5 Day Japanese Sword Making Techniques with Jesus Hernandez

The Magic and the Science of Hamon: Japanese-style differential hardening.

During this 5 Day class it is my intention to teach you everything I know about HAMON. I want you to go back home and be able to create beautiful and stunning hamon patterns with the practical and theoretical knowledge gathered at this class. And to be able to do so not only because you learn how to clay coat a blade but because you knew why you were doing it.

We will prep some blade blanks and understand the importance of steel choice and blade profile in hamon development. We will prep some clay and understand the importance of clay composition, thickness and layout. We will work through the magic of clay designs and how the affect the final hamon pattern from no clay to intricate designs. We will learn the principles of yaki-ire: the hardening process both in oil and water. Finally, will learn how to polish and etch the blade to show the most intricate details of the hamon.


Day 1.- Developing a systematic way of dealing with hamon creation in a new shop. Creating a set of “test steel plates” to match steel-to-clay-to-quenchant-to hamon. We will do the hardening of the test plates this day, as well as some foundation grinding, polishing and etching.

Day 2.- With the knowledge gain from Day 1 each student will proceed to blade profiling and setting the geometry in the blades we plan to harden. Each student will be given 3 forged blades (longish and wider than usual tanto) to grind to pre-hardening shape. We will then go over clay mix and lay-out.

Day 3.- Differential hardening. The blades prepared the day before will be quenched in the morning while we learn about choice of quenchants. Later on, there will be an initial grinding to see the results.

Day 4.- Polishing steps and why. This will be a modern approach using modern abrasives.

Day 5.- There will a chance to continue finishing the work from the days before and we will sit down to review the scientific reasons as to why things happen the way they do.

Owen “Jesus is one of the most thoughtful makers I know , his work is both subtle and deeply beautifull. He has done amazing Viking patternwelding (using a computer to deconstruct the patterns) and wonderful work on celtic Falcata. But he is best know for his work with Japanese swords both in monosteel and his own bloomery steel. He has pursued many martial arts and was a Shinkendo instructor for several years. His understanding of the myriad of different techniques that interplay when hardening steel to create Hamon is second to none.”

DATES 2020 

7th – 11th September 2020….FULL

The cost of the class is £1100

To secure a place on one of these courses please send a 50% deposit……… £550

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Jesus Hernandez

I normally schedule my classes 6 months ahead so if you are interested in this class later on in the year please enquire as I most probably have future dates that are not yet on the website.

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