Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Crafting in the Craft

I’ve made tools in the past but not often. Normally I wait for my allies to let themselves come home. When one of those tools arrives at a scene, it is known, and at that point I swoop in and greet my old friend. I sometimes go years without getting a new tool of any kind, I already have lots and generally don’t stock up on tons of tools or open the intention gateway unless I have a purpose without a tool to assist with. I, however, have been tool Crafting lately.

The root of the reason is two-fold. First, I am fed up with the poor quality of mass produced tools available on the Contemporary Pagan market over the past decade or so. Secondly, I have felt the urge to add some ‘crafting’ to my Craft. As a result I have been making things.

In the past couple of months I’ve made a couple of unique altar plates for specific Deity work and a couple of pentacles based on Solomonic work. All of these have new homes, with people I know. I felt the need to make these items, but as it turns out, they were made for someone else. I was just the one that brought the tool into manifestation so it could go home. Sorry, no pictures, I didn’t take any before giving the items away. I also made a new wand. A Tradition ritual I was going to, and have since, performed called for a wand of specifications other than I already had. I probably could have gotten away with what I had, but I decided to just make a wand. After-all, I had not made a wand in years. For your viewing pleasure, see the pic of a wand, that’s me holding it.

Now all that is fine and dandy but completely off topic for this blog, or at least it only serves as an introduction to the shortness of this blog. I started making an athame, from scratch, none of that buying the pieces and gluing them together business, and I’ve decided to drag everyone along for the ride, or at least give updates on it.

There is an athame in there somewhere.

As I am not a metal worker or smith in anyway, I sought help. I just happen to be related, via hand-fasting, to someone, my father-in-law, that has thirty plus years experience and is retired from civil service for thus. I am more than grateful for his guidance, for I’d be floundering in the dark without it, but I did have one condition I needed to be met before we began. He had to let me do the work. He could tell me what to do, show me the technique, but at the end of the day, I needed to be able to say I made the athame.

Last night I went over to his shop and got to work. The above picture is of stock metal used for machine working. At his recommendation, a good steel was picked out and a design drawn up. The design is wholly my own but tailored to be within Traditional standards, meaning it will eventually have a black handle, etc. He explained how to mark the metal and over the next three hours guided me in a systematic methodology of slowly shaping and removing the unwanted edge material.

The second picture, below, is what got done thus far. It is basically a blade blank that still needs to be cut, have a pummel and guard fashioned and a handle put on. It is currently, oiled with olive oil, it’s what I was told to use, and sitting on my main altar in the Temple Room. I’ll post more updates as they come.

So what crafting have you been up to in your Craft?

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."


SquirrelHead said...

I really enjoyed the article and I am 100% with you on the fact I love making tools verus buying them.That is a pretty blade you are working on keep up the good work.So next I assume you are making a boline?

Spanish Moss said...


I have a boline that I have been using for about 15 years or so. It is the only thing I own that my GrandDad has given me, other than tons of priceless advice, and so I have no plans at all of replacing it. It has been a good ally.



"Crossroads" Joe Carriker said...

Beautiful! I can't wait to see the final result. :)

Anonymous said...

I love that you are making yr own athame SM. The only person i ever saw do that was a lady up at the old covenstead decades ago who ground it down with a metal grinding wheel. Mine i found in a guy's grandfather's old tool box and it is hand made and never had a sharp edge, hmmm. Of late i have been carving the spiral limbs i cut last fall into blank wands and besoms to give away. BB. Shawnus

Anonymous said...

I am a smithy, I make tools, and I am a metalworker by passion first, and profession second. Though, what irks me the most is the 'selling' of tools - your religion is a business? WHAT?!

If I can, I am 100% more excited to trade, than sell, and will do if anyone asks! I do make knives, axes, and swords as well as pots, cauldrons, other specific tools and more from metal. But again, I will fight tooth and nail not to sell, but trade.

Maybe I'm wierd, maybe I'm not.

Glad to see you working on your own! WOOT!