25 Aug


Hafting is the process of attaching a handle to an edged, or swinging tool to make it more useful – the handle simply allows greater leverage on the blade and delivers force to the business end. I hafted this Sashimi knife as a gift for a lovely couple – Urmila Roy and John Craggs –  who married yesterday in a lovely Roman Catholic church. Today the marry again to honour Urmila’s Hindu traditions.



Just as a simple wooden handle makes a blade useful, so a marriage creates an entity greater than the sum of the two parts, the one providing a fulcrum for the ambitions and dreams of the other. Catholic and Hindu, musician and doctor – annealed.

The wooden furniture including the box and Bangladeshi ‘U” for Urmila sprung from my hands, but, the blade was created by a Japanese master blade smith from fine Damascus steel. The design is a ‘Santoku’ designed to slice raw fish or meat very cleanly, the indentations or ‘Tsuchime’ prevent the meat from clinging to the blade during slicing. It worked fine on their wedding cake.

I make no claim to manufacturing the whole artefact – I am no blade smith unlike my gifted friend Will Ferraby, as my contribution is only a little wood, but I do claim to add utility through union – to give purchase for the hand.

The name Urmila means ‘enchantress’ and John meaning ‘of God’s grace (after Saint John the Baptist) in marrying each other  they have created gracious enchantment – a noble hafting. A toast to their union!


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