Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quick Update 11-15

Hard to believe I haven’t posted in awhile, but it’s been a busy time. I’ve started several posts but gotten sidetracked with shop projects and yet another birthday.

I’ve been learning new skills for making my training blades as I’ve incorporated several new pieces of equipment into the shop. The main goal is to work safer. One of my students wanted a kerambit, and it was too dangerous to make that on the router because of the small size and the multiple curves. I now have ways to do these on the new machines, and I’ve sold every one I’ve made except the one I absolutely had to keep for myself.

A byproduct of the new gear is that they’ve allowed me to create new techniques that add to the repertoire of cuts and grinds. These create distinctive appearances to the pieces I make. I now have three ways I like to finish handles: straight grain, patterned grain, and pattern stamped.

Last Sunday a friend, a former world karate champion, picked up a kris to take back to Hawaii. While at her friend’s house, the husband insisted he’d seen the “wood” I used, even after I said it was plastic. He went into another room and came back with an elaborately carved letter opener from Madagascar. We examined it side-by-side with several of my pieces and even photographed them together. They were virtually indistinguishable. I did some research online and found that Madagascar is famous for rosewood. I then pulled out a couple of guitars with rosewood fretboards and yes, that is the match!

I’ll see about finishing some of my other articles. One is about corner fighting, another is about a method of self-massage and stretching I just developed. My back hurt pretty badly for about two weeks leading up to my birthday and nothing was helping, so I decided to follow my own intuitive yoga. Not only did I fix the kink in my back, I released tension that has been held there for decades! The results have not only been local but global, releasing several old and deeply held injuries! This is something special, so I need to think about how to explain what I did so others can resolve their own aches and pains.

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