This mounting project was made for Jesus Hernandez admirable forge folded cable sanmai hada which can be admired here.
For some time I have been considering an oar shaped saya that reminded me of some Thai or Burmese Dha that flare out. Again, the hybridation process was at work mutually influencing each other
Once Jesus Hernandez finished this superb piece, it was routed to Randy to whom I had sent my
beginning concept.
The interaction between designer and craftsman begun and some of my earlier concepts were discarded, such as the grooves.
I do think that I have the good sense to leave the technical interpretation of a design to the skilled maker because I'm not there and I very much believe that a creative process must allow room for improvement.
Having asked for the whitest possible poplar, I took the risk of achieving a monotonous piece, specially considering the 29 inches nagasa blade and my favourite 14 inches tsuka.
Whenever I ask for freedom for designing an interpretation of someone's wish, I know I must pass this freedom on as this is the wisest thing to be done.
Having received it yesterday, after deciding to change the tsuka into a more functional katatemaki wrap in black, I am very pleased with the outcome. The amount of Poplar is quite large and long, allowing for balance of the black wrapped tsuka, while the black horn and discreet bone features at the Koiguchi, Kurikata and Kojiri, added a little touch of refinement, while the saya itself received many coats of matte lacquer and is extremely sturdy.
Here are a few photographs of the mountings by a most qualified professional who does splendid work in very short time, considering his huge backlog.


Note the proportions of the long and thick octagonal shaped saya discreetly flaring out and how this large amount of light colored wood can balance the strong black handle. The horn kojiri, kurikata and koiguchi help make the connection.

The blade and the saya taken in open air on an overcast day.
A perspective from the saya end
Another perspective from the tsuka end
A detail of the workmanship and the octagonal shaped tsuba aikuchi style

This perspective allows the assessment of how thick and sturdy the saya is. Note the copper fan menuki that matches the oar shape.

This picture of mine holding the mounted blade allows to asses how huge the entire ensemble is.



To wrap up this short review of the finished blade, I must thank Jesus Hernandez, Jeff Larsen, and Randy Black for both their friendship, dedication and the quality of their work and their professionalism.

October 21, 2006
Antonio Cejunior