I have only done a handful of collaborations with other knifemakers over the years, because without a common vision at the outset the finished piece can lack the continuity it needs. But Matt Gregory (mgregoryknives.com) has been a good friend for many years and this Presentation Tanto project was the result of a lot of back and forth to come up with the UKFT (Unified Knife Field Theory - the theory of everything about these knives), an we were both very happy with the outcome. This unique project is being offered as six essentially identical pieces, not to be repeated.
Disclaimer: I'm not Japanese, therefore any claim that these blades are traditional is nonsense, but we wanted to incorporate the essence and the spirit of tradition while being free to add our own spin in the design.
The Tanto blade, often seen in the west as a small tactical blade with a harshly chisel pointed blade is contrary to the spirit of the much longer, sword-shaped blade carried as a tertiary weapon by the Samurai and most darkly known as the blade used for seppuku (ritual suicide) by the dishonored warrior. (Not a recommended use. Any use of these blades for suicide, ritual or otherwise will void its warranty and will guarantee that we can no longer be friends).
The blades are my Laminated Steel (410 stainless / 80CRV2 core), forged in such a way as to give a rearward slant to the lamination line - reminiscent of a style seen on blades of one of the great American bladesmiths ever, Don Fogg. The blades are 9" from tip to handle.
The handle is black rayskin wrapped in resin coated cord with a 24K gold plated sterling silver menuki. The handle wrap is one of the best examples of the marriage of traditional Japanese design inspiring a western interpretation.
In honor of this unique collaboration, the blades have some special marks. On the presentation (menuki) side is a logo which integrates both of our initials "FG" into one image designed to look vaguely like a kanji followed by the Japanese kanji for "Knife". The reverse side has "Foster - Gregory" spelled out in the event that the obverse was too obtuse (see what I did there) for posterity. Finally, the words "One of Six" is etched onto the spine of each knife.
The sheath is a simple slip style leather sheath with a new texture developed just for these blades.
Blade length 9.5", overall 15"