This is the home page of cashenblades.com and Matherton Forge, the shop of Master Bladesmith Kevin R. Cashen. You may have noticed that you were redirected to this page from the old familiar cashenblades home page. This is a work in progress to bring you more content and information in an up to date, responsive format. Those looking for the familiar metallurgy and heat treat information can find it on the “information” link in the slider above, but soon there will be much more in a new and easier format.
As my education efforts have expanded over the years I have found myself traveling more and more, I spend more time in airports than most of my friends with corporate jobs, and international travel has been increasingly part of it. But I am starting off 2018 with the farthest I have ever gone to speak and teach, literally the other side of the world.
The Australian Knife Art Association has invited me to be the key note speaker at their 2018 Australian Blade Symposium, where I will present on topics such as “Heat Treatment and Metallurgy of Blade Steels”, “Blade design and functional considerations in steel selection” and “Heat Treatment Troubleshooting.” It is a distinct honor to be recognized widely enough to be invited to other countries to help advance the craft of bladesmithing.
While in the Sydney area, I have been invited to work with some of the local smiths on some quillon dagger forging, before traveling on to Canberra for the symposium and another week of dagger fun. It is exciting to see bladesmithing grow and become an international brotherhood of dedicated craftsman. I am also particularly honored that such a very talented group of makers find my input of such value that they have invited me to join them, I do believe the exchange of ideas will be wonderful.
For more information you can find the event on Facebook here- Australian Blade Symposium Facebook
I am very often contacted by people hoping to place a custom order, unfortunately due to my extensive back log and busy teaching/speaking schedule I was forced to stop taking custom orders many years ago. When the waiting period approached 5 years and I had no way of telling people when they could get the knife they wanted I decided that I had to take a different direction in how I sell my blades. While I try to still meet some of my obligations to people who have literally waited years, I now set time aside to make those blades that I am most interested in for shows and special projects. These blades are then available for immediate sale when I finish them or when I return from a show with them. This system works much better by allowing me to have total control over my designs and to have the time to do my very best work with no deadlines, and does not leave customers waiting for an order.
Those interested in purchasing one of my blades from me can then be added to an e-mail list to be notified whenever my work becomes available. When a blade is available members of that list receive a notice directing them to a web page displaying the piece, where they have the first option to purchase before the item is listed publicly.
Those interested in being adding to the available work notification list can find a form here: http://cashenblades.com/mathertonforge/index.php/ordering/
Blade steel: 1084/15n20 pattern weld
Grip material: Cocobolo
Blade length: 22″
Overall length: 29″
This is the actual sword that was created on the PBS television show “A Craftsman’s Legacy”. The sword was initially completed under the time constraints of filming the show back in January 2017, but I decided to do a little extra work on the piece to really polish it up and reach its full potential. However, I have been so incredibly busy with teaching and lecturing travel, along with deadlines for jobs at home, that it took me until now to be able to unveil the final package, with bronze trimmed scabbard and all.
The blade is a traditional three bar pattern weld, two forty layer twists in the core with a forty layer edge wrapped around the outside, consisting of 1084 and 15n20 steels. The grip is cocobolo hard wood and the fittings are bronze. The scabbard is leather covered wood trimmed out in ancient Roman style with hand wrought bronze trim.
I have had my share of television experiences and have found that they are not always my favorite aspect of what I do, but Eric Gorges and the Craftsman Legacy crew were a joy to work with. These people really cared about honoring my craft and bringing it to the public in a positive and dignified way. After two days of working with these professionals I was impressed with how hard they work and how they are as much perfectionists about what they do as I am.
This is a special sword in that is was made in front of a nationwide television audience. Along with this piece you get the pleasure of being able to see its creation on “A Craftsman’s Legacy” Season four, episode 1.
Starting in the spring of 2017 I have began offering private classes on bladesmithing here at my Matherton Forge shop. For 20 years I have been teaching bladesmithing at colleges and schools around the U.S. (see more here: Teaching and Consulting ). But I have found that private, one on one, classes at my own shop allow me to communicate more skills, much more effectively in a significantly shorter time. Classes are in any topic, from basic blade forging to advanced heat treating concepts, with curriculums that an be customized to your interests, a freedom not always available in public venues. Classes run from $300 to $400 per day depending on topic and materials required.
In my very long teaching career I have trained many bladesmiths from around the world who have went on to become certified Mastersmiths themselves. I look forward to helping you learn real skills from an established master of this ancient and noble craft. Feel free to contact me via e-mail or telephone for more information.
This DVD is from a series that the American Bladesmith Society videoed during my demonstrations at the 2010 Mid-America Bladesmithing Symposium. Topics include- workrest & freehand grinding, grinding belt selection and tips, preplanning and preparation, blade profiling, blade centerlines and plunge cuts, grinding techniques, and more…
This DVD is the second top seller from a series that the American Bladesmith Society videoed during my demonstrations at the 2010 Mid-America Bladesmithing Symposium. Topics include- quenchants discussion, heat treatment demonstrations, controlled atmosphere heat treatment in a coal forge, tempering, concepts in blade elasticity, normalizing techniques and effects, metallurgy discussion and more…