In the past two years, I have been focusing on the collection of modern knives on high-artistic, exquisite and gorgeous knife makers, such as Wolfgang and Jurgen in the “Four Wonders” of artistic knives, the first gold carving master Barry Lee, Loveless first apprentice Johnson to these masters. I feel that I have a thorough understanding of the artistic styles and characteristics of these works (it’s a bit bloated), and I have basically written about my experience (although Jurgen’s seven-day talk still owes a few articles, but it is the most difficult to write. A few articles, need a lot of accumulation). In addition, the works of such masters (except Jiang Sen) are either extremely rare and hard to find, or the price is high, it is difficult for ordinary knife lovers to have the opportunity to experience them, resulting in limited communication and discussion objects, which will inevitably become boring over time (of course, the collection The core is that others have what they have, and this point must be unshakable, boring is boring, but it is always cool to have the best).
So recently, I have been thinking about whether to choose some art knife works that are quite different from my previous research objects and have relatively low barriers to entry for research. But people’s energy is limited, so we can’t aimlessly grasp it. The principle of artistry must be adhered to. So I thought about it, and discussed with friends in some knife friend groups, and locked the research direction: I should find A knife with “taste” and artistry.
What is a knife with “taste”? This is definitely a huge subject, and if we want to expand it, it is estimated that it will exceed the length of the main article. And strictly speaking, as long as there is something to enjoy, it can be called “taste”, so there are actually many kinds of tastes, and the one I am looking for is the taste of the world, the taste of the world. The previous articles mentioned that top art knives such as Wolfgang and Jurgen are refined and elegant and belong to the peerless fetishes that should only exist in the sky. They have artistry and fineness, but they lack a little bit. The smell of fireworks in the world.
The “taste” of this handmade knife as I understand it has the following three core features:
- The use of natural handle materials, especially materials that maintain more original flavors such as horns and teeth is better
- Try not to rely on advanced tools (especially CNC machine tools), and complete almost all knife-making processes independently (this one is basically limited to death. I can only find it from the works of forged knifemakers such as ABS, after all, buy ready-made It seems that the steel plate does not have that smell when it comes back to cut)
- The workmanship generally does not seek extreme fineness, but the ingenuity can be seen in the subtleties (in simple terms, there are fines in the rough)
Let me put two works that I think have “taste” first, and everyone will know it at a glance:
Noren’s scagle hunt
Every time I have a chance, I will share it with everyone – the first choice for getting started with handmade knives, noren’s scagle small hunting.
Moran’s Apprentice – Henrick Pine Hunt
Moran’s apprentice-Henrickson’s small hunting, traditional scagel knife shape, horn guard, antler handle tail, maple wood in the middle, and silver wire inlaid on it, simple and natural, but also a little pursuit of art taste of beauty.
The above two works are both from the hands of the old MS master of ABS. Compare the three core features mentioned above. Do you feel a little bit? Of course, this one full of ingenuity is not easy to show all of it with only two pictures, and it is better to see it when you get started. For example, Noren’s scagel style small hunting, the joint of multi-layer leather + metal handle is tightly stitched, and it feels that there is no feeling of cutting hands because of the existence of gaps. Another example is the finger groove design on the handle of Henrickson’s knife, which must feel quite good in the hand. Another point is that the blades are also forged by them themselves. I was deeply impressed by what a senior knife circle said: “If a knife has not been baptized by forging, it always feels that something is missing.” Forging is also an important element of this “taste”.
It is not easy to do this step with handmade knives, which means not only mastering metal forging technology, but also being very familiar with the characteristics and processing of natural materials, and also having rich experience in making and using knives, so that you can Deal with many details that ordinary people are not easy to find.
However, I am still not satisfied. I still hope to find the kind of swordsmith’s works that not only have “taste”, but also can make a difference in terms of artistry. The artistry I am pursuing is the concept of creativity, inspiration, ingenuity, and breaking through this category. To achieve this artistic realm, at least two factors are needed: talent and the spirit of seeking change and breakthrough.
Why am I so obsessed with this so-called artistry? Because forging can learn from a teacher, natural materials can be purchased directly or entrusted to handle, and the experience of making knives is not an unattainable threshold (at least there is no shortage of old American MS-level knife smiths), but art Not everyone can have talent and the heart to seek innovation, change and breakthrough. It can even be said that there is no one in a thousand. This is a very high threshold.
The essence of collecting is the pursuit of compulsion, and compulsion requires a certain threshold.
Will this natural and rustic “taste” and the artistry I pursue be a fish and bear’s paw that can never have both?
If I limit the scope of my search to ABS knife makers, will it be tantamount to seeking fish from a tree?
Redneck blacksmiths also have artistic genius
The knifesmiths in the ABS Association, especially the old knifesmiths, generally have a low level of education. Gein forging this craft requires a strong body and the ability to endure hardships and stand hard work. Generally, people with flexible minds always seek advantages and avoid disadvantages (feeling that the current Qingbei graduates are all headlong into the financial and Internet industries, turning away from the real to the virtual), not willing to engage in the hard work of blacksmithing. Don’t you see the saying goes: “There are three hardships in life, punting a boat, forging an iron, and grinding tofu.”
ABS patriarch Moran, who played truant since he was a child, was busy hunting, fishing, catching skunks, and making huge slingshots to smash the roofs of the same village. Later, Moran College was founded, and the location was also located in Arkansas, which ranks first in the “red neck index” in the United States. Most of the disciples and grandchildren who grew up in the boiler, bellows, anvil, and heavy hammer must be the same as the ancestors.
When it comes to red neck here, some friends may not be familiar with it. In the United States, “red neck” refers to such a group of people: rural people who live in the countryside, have a low level of education, behave rough, and have conservative ideas. It sounds discriminatory, but today’s “red neck” may be considered a neutral term, because red neck also has the advantages of casual chic, full of personality, and devout loyalty.
The members of the ABS, especially the old-fashioned knifesmiths, are probably very appropriate to be called “red-neck blacksmiths”. Some people have a “red neck” in shape and appearance:
ABS MS master fitch, known as “Arkansas Sumo”, was fascinated by his works at the beginning of playing knives
Is “redneck” a bad thing for a knifesmith? In most cases, obviously not. On the contrary, since red-necked knife makers grew up in the countryside, self-made tools are commonplace, and the knives they make must be easy to use because they are skilled in craftsmanship; natural resources are abundant, natural materials such as wood and horns are readily available, and they must have rich processing experience; The general character traits, among them, the excellent knife craftsman, whose works must be experienced, reliable and practical, but also a bit rough and casual, holding it seems to take you to the magnificent and desolate American West, experience To that free and uninhibited cowboy pride. This is actually very close to the “taste” I mentioned earlier.
But correspondingly, most of the red-necked swordsmiths’ artistic aesthetic abilities are still at a relatively elementary level. Speaking of this, some people may have doubts: No, I see that the works of many veteran knife makers have harmonious proportions, which are very pleasing to the eye! That’s because most red-neck knife makers stay within their comfort zone for making. Within the framework of several classic knife shapes and classic Damascus pattern, they change the handle material, pick up a carving knife and make a few flowers and plants, and these classic frameworks have passed the test of aesthetics, so it is not easy to have problems. However, once the rednecks start to try to make breakthroughs and play different tricks, the flaws of lack of aesthetic ability will be exposed, and some works are really quite-spicy eyes.
Here I need to emphasize that I mentioned that most of the redneck swordsmiths like to stay in the comfort zone within the classic framework, and it is not all a kind of criticism. On the contrary, this shows that people have self-knowledge, as a blacksmith, don’t compete with artists for jobs! Dogbone Bowie is classic enough, right? Isn’t it beautiful? If Hancock, Mike Q, Josie and other masters’ dog bones Boi appeared on the market, wouldn’t it be a bunch of people fighting for their heads? (me too). But at the same time, we should also pay high tribute to those red-necked blacksmiths who are unwilling to be satisfied with the status quo and challenge artistic creation. Knowing that it is difficult and impossible to do it, Si is brave!
ABS veteran MS, Cook is such a restless and courageous knife maker and also an ABS master that I admire very much. From some of his works, this is a person who has a great idea to try to break through. Look at the collection of a knife friend in the circle:
This should be a custom made piece
At first glance, this knife seems unremarkable, just an ordinary big horse boi, the carving theme is relatively rare, bamboo; the handle is mother-of-pearl, not the horn and dentine handle commonly found in ABS boi. so what?
The Damascus pattern here is very special
Looking closer, I found that the Damascus pattern on this knife is quite ingenious: the pattern on the upper side is denser like cumulus clouds, while the pattern on the lower side is sparse like running water, with intersecting lines, like bamboo fences on the bank. In this way, does it have a taste that echoes with the carved bamboo? Even the selection of the handle material is quite particular. The brilliance of mother-of-pearl, the brilliance of bamboo, and the unity of these images of the whole knife are exactly:
“The brook under the clouds, the bamboo fence beside the stream, the passing years are like water, my ambition will not change.”
As a typically red-necked blacksmith from Arkansas, it is rare to have such artistic expression in his work. It’s almost up to the standard of taste and artistry I’ve been looking for in a collection all this time (in fact the Fritillary Bowie in the picture does). The only pity is that there are too few of Cook’s flashy works. As far as I know, only three of his works have reached this level. As for the other two, I will mention them later. (Actually, I was afraid that some readers would fall in love with it and snatch it away first).
The owner of Fritillary Boi had a very incisive comment on Cook: “Cook can achieve high scores in both “skill” and “intelligence”, and he is already a dragon and phoenix, but he is not talented in both aspects He’s always a little bit overstretched and a little bit under stretched. He’s not the kind of genius that makes people feel unreal.”
Yes, a rural blacksmith wants to break through the shackles of his own conditions and the surrounding environment in terms of aesthetics and artistic expression. He can only hope for a certain moment of inspiration and ask them to be as creative as an artist. It is too harsh.
Larry Fulgan, a true artistic genius among redneck blacksmiths
Larry Fulgan, veteran master of both ABS MS and AKI, is the number one living artist in ABS (I think the word “living” must be removed in my opinion). His name should be known to everyone in the domestic handmade knife collection circle.
Fugen’s face and temperament are far from the red neck in my impression. As the old saying goes: “A phase is born from the heart”, Fugen’s gentle and gentle temperament must have a great relationship with his spiritual world . Therefore, I once suspected that he should be from a family above the middle class, and he has received a good education and pampered, and he just crossed over to forge iron and experience life.
Forgan is not only artistic in ABS, but also his appearance is estimated to rank first
After consulting some information, I found that Fulgan’s background was no different from that of many veteran ABS masters. He was born on a very remote farm in South Dakota (ranked 13th in the National Red Neck Index, among the best), tens of miles away from the nearest small town. He had to learn to make and repair tools since he was a child, and he was self-sufficient in order to survive go down. I don’t know where his gentlemanly temperament comes from. After watching his interview video, he speaks elegantly and logically. Maybe he is that kind of talented and intelligent person, but he was born in an ordinary family.
He has no higher education, joined the army after graduating from middle school, and then began to learn forging by himself. In 1989, he won the title of ABS MS. He was almost the first batch of MS masters. It is said that there were only 20 people in the association at that time. figure. Therefore, there is no shortage of “taste” in Forgen. Do you still remember the three characteristics of the “taste” of handmade knives mentioned in the preface of this article? Forgan is a full score in Keke:
1. The use of natural handle materials:
I don’t know whether it is because of the high unit price of the works, willingness to spend money or other reasons, Fugen’s works are particularly particular about the selection of handle materials, far surpassing those of his peers. For example, for materials like walrus ivory or mammoth, Fulgan mostly chooses the best quality that cannot be cracked, and the color is either uniform and mellow, or as colorful as ink smudges. Not to mention the carvings made on these handles, the lines are agile and full of charm.
The handle material walrus ivory is of very high quality
2. Complete all processes independently
As mentioned earlier, the environment in which Forgen lived since childhood required people to learn to be self-sufficient. Perhaps this is an important reason for his versatility. Forging, engraving, assembly, and sheath making are all done by one hand. There are not many such talents in ABS (coincidentally, Cook is also one of them, but it belongs to the simplified version).
I have always favored the kind of knifesmith who completes all the processes independently, because I think these elements will be more harmonious and unified if they come from one person. For example, the scabbard, is the first scabbard teacher Paul Long’s thing good? Obviously good! Judging from my limited playing experience, I think Paul Long’s sheath is slightly better than Forgen in terms of leather work.
However, Paul Long only provided the sheath for others. Regardless of the shape of the knife, his sheath is for this knife. It seems that there is no problem at all if you change it to another knife of the same shape. Fulgrim is not the case, one sheath matches one knife, and the artistic themes of the two are harmonious and consistent, and they match precisely.
3. See ingenuity in the subtleties
This, on the contrary, needs least emphasis. Veteran MS masters basically have it. In addition to the experience of living in the countryside, Forgen also has experience in the army. Whether it is knife making or use experience, I think Forgen will not lose to any other MS. His works feel light in the hand, and the weight balance is handled very well.
However, the threshold in these aspects is not so insurmountable. The art knife is divided into two aspects: “technique” and “idea”. One refers to technical skills, and the other refers to artistic conception, inspiration, imagination, and artistry. Skills can be learned, exercised, and cultivated; artistic conception is invisible and intangible, and it seems that it can only rely on personal talent, or even if it can be learned the day after tomorrow, it needs to accumulate a lot of knowledge, not to mention constant breakthroughs and changes.
What I admire the most about Fulgan is that he was born in a red neck, and he can break through the limitations of knowledge and environment in the aspect of “intent”, and catch up with the top masters in AKI, and he is firmly ranked No. 1 in the world in ABS. No one can shake the throne of One. Just like the protagonist in a YY novel, the counterattack of this kind of civilian dick is often more dramatic and topical.
So when it comes to this, I finally have the answer to the kind of work that combines taste and art that I am looking for. However, Forgan’s works are of various categories, such as dagger, bowie, small hunting, jackknife, and business card. Which one should I choose as the object of research? After some thought, I decided to choose the most bizarre and insane Goblin jackknife in Fulgan’s artistic imagination.
If every knife maker with many categories of works chooses only one as his masterpiece, I think Wolfgang will choose the sword, Jurgen will choose the straight knife, Newton will choose the metal twist handle Bowie, and Forgen, it is brother Brin folding knife (I don’t remember which big guy’s point of view this is, I always think I’ve seen it in a book or on the website, maybe Forgan said it himself).
There is some truth to this point of view. In terms of rigorous workmanship, Forgen is not as good as Hancock and Newton of the era; in terms of gorgeous Malaysian patterns, he is not as good as Royer and Julian of the new generation; but in terms of overall artistry, I am afraid that several ABS MS masters combined cannot catch up. Although Fulgrim’s short sword and Boi are also very exquisitely made, with a strong personal artistic style, but the goblin jackknife is the best stage for him to show his strengths. The work of Forgan with the highest market value is his Goblin jackknife.
I like to pay attention to chance when playing knives. Just as I was searching hard in the vast sea of knives, a high-quality Goblin from Fulgan happened to appear in front of me. Today I will use it as a sample to talk about Goblin jackknife This can be called the charm of the excellent cultural and artistic heritage in the knife world.
Core Aspects of Fulgan Boutique Goblins
Let me talk about the conclusion first. The core points of the Fulgan Goblin folding knife are mainly three: one is the use of natural materials, the other is the exquisite detail design, and the third is the base.
1. Turn decay into magic of natural materials.
Antlers are an excellent natural material for American handmade knives. The material is suitable for practical use, the value is moderate, and it is relatively easy to find. Generally, antlers suitable for knife handles have the characteristics of vertical and uniform stripes, full grains, and obvious size. Generally, it is a section of the main branch of the antler, see the position of the red circle in the icon below.
A typical complete antler diagram, the circle part is generally used as a knife handle, and does not need to be polished
ABS MS Master Andrews’ Antler Boi is a classic and tasteful work. The surface of the antlers is basically not polished much. It should be because the shape is more consistent and there is no need to polish it.
Some hand-made knives are taken from the antler section to get deeper, reaching the root, that is, the position of the antler crown (horn ring), which retains more original characteristics of the material and adds more natural flavor, such as the classic scagel small hunting, I like the antler crown on the hilt is to die for.
The names of the antlers
The classic knife shape perfectly retains the feature of the horn crown
The Goblin Jackknife cleverly uses the natural shape of the antler crown to shape those monsters with claws and claws. The circle of small bumps around the horn crown looks like the mane of the monster. This unique design has to be admired.
Fulgan Goblin Prairie Hound
This Fulgan Goblin is called a prairie hound, and the mane around the face is very expressive.
Fulgen’s use of natural materials doesn’t stop there, however.
Cutlers generally choose the best materials. But nature cannot be perfect everywhere, and it is even said that ruggedness and incompleteness are the norm. When faced with a piece of poor-quality material with odd shapes, chaotic textures, and even cracks, most knifesmiths will give it up. But Fulgrim has the ability to turn decay into magic.
The shape of this handful of goblin antlers is extremely weird, and it would have been thrown away long ago if it was replaced with other people’s crooked materials.
For example, with this material, you can see that the protrusions on the surface of its antlers are extremely large and extremely asymmetrical. There is still a large piece of antlers protruding from the front of the antler crown (of course, I suspect that this place has something to do with the deep acquisition of antlers, not necessarily related to the natural endowment of the antlers), but because the theme of this goblin is a deep-sea monster, it is this kind of material characteristics that further highlights the ferociousness of Warcraft. I will elaborate on the specific benefits later.
Fulgrim’s goblins are generally divided into two types: characters and monsters. I prefer the latter, because Goblins of Warcraft retain more of the original appearance of natural materials and are not afraid to use those strangely shaped “defective” materials. It is not uncommon for excellent materials to produce excellent works, and turning waste into treasure shows the author’s level, isn’t it?
2. Exquisite detail design
A truly playable art knife must have many ingenious subtleties. In the dead of night, when you observe it carefully under the lamp and rub it in your palm, every subtlety will make you feel as graceful as drinking alcohol. I believe that everyone who loves knives has experienced this. Fulgrim’s Goblin has many advantages, let me expand them one by one:
Detail 1: The knife lives up to its name.
As the name of the knife, these four words seem simple, but in fact they are not simple. This means that your knife should at least have its own unique name. There are not many knives that can achieve this condition. why? Because if you are a knife maker with a lot of output, wouldn’t it be annoying to give each knife an exclusive name. The big deal is to classify each knife according to the knife type and number it with numbers, which is the most trouble-free.
So whether there is an exclusive name, to some extent, it can be regarded as a watershed between high-end boutique and ordinary products.
The output of Fulgan’s Goblins is not very large, and the ones that can be seen are only a few dozen. Each Goblin has its own exclusive name. These names are the artistic theme of this work, often based on Western Legends, myths and historical figures.
For example, the Goblin jackknife that I focus on in this article is called zanna, which translates to Zanna in Chinese.
Personally think Zana’s most handsome pose
What does the name Zanna mean? For this reason, I also specifically consulted Fukun himself. It turns out that this is Italian, and it can be understood as a deep-sea monster with fangs.
Please pay attention to the bold words above! In the following content, I will analyze how Fulgan made his works fit this theme through detailed design.
Detail 2: eyes
In the carving process, there is a professional term called face opening, which refers to the depiction and shaping of the facial features of characters in the process. The most important part of facial features is undoubtedly the eyes because the eyes are the windows of the soul. Therefore, for a good sculpture, the eyes must be vivid and full of spirituality.
What are vivid eyes? According to my consistent analytical thinking, I think there are two elements: well-shaped eye sockets and polished eyeballs.
Zanna’s eyes are very bright
Zanna’s eye sockets are oval-shaped, and the corners of the eyes are deep. The advantage of this is to ensure that the eyes can be seen from the side besides the front, and the side is the most handsome viewing direction.
The eyeball material is ruby, polished very brightly, and may even be the brightest eyeball among goblins I have ever seen. By chance, I saw a video of several goblins placed together. At that time, Zanna flashed past in a corner that was not particularly conspicuous, but its bright and vivid eyes instantly caught the attention of the audience. My attention is captured.
But everything is not absolute, do eyeballs have to be polished smooth and translucent, can such eyes be considered vivid? No! Let me give another example:
This is my favorite Warcraft goblin work, tearing the dragon
This one’s eyes are completely opaque, but chaotic. At first I thought that such eye shaping was a failure of this work, but when I knew his name was ripper, I immediately understood the author’s intention.
Ripper, which means tearing, also means the most notorious murderer Jack. The eyes of those brutal, irrational and vicious characters just happened to be muddy and chaotic like this. The design of Fulgan just highlights the characteristics of the magic dragon.
Do you think the magic dragon is very similar to these two teasers?
Please carefully observe the direction of the horns of the two goblins, Zanna and Demon Dragon, one is facing left and the other is facing right. Two eyes, one clear and one cloudy. I have a little doubt that they are designed in pairs. Compared with the fierce and brutal personality of the dragon, I think Zanna should be more calm and cunning, maybe she is a female!
Detail 3: Fangs
Fulgrim’s Goblin has a lot of materials to choose from. Antlers, gold, steel, copper, mammoth, walrus ivory and more. The fangs of Warcraft are made of walrus tusks that have been carefully polished one by one. “Teeth made of teeth” is also considered appropriate.
Polishing the tiny walrus tusks smooth one by one is already quite laborious, but Fulgan has a very commendable detail here, notice some small black nicks on the roots of these tusks:
The root details of the three front fangs are very vivid
This small detail is very expressive! Because in reality, the roots of the fangs will accumulate some food residues. Over time, some black marks will be formed, and bacteria will also cause slight corrosion.
This is how animal fangs look like in real life
Forgan can even take this into consideration, which is evident in his observation ability and artistic accomplishment.
Detail 4: Surface texture carving
Zanna’s entire body surface is basically textured, which is one of the differences between Fulgan’s high-end goblins and ordinary goblins.
Before I knew the meaning of the word zanna, I thought about whether this monster is terrestrial or aquatic? Because at the beginning I thought he was a pair of dragon monsters similar to the tearing dragon. However, after carefully observing his surface carvings, I am sure that this must be a monster living in water, looking at the large and small dots all over the body:
Those little dots all over the body are very similar to the suckers on the octopus
The dots mimic the suckers on an octopus. Fulgan cleverly used the surface characteristics of this well-known aquatic creature to shape the surface texture of the aquatic monster. We can also see such elements in other aquatic monster goblins.
This one is called a piranha, and you can see the engraving of this octopus sucker in several places
Detail 5: Mouth
As I mentioned earlier, face opening refers to the shaping of facial features. The most important of these are the eyes first, and the mouth second. The shape of most goblin mouths is basically symmetrical, because the cross-section of most selected antlers is roughly a symmetrical circle, as shown in the following figure:
This is the face picture of Forgan’s master and Goblin’s grandfather Smit
However, Zanna is different. It is obvious from the previous picture that the mouth on the right side is obviously cracked and severely asymmetrical. This kind of open face is very rare in Fulgrim’s Goblin. Those who see it for the first time believe that their attention will be first attracted by this strange mouth.
What are the benefits of doing this? As mentioned earlier, Zanna means some kind of deep-sea monster in Italian, and another meaning refers to fangs. Fulgrim’s exquisite design highlights the ferocity of the fangs.
But the master is more than that, let’s take a look at another detail of the mouth.
I feel a little bit like a ripper
Please pay attention to the inner wall of the mouth, the color is light red with a little pale, and there are dots of tan stains after rotting food residues, isn’t it very realistic? Because the inner wall of the real animal’s mouth is like this!
The lining of a crocodile’s mouth is exactly that color
Detail 6: Dorsal fin
Zanna has two dorsal fins of different styles (also one of the characteristics of high-end monster goblins, ordinary monster goblins generally have a single style of dorsal fin). The front section is made of steel, similar to the thorns on the dragon’s spine:
The front part is like a dragon’s spine, and the back part is like a fish fin
Carefully observe that these steel spines are not neatly arranged but have some overlapping and bending. This detail is very good, vivid and not rigid. Because you look at those beasts in nature, how can their manes be neat and tidy, the messier they are, the more alive they appear.
The second half of the fins should be carved and polished with mammoth teeth, with sharp edges and corners, hard lines, and tight arrangement, which are the characteristics of typical fish dorsal fins. You must admire Forgan’s strong observation ability and artistic expression. This small detail reveals the characteristic of Warcraft being aquatic, echoing the name “Zanna” —– remember the first Does the knife live up to its name?
Detail 7: Spindle screw
In the exterior design of the folding knife, the spindle screw is a detail that needs to be carefully considered. Someone will choose to hide this place to avoid spoiling the overall feeling:
Favorite Wolfgang’s Jackknife
Others will choose the ingenious locking mechanism; the appearance of the main shaft matches the modern and avant-garde style.
I remember that this Arpo is locked at any position. Look at the curves on the spindle position. In fact, it is not just a decoration at all, but has something to do with the locking mechanism.
As a red-necked blacksmith, Fulgan’s design of the main shaft is naturally not comparable to the coquettishness of these art masters. His goblin jackknife spindle is the simplest screw —– because it is simple, it is easy to maintain, but it seems that there are no other bright spots to talk about.
In fact, this is indeed the case, but only for aquatic monsters, there is a little difference:
Does the spindle look a bit like the eyes of an octopus from this angle?
Octopus sea monster itself
Comparing the two pictures together, the eyes of the octopus are actually composed of two concentric circles, the outer ring and the inner ring, and the screw in the central hole fits this feature, it is a perfect match!
Do you think it was a coincidence, or was it intentional? I lean towards the latter. You can see that there are many small dots around the eyes of the octopus, including on the head, and the small part of the Goblin jackknife spindle screw toward the tip of the knife has a more delicate carving texture than other parts. Is it also imitating an octopus? Strange this feature?
What’s the use of imitating an octopus monster? Because it is also a kind of deep-sea monster! I guess “zanna” may not refer to a specific creature, but a complex of several similar creatures. “The knife is as its name” has once again been interpreted.
Detail 8: Damascus pattern
In terms of the complexity and delicacy of the Malaysian pattern, Fulgen is indeed far inferior to some new generation knife makers. Especially in recent years, in the precision forging school represented by Julian and Franco in Brazil, newcomers have emerged in an endless stream, creating and inventing many complex patterns that have never been seen before, and they are directly catching up with the first forging person of the new generation – Kyle Royer.
The ceiling-level work of the precision forging school, because the density is too high, the picture looks blurry after zooming out
Before, some knife friends commented that the only shortcoming of Forgen is that Malaysia does not look coquettish enough, and I thought so too. Later, I got in touch with a lot, and after my eyes were opened, I realized that whether it is sparse and freehand, or delicate and complicated, it is only a difference in style, and there is no distinction between superior and inferior. This so-called shortcoming of Fugan does not exist at all.
Still analyzing from the two aspects of “technique” and “meaning” mentioned earlier, the ultra-precise Damascus is superior in “technique”, but not as good in “meaning”. Most of the Damascus pattern , for the sake of splendor, if you ask the swordsmith why he made such a design, what is the artistic intention, 99% of them can’t answer why (with very few exceptions, such as the Royer’s sword above, in the “meaning” “Should have some ideas, of course, there is still more room for improvement, I will have the opportunity to talk about it in the future).
As for the freehand style horse, the “skill” is indeed not as good as the precision horse (I have consulted domestic knife makers specifically, it is not difficult to make), but it is outstanding in the “meaning” aspect, the artistic conception, taste, and charm are far beyond, the more you look at it more attractive.
The dispute between “skill” and “intelligence” has existed since ancient times. More than a thousand years ago, Han Yu, a great writer in the Tang Dynasty, launched the ancient prose movement, advocating that “literature conveys the truth”, which means that characters should serve thoughts, and abandon parallel prose that is empty of rhetoric, over-emphasis on alignment, and rhythm. According to Chinese traditional values, perhaps the proportion of “meaning” will be slightly larger.
The strongest point of Forgan’s Malaysia, I think, is that it perfectly echoes the texture design and the overall art theme. And Fugen’s Malaysian pattern is mainly random pattern, not coquettish? No, let me give a few examples:
Example 1: “Eagle Feather” large horse pattern, which fits the theme: a Roman general like an eagle
A Goblin jackknife themed around an ancient Roman general, which I personally love
Example 2: The pattern of “flowing cloud” horses fits the theme: the Chinese red dragon soaring through the clouds
The largest monster goblin: Red Dragon, the only oriental monster
Example 3: “Flower and leaf” large horse pattern, which fits the theme: a jungle monster like a rose with thorns
Thorn Warcraft, the overall design is similar to a thorny rose, and the design of the back combines the characteristics of rose leaves and calyx, which is extremely exciting
The last example is Zanna, the “flowing water” horse pattern, which fits the theme: monsters in water. There are a lot of pictures ahead, everyone can see it at a glance.
However, I would like to remind a detail that 99% of people may not notice: In some works, Forgen may have adjusted the pickling formula or materials, and by strengthening the light and dark contrast of the damascene pattern, it creates a better artistic performance. This technique not only changes the line texture, but also further changes the light and shade and shade. This is the technique of using steel as rice paper!
For example, similar to flowing water patterns, some Malaysian effects are like this:
This one is called a piranha, as mentioned earlier.
The light and dark contrast of this kind of horse is not too strong, and many of Faugan’s big horses of Boi and dagger are in this style. But Zanna’s big horse pattern contrast is much stronger, the previous picture should be clearly seen, let me take a video screenshot under dim light for comparison:
This is a screenshot from a video shoot, the lighting conditions are not good
It can be seen that even under poor lighting conditions, the water ripple lines on the blade are still very clear, and the artistic theme is more prominent. I don’t know the specific method, but Fulgan is obviously the result of deliberate adjustment after consideration.
There is also the “Red Dragon” in front, and you can also see that the contrast between light and dark is also very strong. But why the red dragon’s big horse pattern is “cloud pattern”, and Zanna’s is “water pattern”? Because the red dragon’s large horse pattern has many bright lines together, it looks like a certain width, which is close to the feeling of clouds; Zanna’s is a single bright line, and the bright line and the bright line There is a certain interval, which is closer to the feeling of ripples.
As for this, people can’t help admiring! Who said that Fulgan’s Malaysian level is not good enough!
As mentioned earlier, Fulgrim is extremely rare: a talented swordsmith who has all the skills of forging + knife making + carving + inlay assembly + scabbard. For the Goblin folding knife, the so-called scabbard is the base. Forgan’s bases are all made by himself. Because he is free from the functional constraints of the scabbard, he can give full play to his artistic talent. Many bases themselves are exquisite works of art. According to the artistry and personal preference of the base, I try to divide these bases of Fulgan into grades:
- energy products
The so-called energy product is approximately equivalent to having no base. Just add a support rod on top of a bottom bracket. Was Fulgan being lazy by doing this? I don’t think so, please see the following example:
This goblin is called Huangsha Samurai, Japanese style
For example, the yellow sand samurai above has a theme of Japanese samurai. The base is extremely simple, but I think it is actually very wonderful. The pure, restrained, and simple spiritual core of Japanese Bushido has actually been well reflected in this simple base. It’s just that this minimalist style is not consistent with Fulgen’s consistent figurative expression, so it is listed as a high-end product.
- Wonderful products:
This grade generally chooses natural materials as the base, and there is not much processing, so as not to affect the original appearance of the material. Taking out the base alone is also a beautiful exhibit.
This base simulates mountain rocks, and the raw materials themselves are stones
The fly in the ointment is that the combination of this type of base and the theme of the art is relatively not close enough. Although Fugen will consider whether the color and texture of the material itself roughly match the work itself when selecting the material, this is only the “shape” In terms of “meaning”, there is not much room for development, including my favorite tearing dragon, and I think the base also belongs to this level.
- Divine product:
The difference between Shenpin and the previous grade is that the amount of processing is larger, and the combination with the theme is more appropriate. Zanna’s base is a typical example. Instead of using natural materials, it is carved and polished from a single piece of copper:
The copper base is very textured
At first I didn’t understand the connotation of the base, is it a stone? But why are there some cracks on the surface, as if something is about to rush out of it. And Zana is a sea beast, which doesn’t quite match the rocks on land. Later, it suddenly occurred to me that this thing looks like a deep-sea terrain, and the cracked one is the crater on the seabed.
It is this harsh environment where water and fire meet that can breed a monster with a strange appearance like Zana. What’s more, Zana’s body surface also has cracks similar to those around the crater, and the base matches the main body of the work very well.
There is also a small detail, even the wood of the base is carefully selected, its texture and color are consistent with the height of the copper volcano, as if it is one. Even considering this detail, I have to accept it.
The grade of the divine product seems to have reached the extreme that human hands can achieve, is it the end? No, there are more advanced ones.
- Sky product:
There is a saying in the Buddhist scriptures: “Supernatural powers are not as good as the number of days.” In the face of the miraculous stalwart of nature, human wisdom can only be in awe. The base of this grade is not processed, but formed naturally, but it fits the theme very well, and the “meaning” aspect has reached the extreme. Check out this handful of Fulgan’s award-winning “The Witch”:
The open face is very wonderful, the broken teeth, the pockmarks on the face, and the gray hair are very vivid.
This is the base, did you think of anything?
Close-up of the base
The base is a natural Arizona copper-iron ore rough, which Fulgan carefully selected without any processing. But the appearance of the base looks like a pot of potion that is being brewed, tumbling and boiling, it’s absolutely amazing! I even think the name of this work should be changed to “Witches and Potions” because this base is so wonderful.
Let’s look at another “base” that reaches this level:
Complete picture of Red Dragon
Behind the red dragon is a cross-section of a whole piece of agate crystal. The texture on the surface is similar to small clouds, and the overall appearance and color of the agate are like a big cloud. Even the hollow in the center of the stone is in the shape of a cloud, cloud in cloud, layer upon layer.
What’s even better is that Fulgen breaks the general rule that the base is located below, and erects the agate as the background of the red dragon, creating a scene of a dragon cruising and walking through the clouds.
I have some doubts, would Fulgan first find the base, generate inspiration, and then create the work? Otherwise, it is a bit incredible to find such a piece that fits the theme among the vast and thousands of natural materials.
A few more words at the end, some people may not understand that they are also natural materials, why some are wonderful products, and some are heavenly products? The key difference is that Miaopin matches in appearance, while Tianpin matches in artistic conception. The former is straightforward, while the latter is subtle and thought-provoking. WYSIWYG materials are easy to find, but materials that require careful consideration are hard to find.
Taking the red dragon as an example, if it is the base of a wonderful product, it is enough to find a rock with red as the reference color and place it under the dragon. How can there be agate crystals that are natural?
As for art collection, why do so many people like to chase famous masterpieces and spend a lot of money? Because those famous masterpieces are the real gold that has been scoured by the waves in the long river, and there are countless smart collectors with both strength and vision who are doing the selection for us. You can see that the famous masters I have analyzed in my past articles, such as Wolfgang, Jurgen, Barry Lee, etc., all have extraordinary qualities that are difficult for others to copy.
Why can Forgan be known as the first person in the art of ABS knife makers, and is favored by so many senior collectors? I didn’t know this deeply before, but now I fully understand. It is really the luck of the knife world to be able to produce such a stunningly talented person among the red-necked blacksmiths. It is also my luck to encounter Fulgen boutique when encountering a bottleneck in the direction of collection.
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