10 April 2013
I am not taking custom orders at this time, nor will I be taking any further orders for the foreseeable future.  I will continue to make knives and swords and these will be posted prominently on the website. 

3 August 2012
Over the past several months I have alluded to unspecified health difficulties and sometimes spoken of migraines and problems with production.  There has been some speculation about this and now some rumors have started. After consulting with my wife I feel that the time has come to 'read you all in' on what is going on.

Many years ago I was in the Army.  During the course of my service I had some unpleasant experiences that resulted in my having clinical depression and PTSD.  No, I will not discuss those experiences online; please don't ask.   These  medical conditions went undiagnosed and untreated until October of last year when matters came to a head and I suffered a breakdown of sorts.  I was unable to work and quickly got help from the Veteran's Administration's health care services and have been under treatment for these conditions since early this year.  In this period my migraines also increased in frequency to an average of 3 per week, also seriously interfering with my ability to work.  Between October of last year and May of this year I probably spent a total of less than 20 days in the shop working.  It has been a terribly difficult decision but after much soul-searching and consulting with my therapist and close friends I have applied for VA disability. It appears that I am likely to receive this some time in the next few months.

I have been encouraged by my therapist to view my issues as an injury rather than a mental illness but the practical effects have been the same.  I have had a great deal of difficulty working on projects that do not 'inspire me.'   When i have forced myself to work on them the results have been less good than I am happy with or than my customers deserve (or would be happy with)  There are also problems with supplies and materials in the shop; as you can imagine my medical issues have had a disastrous effect on our finances and resupplying has been very, very difficult and infrequent.  This has all combined to put me massively behind on my custom orders, some of which are prepaid.  Eventually I will need to complete these orders or repay the persons that made them but at the moment it seems that I can do neither.  Circumstances are such that I can offer no firm timeline for doing either, which bothers me a great deal but these issues will be dealt with when and as I am able to.

For now my treatment and recovery progresses and I am doing what I can as I can in the shop.  On the good side I have reconnected with my passion for my work.  My recovery however proceeds in fits and starts and I sometimes encounter unexpected pitfalls that need to be worked through before I can move on.  I do feel sure that I will make swords again; it is difficult to describe but I can feel a building pressure to do so.  I cannot predict exactly when I will make swords again but I am certain that it will occur sooner rather than later.

I am not revealing all of this to appeal for sympathy, assistance or donations or to make excuses for my conduct; but rather to explain where things stand and to scotch any rumors before they percolate and spread.  I do need to appeal for further patience from those that I owe work to; i will deal with outstanding debts and other issues as rapidly as I can.  I apologize for the inevitable inconvenience and difficulty that this will cause; I made promises that I could not keep and for this I am profoundly sorry.

As for the future I will need to make fundamental changes to my business and the way that I do things.  I have had to make significant adjustments to my life and those will be reflected in the way I operate my business.  I cannot be sure that i can keep artificial deadlines so the plan at this point is to largely stop taking custom orders.  the consequences of making promises that I cannot be certain of keeping are unacceptable to all concerned.  I will continue to work and to sell the products of that work on my website.  This absolutely includes swords. 

This does means that it may be more difficult for customers to get exactly what they want.  The trade-off is that the pieces that I do offer will be without compromise; I will no longer be 'building to price' or arbitrarily limiting my creativity.  I have always been an artisan rather than an artist but there is and will continue to be a greater emphasis on 'art' in my work.  

If you encounter any further rumors about me on the internet please be so kind as to refer them to this post.  If you have any questions feel free to ask them but bear in mind that I may choose not to answer.