Knifemaking: fear revisited, and the Precedent Mark Deux

“Sometimes we believe the fear
I can see that ghost from here”

The Pierces- Confidence in Love

(you can read about the crafting on the original Precedent here and here)

As I go through life and delve a bit deeper into the world, I’ve found that there are two primary emotions: love and fear.  There are the things that feel good and the things that don’t feel so good.

Things that come from love are feelings such as joy, peace, and happiness.  Compassion is love-based, as is confidence and trust.  The feeling of connectedness is love embodied.

Fear houses a lot of the prickly feelings, like guilt and shame.  Anxiety, depression, and loneliness come from fear.  Anger can often times come from fear as do issues with control.  Feelings of intimidation, jealousy, unworthiness, and spite: all fear-based.

Fear is part of an evolutionary design to keep you safe and alive and it serves it’s purpose quite effectively.  We are social creatures and some of those prickly feelings help us to stay within acceptable boundaries of society and help to keep us connected.  But sometimes the survival instinct to be safe gets bastardized.  Many people develop a pattern of fear-based behaviors to help them survive a difficult upbringing.  Soldiers of war may have some of these behaviors to help them cope with the trauma of battle.  Survivors of tragedy and emotional abuse sometimes do the same.  And these fear based patterns continue on long after danger has passed.  The fear that was supposed to act as a safeguard from harm takes over and living life comes from a place of fear instead of a place of love.

You can almost always tell when people are operating from a place of fear versus a place of love.  It’s a contracted state of being.

I went and took a lesson with one of my former professors a few years after I got out of music school.  He said that fear was the biggest thing that keeps people from pursuing the things they want in life.  “You don’t have to be afraid,” he said.

But I am afraid a lot of the time.  If fear is a ghost, then often times it feels like I am standing outside of a large haunted castle.  The things that fulfill me are inside and the only obstacles keeping me out are these perceived spectres.  There is a belief that these spectres can hurt me. Sometimes I stall and falter but there always comes a point where I go in.

I do not desire to live my life in fear.

This blade represents a dance with fear.  The forward swept design near the ricasso leans it forward, giving it momentum and push, with a tendency toward action rather than stagnation.   Inaction is a hallmark of fear, darkening our lustre, but her polish shines.  These high polishes are time consuming and I do them all by hand.  I sit with my fears and I’m always glad I did.

This is the lesson of this incantation of the Precedent.  Go into that haunted house.  The feeling of fear isn’t something to be avoided and is something that is best leaned into.  These days I look for the fear and start there.  I always find love on the other side.

O1 tool steel:
Early grinding:
Post heat treat polishing:
Black Palm
Clamped right proper….


The Precedent, Mark II:




Lean into the things that scare you.

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