Tag Archives: Obsidian

Obsidian Sgian Dubh

Obsidian Bladed Sgian DubhHere’s a very interesting commission I undertook for David, a Geologist from Canada, who wished to a have a Sgian Dubh made with an obsidian blade (obsidian being a volcanic glass) and incorporate a pommel stone from his family’s ancestral croft.
Obsidian Bladed Sgian Dubh
We were fortunately able to have a knapped obsidian blade made to my drawing by Tony Stanfield in Oregon and incorporate that into an Ebony handle I carved with a cross-hatch weave. I sent this down to a skilled leather worker, Terry Osborne in Northumberland who made a lovely leather sheath, wet molded to perfectly fit the knapped blade.
For the pommel stone, on a lovely summer’s day we took a family outing and visited the old croft at Caphluich, Tarvie which was built by David’s great-great-great-grandfather around 1800, although sadly now it’s just ruins. We sent a small rock from there to Renato Forno at Scottish Gemstones who cut and polished it to fit our Sterling Silver ferrule top band which was hallmarked with our maker’s mark at the Edinburgh Assay Office.
I fitted the lower ferrule band which I had engraved with a Celtic knot design and finished the handle off with silver pins to the front only for sake of comfort when worn against the leg. This has been a lovely collaborative project to work on and David has kindly allowed us to publish the email he sent when he received his Sgian Dubh;
“It is with great joy that I announce the arrival of SGRS16 to its new home in Canada! …I turned it over in my hands smiling the while. I slid off the black wet-formed sheath to expose the black blade (black in reflected light!) I held the blade up to the light and joy of joys, there is a powerful striped texture to the depth of the blade. The ebony handle is comfortable to the hand, the seven pins handily identify the front of the haft, and the carved ebony just adds to the overall effect. Rab, my sgian dubh is nothing short of magnificent!
Thank you so much… Cheers, David”
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