adhered in place with liquid acrylic. I like using this method to make jewel “sockets” because the acrylic bonds with the acrylic of the sword and becomes all of one piece. This way, there is no chance of any glue coming unstuck. There is no glue! It’s all solid plastic holding everything in place. Much more stable.

The gold leading I decided to add because I really wanted that gem to be eye-catching.

If you’re squinting at the jewel and thinking “It looks like there’s something in there …” you’re right!

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It’s the angelic rune “Agape” for love.

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Tauriel is a dagger with a “leaf blade”. This shape was very challenging to carve because I had to get all the edges the same angle and even on both sides. Gah! Made me a little crazy but I think the end result was worth it!

The leaf blade shape is featured in many knives, spears, and swords and is useful for extracting the blade from the opponent’s body. While demons go poof when killed, if you don’t get ’em on your first strike, you’re going to want your blade back to go for a second poke right quick!

So how do they look in the dark? Oh y’know …

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AWESOME!

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I was very pleased with how they turned out. The engraved lines and rings really added something special to the way the light played on the surface of the blades.

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Even the pommels, while not as bright as the blades, still received nice illumination even with the light pointing the other direction. This is in part because of the shape of the blades. They swoop inward after the crossguard to give more interference to the light’s passage. That means the light reflects back toward the handle of the sword and we get more glow on the end.

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These beauties tested my skills and forced me to learn entirely new ones. Never before had I worked with casting resin or wire-wrapping.

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Totally worth it. Hopefully I’ll get to see some wedding pics!

So, I’m back from vacation now. I wanted this to be my first post for my “triumphant return”. I think you can see why! I’m all caught up on my emails and I’m already totally covered in dust. Haha!  It’s great to be back. More updates coming soon!