Memories of Tanzania Dagger

Jun 11, 2010
Just got my pics back from Whetstone Studios this morning of this dagger I made for some special friends.

We used to live near each other in Tanzania, so nearly every piece of this project has a Tanzania connection. The damascus pattern evokes carvings found on door frames along the coast (Salem Straub did this for me and nailed it). Handle is African Blackwood, a Tanzania native tree. The bronze pommel is patterned after spikes found on fancy doors in Zanzibar. The woven beads are common in Maasai jewelry, and in this case are woven in a zig zag motif common to Islamic art. The sheath throat also calls to mind arches of doorways in mosques and Islamic areas of the country. The goat leather came from a tannery near Mt Kilimanjaro that was down the road from me. I picked it up probably 15 yrs ago and have been saving it for something special. Even the ridges that hold the beads in place have some significance; they're made from hair ties I stole from my daughter, who was actually conceived at these friends' house while they were away and we were house sitting. That might be TMI...

Anyway, they're special folks. When they asked for a knife "to remember our time in Tanzania together by" I think they were thinking a kitchen parer or something, but this is what they're getting. I have a feeling they'll be surprised.

Nov 14, 2016
Saw this baby in person. Man. If only a picture could capture how amazing the finish was on this piece. Perfectly shiny 15n20 with jet black amazing contrast. Unbelievably well executed!