A Whale Tooth Sgian Dubh

Whale Tooth Sgian Dubh
Here’s an unusual and very special commission, the handle is made from a whale tooth which was recovered by our customer from the carcass of a beached sperm whale. The back of the handle and the box are made from 5300 year old bog oak. The blade is made from Swedish Damasteel from the foundry we visited earlier in the year. On the lid of the box is an Iona Marble pebble found by the son, set in Sterling Silver and engraved with a personal message.
This was a very unusual and challenging project for me; however I enjoyed working with our customer to develop and shape his design and ideas and I’m very happy with the way it all came together.
Whale Tooth Sgian Dubh in bog oak box

David, who commissioned this Sgian Dubh has kindly emailed the following;
“How to mark our sons 18 birthday? As a family we had shared many action packed weekends and holidays always taking back a memory, a stone, a piece of wood, a bit of rusted iron or once a bronze bolt found in a ships timber. Sea kayaking had taken us to many places on the west coast; Sandwood bay, the Monach Isles, Jura and Iona to name a few.  The idea of a handmade sgian dubh incorporating some of the materials collected in his youth was the simple part.  Finding someone with the hand skills, artistic talent and heart to bring the project alive was going to have to be down to Google.  To my amazement across the hill from Strathglass, in Glen Urquhart (the territory of our Shinty rivals) Google suggested Rainnea, run by Rab and Tanya Gordon.  Proximity and an appealing website had to be weighed against a prejudice that originates from of the first ever games of shinty !
I arrived with a whale tooth, some bog oak a pebble from Iona and a bronze bolt.  Rab and Tanya engaged in the project with deep respect for the significance to our family, they invested thought and care in every detail, listened to ideas and when required took time to reflect.  The result is unique in more ways than I can express and goes well beyond the obvious hand of the master craftsman.  The project has given me the deepest respect for Rab at many levels, not least that he takes the time to understand what is required and has the ability to deliver.”

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