If you’ve browsed our site before, chances are you’ve seen our “Available Now” page, where we list one-of-a-kind Balefire swords available to buy on a first-come-first-served basis.
While we operate almost exclusively as a bespoke artisan forge, we set up this page for the rare occasions when we need to rehome orphaned swords after last-minute cancellations, or when we have enough spare parts in the workshop to make up a unique “frankensword”.
As our first priority is always our waiting list, this page hasn’t been particularly active – until now.
As well as powering through the list, Chris is on a constant quest to increase productivity without cutting corners on quality. One recent experiment is a process picked up from veteran smiths, in which swords are made in pairs: one custom commission, and another similar in shape and style, but much simpler in aesthetic and execution.
The benefits of this are twofold. Firstly, multiple blades are made to our clients’ specifications in each quench. This allows Chris to select the best fit for the custom hilt, and removes the stress around the possibility of one blade not turning out quite right. Previously, such an issue would have meant starting again from scratch, whereas this way there’s always a back-up.
In reality, issues with quenching are so infrequent that we have a buildup of spare high-quality blades. That’s where the second benefit comes in: by creating simple hilts for these blades, Chris is able to practice his hot forging and punching. Not all commissions call for these traditional techniques, but Chris wants to work on them weekly to develop his skills. By creating functional hilts instead of practice pieces, he can keep his eye in while bringing funds into the forge.
You’d think that double the swords would mean double the time – but we’ve found that not to be true. As many artisan business owners can attest, it can be difficult to balance a busy waiting list with one’s own mental health, and small delays are often caused by the ongoing battle with burnout. By readdressing one of the most stressful aspects of the blade-making process, Chris has found it far easier to work through the waiting list at a steady pace.
While this option makes sense for simple cruciform hilts, you probably won’t find too many complex-hilted swords on the page, as these take a lot more time! We take care to only work on “Available Now” swords when we’re certain they won’t affect our pending orders.
While our custom work flourishes, we’re also excited to offer simple one-of-a-kind options to potential customers who may not be able to wait the usual 6-12 months for a new sword. After all, sometimes the sword chooses the wielder.
If something on the page catches your eye, you can make it yours by contacting us with an enquiry. We’ll be in touch within two working days to let you know if you’re the lucky first enquirer, and to arrange postage.
Our “Available Now” page is updated whenever we have a spare sword to sell. We recommend checking regularly, as you never know what we might feature next! We also announce newly available swords on our Facebook and Instagram pages, so find us there and be the first to know.