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New Zealand or BUST! Why go...not to escape reality, but to find it...to see hitherto unexperienced horizons of beauty...to have the courage to turn against habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living...to be wild at heart.


NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 7 March 2008 | Views [867]

Well I have learned a new craft. Knife-making is without a doubt a great thrill. I ended up the only person at the shop yesterday, so I received personal attention. My knife is going to appear on the website eventually. I am so happy with it, and between what I learned from Red and what Steve has now taught me, I am going to build a forge and give smithing a go.

Steve could visualize the final knife right from the start. He was a pretty good coach too. I had to cut him some slack for the occasional grumpy comment because he was dealing with a broken tooth. But he did give lots of encouragement and even told me that I had wonderful hand-eye coordination. Wish he would send a note to my 8th grade PE teacher with that comment!

I was reflecting last night on the process. I feel that in many ways I can identify with the knife. My two years since leaving college have involved a lot of forging. The scrap of soft steel that represents a newly graduated me, had to be heated and hammered on the anvil. The fire and the flames were not always fun, but they have strengthened the steel and shaped it into something useful.

At 25, this process seems to be closing. A final good hammer strike or two to finish the shape, and it will be time to dip the steel in water to set it. This is by no means the end, as there is much in the way of grinding, polishing and crafting left. But like Steve, Christ can see the tool which lies within the piece of steel. Yeilding myself to the process is a joy, because in the end, I will be something to write home about.

Tomorrow I head to the Wild Foods festival in Hokitika. After that it will be glacier-country and on to Milford Sound (only the prettiest place in New Zealand). When I can find a good computer, I will upload pictures, so stay tuned!

Tags: Adventures



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