A project begins with an idea. Sometimes the idea is in the mind of the customer. Other times it starts with the maker. As the customer and the maker explore the possibility of bringing this idea into a reality, a dialog ensues. A flow of communication between the two takes them to explore issues of blade design, morphology, adornments, materials and purpose. An outline of the time frame for completion of the project is established and careful attention to the budget and costs involved is given.
Then the gears are set in motion. Pencil and paper will be the first step which involves detailed sketches and drawings of the vision in mind. This process of drawing on paper what the imagination sees, helps in realizing what is to follow and sets the tone for the resulting work. Procurement of the raw materials is the next step. Homemade steel in the fashion of tamahagane or modern steel carefully chosen for its performance characteristics. Wood for the handle or scabbard, the choice of handle wrap or the rayskin and the materials for the fittings.
In the making of a sword there is an enjoyment provided by the solitude and relaxation that comes with the focus and discipline applied to the forging and polishing of the metal, the carving and shaping of the wood and the meticulous work of fabricating the furniture that accompanies the blade.
Along the way, the customer will be provided with updates in the form of pictures and emails creating a crescendo that culminates in opening the package containing the labor of months of dedicated work and the realization into a physical object of what started as a dream of the mind.