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Ford Hallam

2013 NBSK competition results

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It gives me huge pleasure to announce that fellow NMB member and all round top bloke Andrew Ickeringill is now officially

:D

 

For those of you who don't know him Andrew has been an in house apprentice (uchi-deshi) to top polisher Sasaki Sensei. He's been working away for 5 years now and this year his Master gave him permission to submit one of his works in the annual NBSK competition for Shinsaku works. This is a pretty big deal because it's usually 7 years before such permission is granted. It was time though and Andrew can explain the details himself, this is from an email I received this morning.

 

I submitted a katana by Omi Daijo Tadahiro which I polished towards the end of last year. It's a textbook example of his work in suguha, I was very pleased with how it turned out, I was especially happy with the jigane.

The results of the competition have just been officially announced and I'm very proud (absolutely shaking with excitement) to tell you all that I've been awarded a gold prize!!

 

As his friend and as someone who knows how hard this path is over there I am personally thrilled to bits for Andrew and immensely proud. So proud in fact that I'll be helping him celebrate on the 8th of June. We'll drink to your health Gentlemen. 8)

 

 

And in other breaking news I can also add that I've been awarded the top gold prize for my own entry, the 'Dragonfly Glade' tsuba, I posted images of recently. :)

 

I'd like to thank everyone who's supported me on my own journey either through direct commissions and work and also the numerous words of appreciation and support you've plied me with. I think I can speak for Andrew too when I say; none of us can do it alone, so thanks to you all.

 

regards,

 

Ford

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:clap: :clap: :clap:

Congrats Andrew! Met him once in Japan, and he is a great guy. Amazing to have a Westerner (actually 2) recognised in Japan like this. I hope we can send NMB members your way for polishing in the future Andrew.

And Ford, who won not just a gold prize, but the top gold prize for this tsuba viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15666 has firmly established that this isn't just a field for native Japanese, and great work cannot be sidelined. Congrats to you both, and to the NBSK judges for rewarding great work. (and firmly putting most of it beyond our own budgets now :steamed: :bang: )

 

Well done guys!

 

Brian

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And in other breaking news I can also add that I've been awarded the top gold prize for my own entry, the 'Dragonfly Glade' tsuba, I posted images of recently. :)

 

in fact it's not a big surprise for us cause your job in this tsuba is awesome!!! :bowdown:

 

congratulations!! :clap: :clap:

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In the modern world where quality and aesthetics are too often sacrificed for low cost of production, it is a great pleasure to hear about the success of these two devoted artists and craftsmen. I am always fascinated how Ford succeeds so well in mastering both the difficult and time-consuming metalworking methods as well as the creative process producing extremely aesthetic works of art! :bowdown:

 

Veli

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Wow.... congratulations to the both you. I have the utmost respect for level you guys have excelled to in your respective arts - must have taken an incredible amount of diligence and discipline not to mention raw talent.

 

On a side note - that means we finally get a trained togishi down in Australia and a skilled one at that!

 

Matt

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It makes me feel as if some of my family have shown themselves for the talent they have, that's what it means to me on the sidelines. I remember Andrew at Sasaki sensei's when he was plodding through all the rotten early stuff, good show. Ford, what can I say, well deserved. :bowdown: to you both. John

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Hi Everyone,

 

Congrulations to Andrew and Ford. Keep up the good work. :D

 

 

 

Yours truly,

David Stiles

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Congratulations to both Ford and Andrew - well done! Ford, I missed the discussion of the Tombo tsuba. It is really wonderful. Cheers, Bob

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Congratulations Ford! Excellent work - the journey continues - you are in the fast lane. Funny how after many many years an artist is discovered as if the work happended in an instant. As a follower of yours and proud owner of two of your tsuba I am overjoyed by the well-deserved recognition. I hope that this win will give the competition the kick in the rear causing them to raise their game. I look forward to seeing the next level in this upward journey.

I congratulate Andrew Ickeringill whose work I have yet to see. Five years in this endeavour is not a long time. You can only get better and better.

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Thank you all, gents. As many of you know it's a long and sometimes lonely path we tread, blokes like Andy and I, but your encouragement and support goes a long way to keep us on track. :)

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Congratulations to both of you! Will the NBSK will post an online gallery of the competition results with the artist's submissions?

 

Regards,

Lance

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:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

 

PS... Not that I don't like Pete's pic of Andrew, but I'm sure we would all love to see his work if anyone has any pics of that...

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Fantastic news!

 

Andy, mate, what can I say but YOU BLOODY BEUWTY!! , TOP EFFORT MATE!! To win a top award with a classic Hizento is no easy feat. The jigane must be awesome.

 

Ford congratulation again. Anyone who gives you a commission is not only receiving top quality workmanship, high artistic merit, but is making a great future investment in my opinion. Your work is stunning, well deserved.

 

Can I add that another board member from Australia, Cameron Appleford received a Nyusen award in the habaki competition. This means that his habaki was considered of high enough standard to compete and is usually the first award achieved by a craftsman. This is Kam's first entry and no easy feat considering some entrants this year were classed Rakusen, and not approved of entry into the competition. Well done mate, Kam is so excited he already plans to enter the shirasaya competition next year as well!

 

What great news, a perfect start to the week! I have some pictures of Andy's work on my home computer, I'll post some tonight.

 

cheers,

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Wow...anyone care to kantei that hada? :lol:

Lovely polish!

What on earth are those other fantasy blades?

And congrats Kam! Yet another success for the expansion of the skills.

 

Brian

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Well done Andrew and Ford. I have met Andrew a couple of times at D T I and he kindly translates my occasional correspondence with Sasaki sensei. I guess with a teacher of Sasaki's quality and character, you have a very good chance of success.

Best wishes

Clive Sinclaire

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Thanks everyone for your comments, it’s fantastic to receive all this encouragement!! Thanks especially to Ford for posting this thread and sharing the good news, I appreciate the support a great deal.

 

And congratulations to Ford for his gold prize (again!), a truly remarkable effort!! Your skill and decades of hard work is evident in your tsuba for all to see, a modern day master.

 

Also congrats to Cameron Appleford on receiving nyusen for his habaki. I met Kam at the Sydney shinsa and he impressed me with how eager he was to learn, so I offered to help him organize some training in Japan. He came to the NBSK sword craft workshop last year in Nagano where he was guided by the very best sayashi and shiroganeshi in Japan, he also studied habaki privately under a very skilled craftsman and friend of mine. Kam has improved his skills a great deal and shows the hunger to continue to do so, well done!!

 

There may be a lot of people on this forum who do not know of me, that’s completely understandable considering I haven’t posted in years, however I’ve been a member since the early days when Rich Turner was running the site. My training here in Japan keeps me incredibly busy which is why I don’t get a chance to post on the forum, but I do sometimes have a little look, credit to Brian for running it so well, it can’t be easy!!

 

Anyway, just a brief intro… I’ve been serving in a traditional apprenticeship under Sasaki Takushi for 5 years now, based in Misato, Saitama. I am part of the Nagayama Kokan branch of the Honami tradition, my sensei served as an apprentice to Nagayama Kokan who was a living national treasure togishi.

 

For those asking for pics of the prize winning sword, you will have to wait until the exhibition catalogue is released unfortunately. The NBSK may upload the catalogue images on their website, I’m not sure. I didn't think to take any pics of the blade myself before I submitted it, but maybe I can take some after the exhibition if I get a chance.

 

The pictures above posted by Adrian are from a wakizashi I polished over a year ago, a friend here in Japan had found the sword in the wall behind the family shrine in his house. It was badly rusted and completely bent out of shape.

 

It's not what we would consider an art sword, however it held deep sentimental value to the family and so my sensei allowed me to take it on.

 

It's mumei, late shinshinto, a low-rank smith, possibly made as a boys day sword, basically wakimono but it shows traits similar to Bungo Takada. It came out very well considering the condition it was previously in, and the fact that it’s not a high quality sword, the steel is weak and the hamon dull, however a good polish can work wonders!!

 

Anyways, I do hope to be able to post here more often in the future, I will continue to drop in whenever I can, thanks again everybody!!

 

Oh and FYI, the NBSK competition exhibition will be held at the Okura Museum of Art in Tokyo June 8th – July 28th, it’s well worth a visit, please stop by!!

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Congrads to both of you, it is a long journey that you have started on. As you continue this journey, I hope your skill as well as your spirit grow as it will reflect itself in your works! Omedetou!

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Andrew,

Please do pop round here more often.

Wow...if that is what a Bungo-to hada can look like...I have new respect for them :)

They have said there were ties between Hizen and Bungo swords....and that hada almost looks like a Hizento to me...so I think you did a great job with the hada.

Look forward to hearning more from you and seeing more work. I have a feeling you won't lack customers.

 

Brian

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Congratulations Andrew and Ford. Good to see that the Aussies and South Africans can match it with the best.

Also congratulations to Cam Appleford, Great stuff.

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Hi all,

 

Well what a big start to the week.Firstly congratulations to Andrew and Ford, Ford your work is truly stunning, it was a well deserved win with an outstanding Tsuba!

Andrew actually snipered me with the news of him getting gold by making a mention at the very bottom of an email when he casually informed me of my Habaki getting Nyusen. . . . he must of been struggling not to burst with excitement. Actually in typical Andrew fashion Andrew has played down how much assistance he provided me while I was in Japan going beyond what I would have expected from anybody including helping with translation to introducing me to some amazing craftsman.

So Andrew I have to say a big Thankyou for not only your assistance while I was there but also for pushing me to enter the comp especially with a Habaki, also to the Habakishi that offered not only his time, materials and equipment but also showed me his personal approach to the craft (these things are usually kept secret).

I would like to also make a big mention and thankyou to Adrian Schlemmer who has supported and encouraged me in my pursuits over the last 7 or so years that I have known him and also for introducing and recommending me to Andrew.

In regards to the Habaki I entered I have put up a couple of pics and some info on my Blog. . . . sorry but they are only iphone pics, I will hopefully post up some better ones here in the next few days. I have much more to say but I am so pressed for time my head is not keeping up. . . might have to follow up when I can think clearly.

 

Regards

 

Kam

 

PS love the new additional smileys

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