∴ A Year of Resurgence ∴
It feels like only months ago I was writing our last New Year’s update in the middle of lockdown, and wondering what 2021 would hold. While it’s undoubtedly been a year of ups and downs across the board, we have been fortunate to have the faith and support of our customers and community throughout.
In many ways, 2021 was a tentative step into a wider world, after the restrictions of early Covid. We were delighted to attend not one but two combat arts events – the madcap Swordpunk and the renowned Malta Historical Fencing Association International Event. Each gave us a well-needed shot of perspective, reminding us why we love the work we do.
We also settled back into regular training with our own fencing group here in Sussex, experimenting with new fencing forms, which in turn informed Chris’s craft and research. From heated pub debates to the heat of the forge, our inspiration relies heavily on our friends and comrades.
Perhaps the year’s greatest blessing – and testament to our hard work – was a steady stream of creative and challenging commissions. From close museum replicas to original fantasy concepts, we have been continually increasing our skills and knowledge to keep up with our clients’ visions.
∴ A Look to the Future ∴
And so we teeter on the brink of another new year – one which we hope will offer a new sense of stability after a challenging period of change all round. We look forward to the reopening of more fencing events, which offer us a chance to meet old friends and future customers – and we look forward to the continued challenges of running an artisanal business.
As always, Chris is questing to increase his skills and add new levels of historical detail to his pieces. In line with this, we will be revisiting the way we draw up quotes and timescales, with the aim of giving closer production estimates. As the quality of each aspect of Chris’s swords increases, so does the time spent making them – and it’s important that this is reflected in the cost.
Meanwhile, I shall be working to keep our community up-to-date. From regular communications with existing clients to the launch of a new quarterly newsletter, I will be sharing photos, stories and scholarly musings from the forge. I’m also excited to continue my own academic research into Excalibur and other legendary swords.
We’re already looking forward to compiling our next art photography book for the end of this year, showcasing some of our favourite creations from 2020 and 2021 in greater depth than ever, with progress photos and notes on the unique challenges of making each piece.
∴ A Happy New Year ∴
All that remains is to wish our worldwide community of fencers a brave and joyful new year, full of dear friends and clashing blades. We’re excited to hear your big ideas over the coming year, and to help you turn your vision of a dream sword into steely reality.
∴ Alicia Lewis, 30/12/2021 ∴