∴ 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.
∴ Lessons From Time∴
As we roll into a new year, we can’t help but reflect on the last one – and on how the international ups and downs of Covid and Brexit have affected our business. We have been fortunate as a small artisanal business to have had the support of our clients and community throughout these strange times.
However, the unprecedented uncertainty of the past year has inspired us to revisit our waiting list, which has certainly been pushed about more than we anticipated this year. In striving to maintain transparent communication with our customers, we’re rethinking how the waiting list can best serve us – and you.
∴ Once More Around the Sun∴
New Year always seems a poignant time at the forge, as this time two years ago we were setting up Balefire Blades with our fingers tightly crossed and no idea where it would take us. Two years later, we find ourselves at the helm of a thriving artisanal business, working with clients around the world on some incredible custom swords.
2019 was the year we truly started forging Balefire’s identity, making some key decisions as to the sort of work we wanted to be known for, and developing a distinct style. While our commissions ranged from the most complex of complex hilts to Middle Earth-inspired longswords, this was also the year that we created our first standard model: the Angelo broadsword.