Damascus steel was a term used by several Western cultures from the Medieval period onward to describe a type of steel created in India and used in swordmaking from about 300 BC to 1700 AD. These swords were characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be not only tough and resistant to shattering, but capable of being honed to a sharp and resilient edge. William Henry’s damascus is made is made from several types of steel welded together to form a billet.
The patterns vary depending on how the damascus artist works the billet. The billet is drawn out and folded until the desired number of layers are formed. William Henry damascus billets are forged with a minimum of 300 layers. William Henry works with a handful of the very best damascus artists/forgers in the U.S.
Mokume gane was developed in the 1600s in Japan, allegedly by an Akita prefecture metalsmith named Denbei Shoami (1651 to 1728). He used the mokume gane technique to dress up samurai swords.
The mokume gane technique involves fusing several layers of different metals, and artistically exposing sections of lower layers. The metal is often made to display a pattern that mimics wood grain. A variety of metals can be used to give different arrays of coloration.
Layers of metal are pressed together and fused with heat. The forged layers are carved to expose lower layers and are then pressed again. The carving and pressing is repeated to develop the pattern.
Today, some of the finest mokume in the world is made here in the USA, and William Henry is proud to offer a range of this material on our collections. Our mokume is generally made with copper, brass, and nickel silver in either a 45 or 89 layer billet, forged and patterned by hand.
SPRUCE PINE CONE
One of the largest, hardiest and most adaptable spruce in the world, Norway blue spruce is a native of Europe, and is commonly called the mountain spruce there. Due to its hardiness and adaptability it has been introduced and thrives in many areas of the world. William Henry uses the pinecones from this majestic tree to create beautiful inlays for our knives. Before use, the pinecone sections are stabilized with a color pigmented resin which enhances the contrast of the veneer and gives the scales a blue or red tonality. All our spruce cone is sourced responsibly.