This Seax is crafted with a damascus bladed with particularly vibrant patterning; no mere surface etching, these patterns were created when two differing steels were pounded and melded together into a single billet from which the smith would forge the blade. The folding and layering of the steel creates these rippled, water-like patterns within the steel which were brought into bold visibility with careful surface treatment after forging and shaping the blade. Like a fingerprint, every blade crafted this way differs slightly in its unique patterning.
The grip is formed from a carved cut of dark hardwood. The guard is a slab of cross-hatched horn pinned between two steel guard-plates. The pommel cap is likewise crafted from steel. The companion sheath is of stitched leather with both horizontal and vertical hanging loops paired with a grip-retention strap with a brass button.
Though many seax were quite simple and humble in design, those that could be afforded by men of means often had blades of pattern-welded steel. This steel was created when the smith formed bars of differing steel which he artfully twisted together to pound and form into a single blade. The steel was deliberately twisted together in a specific manner which would create repeating patterns on the blade. Not only did this make a beautiful finished product, but the merging of steels of differing hardnesses typically created an overall better blade in an era that predated the industrial availability of substantial amounts of quality iron ore and the means to refine it in large quantities.
Much of the skillful steelworking by the bladesmith in the dark ages Northern Europe were innovations intended to optimize the quality of the smelted bog iron, which would be of poor quality without skillful refinement and clever smithing techniques to refine and combine the varying quality of this iron. In this way their work shares a similarity with the bladesmiths of Japan, whose many skillful innovations were created to overcome the initially poor and irregular quality of iron smelted from iron sands.
This Seax blade is damascus, which though different in process from pattern-welding, does share the similarity in that steels of differing hardness are skillfully and artfully worked together into a single billet. Like pattern welding it creates beautiful patterns in the steel which are a testament to the skill of the smith and a homage to some of the iconic blade-making techniques of older centuries.
The smiths of old could only dream of the access that modern smiths have to high quality, pure steel. But the modern convenience of such steel brings quality without the unique processes of folding and layering steel that were essential to create worthy swords from comparatively poor quality iron ore in elder years. A by-product of these techniques created uniquely visible qualities to a blade and the best of smiths knew how to harness this to create excellent weapons imbued with the beauty that comes from skillful mastery of their craft. Each one of these weapons was unique and understood to possess a unique spirit ensorcelled within at its birth in heated forge-fire, earthy anvil and rhythmic hammer.