Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Sword typology and Edge Weapons forms of the Chinese Empire and related cultures with an emphasis on their relationship to Swordsmanship.

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bond_fan
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:45 pm

Nik said,
You should be looking for highest quality cord, not off-the-shelve stuff.
Easier said than done. At one time Peter Dekkar was able to get some awesome real silk from China in blue color, for which he wrapped a dao handle for me that Phil Tom had made for a restoration project for me, but that source has dried up and I wanted yellow, not blue anyway.

I was in contact with a manufacturing company in China that claimed to be selling real silk on eBay, but it turned out to be polyester, and they ended up not having the sizes I wanted anyway. This company said real silk can be obtained in China, but that one had to be there, because the Chinese were not sending the good stuff outside of the country, because it is highly prized.

It was suggested silk Ito for Japanese swords be used, but that is too thick for a Chinese jian.

Oddly enough the person doing the construction found the above three samples in a fabric store near where he lives. If someone likes the colors I can get it ordered for you while supplies last?

It is not a perfect match, but the best that can be done at this time after I have exhausted my search for the last three months in the USA. The handle can be easily re-wrapped if a better material is found later.

Nik
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Nik » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:44 pm

I'll see if my agent is still around, I lost contact since I didn't import anything for more than a year. However, don't believe everything you're told. I heard ridiculous stories about how high certain things are priced to "all foreigners", and later got the stuff for less than a TENTH of what was asked first. You probably have to go through a chinese agent, who doesn't buy that stories. You get whole silk dresses of good quality for the price of a t-shirt if you know where to buy. Decoration cords of silk which are used in textile industry instead of "sword business" should be cheap, and are basically the same stuff. I got these "expensive" pommel decorations really cheap years ago, and in germany (= 10 times the makers price), as window decoration. It was the same.

You could also ask such a shop for what you are searching, they have the necessary contacts: http://www.mjtrim.com/Catalog/Product/3 ... 31658.aspx

Otherwise, try taobao or alibaba. Sometimes the problem is in using the correct term to search for, as this is probably not known as "jian handle cord wrapping" in the fashion or decoration industry.

bond_fan
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:41 am

If your agent can help that would be cool. BTW I was not searching using jian cord wrap, rather I was using a description like silk cord 4mm 2mm yellow etc.


bond_fan
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:49 pm

It appears it is not thick enough.

Morrisonsfweb
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Morrisonsfweb » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:31 am

Parts of the jian
A guard or hilt protects the hand from an opposing blade. The shape of the guard can be described as short wings pointing either forward or backward. A minority of jian featured the disc-shaped guards associated with dao. A handle behind the guard can accommodate the grip of both hands or one hand plus two or three fingers of the other hand. Two-handed jin of up to 1.6 meters (65") in length, known as shuangshou jian, existed but were not as common as the one-handed version. The longer two-handed handle could be used as a lever to lock the opponent's arm if necessary. Grips are usually of fluted wood or covered in rayskin, with a minority being wrapped with cord.
The end of the handle was finished with a pommel for balance, to prevent the handle from sliding through the hand if the hand's grip should be loosened, and for striking or trapping the opponent as opportunity required such as in "withdrawing" techniques. The pommel was historically peened onto the tang of the blade; thereby holding together as one solid unit the blade, guard, handle, and pommel. Most jian of the last century or so are assembled with a threaded tang onto which the pommel or pommel-nut is screwed.
Sometimes a tassel is attached to the hilt. During the Ming Dynasty these were usually passed through an openwork pommel, and in the Qing through a hole in the grip itself; modern swords usually attach the tassel to the end of the pommel. Historically these were likely used as lanyards, allowing the wielder to retain the sword in combat. There are some sword forms which utilize the tassel as an integral part of their swordsmanship style (sometimes offensively), while other schools dispense with sword tassels entirely. The movement of the tassel may have served to distract opponents, and some schools further claim that metal wires or thin silk cords were once worked into the tassels for impairing vision and causing bleeding when swept across the face. The tassel's use now is primarily decorative.
The blade itself is customarily divided into three sections for leverage in different offensive and defensive techniques. The tip of the blade is the jinfeng, meant for stabbing, slashing, and quick percussive cuts. The jinfeng typically curves smoothly to a point, though in the Ming period sharply angled points were common. Some antiques have rounded points, though these are likely the result of wear. The middle section is the zhongren or middle edge, and is used for a variety of offensive and defensive actions: cleaving cuts, draw cuts, and deflections. The section of blade closest to the guard is called the jingen or root, and is mainly used for defensive actions; on some late period jian, the base of the blade was made into an unsharpened ricasso. These sections are not necessarily of the same length, with the jinfeng being only three or four inches long.
Jian blades generally feature subtle profile taper (decreasing width), but often have considerable distal taper (decreasing thickness), with blade thickness near the tip being only half the thickness of the root's base. Jin may also feature differential sharpening, where the blade is made progressively sharper towards the tip, usually corresponding to the three sections of the blade. The cross-section of the blade is typically that of a flattened diamond with a visible central ridge, though some are lenticular (eye-shaped) instead; ancient bronze jian sometimes have a hexagonal cross-section.
Materials
An iron sword and two bronze swords from the Chinese Warring States Period
Jian were originally made from bronze, then steel as metal technology advanced. There are some, perhaps ceremonial, jian which are carved from a single solid piece of jade.
Traditional jian blades are usually of sanmei (three plate) construction, which involved sandwiching a core of hard steel between two plates of softer steel. The central plate protrudes slightly from its surrounding pieces, allowing for a sharp edge, while the softer spine protects the brittle core. Some blades had wumei or five plate construction, with two more soft plates being used at the central ridge. Bronze jian were often made in a somewhat similar manner: in this case an alloy with a high copper content would be used to make a resilient core and spine, while the edge would be made from a high tin-content alloy for sharpness and welded on to the rest of the blade.
The sword smiths of China are often credited with the forging technologies that traveled to Korea and Japan to allow sword smiths there to create such weapons as the katana. These technologies include folding, inserted alloys, and differential hardening of the edge. While the Japanese would be more influenced by the Chinese do (single-edged swords of various forms), the early Japanese swords known as ken are often based on jian. The Korean version of the jian is known as the geom or gum, and these swords often preserve features found in Ming-era jian, such as openwork pommels and sharply angled tips.
In martial art schools wooden swords are used for training, so most martial arts students' first experience with a jian in modern times is with one of those weapons. In some religious Taoist sects, those wooden practice swords have come to have an esoteric ritual purpose, claimed by some to metaphorically represent the discipline of an accomplished student.
Contemporary jian versions are often forged (shaped with heat and hammer) and assembled by mostly traditional methods for training of practitioners of Chinese martial arts around the world. These jian vary greatly in quality and historical accuracy.
Contemporary jian are also sometimes forgeries (artificially aged and misrepresented as original antiques), for sale to tourists and collectors who cannot distinguish them from true antiques.
Historical use
The first jian used in China were little more than bronze double-edged daggers primarily created for close fighting in closed packed environments such as small towns and cities where spears and polearms might prove inconvenient. By that time, jian swords were made from varying lengths to modern lengths by roughly 500 BCE. Though there is significant variation in length, balance, and weight of the jian from different periods, within any given period the general purpose of the jian is to be a multipurpose cut and thrust weapon capable of stabbing, as well as making both precise cuts and slashes, as opposed to specializing in one form of use. Although the many forms and schools of swordsmanship with the jian vary as well, the general purpose and use is still not lost.
Wushu jian pair event at the 10th All China games
Historical jian wielders would engage in test cutting called shizhan, practicing their skills on targets known as caoren, or "grass men". Such targets were made from bamboo, rice straw, or saplings. This practice was similar to the Japanese art of tameshigiri, but was never formalized to the extent that the latter art was.
Today most Chinese martial arts such as Taijiquan and their martial artists still train extensively with jian swords and expertise in its techniques is said by many of them to be the highest physical expression of their kung fu. However, most jian today are flexible tai-chi or wushu jian used mainly for ceremonial purposes and not for actual combat.
Mythology and legacy
"The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea" The figure on the lower left wears a jian on his back
There are several Taoist immortals who are associated with the jian. One example is L Dongbin. The bodhisattva Majur (Ch: Wnsh) is often depicted holding a jian, which is then referred to as the "sword of wisdom".
Jian frequently appear in wuxia fiction and films. The swords or the techniques used to wield them may be effectively or explicitly supernatural, and the quest for such swords or techniques may be a major plot element.

bond_fan
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:56 pm

Without Morrisonsfweb above explanation I would never know anything about what a jian is...

bond_fan
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:32 pm

The jian arrived today from my mounter, so here are pictures of it. Finally, after about two years I have the completed project and just before Christmas, a present to myself! :lol:

A comparison between the Huanuo Royal Peony with Zitan handle and gold plated fittings (Top) and the Rick Barrett made meteorite jian, with Huanuo Royal Peony fittings, handle made with white same wrapped in mercerized cotton and a custom made dyed red ray skin scabbard of red alder wood:

Image

Overall comparison of the above jians:

Image

Close-up showing the handle wrap. scabbard and blade:

Image

Overall shot of sword with scabbard:

Image

Anyone know where I can buy a hanger and strap for my sword?

Aidan O'Brien
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Aidan O'Brien » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:26 am

That just looks fantastic. I have to say, I do quite like the colours and what I can see of the blade on this monitor.

taiwandeutscher
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by taiwandeutscher » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:28 am

Yes, really nice, much more my taste than the gold plated stuff.
Close-ups of the blade, for Christmas, please?
hongdaozi

bond_fan
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:52 am

Close-ups of the blade are on the first page of the thread.

Tony Mosen
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Tony Mosen » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:17 am

I agree' looks great without the gold...

Nik
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Nik » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:24 am

Looks good. Is that also true rayskin on the Peony, or is that one of the water transfer printed plastic foils I also got from China as "real rayskin" ?

bond_fan
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by bond_fan » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:34 pm

My Sword guy is nationally know and would not put fakes ray skin on it (Red scabbard).

If you are referring to the black scabbard I would have you ask Scott Rodell if it's rolled on stuff or wait for his reply. I can say one can feel grain on the red scabbard, while the black one is consistently smooth.

Nik
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Re: Custom Meteorite Jian Project

Post by Nik » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:39 am

No no, I meant the black one only. I don't think the custom maker cheat like that. My fake one looks real, but where the foil is cut, or where scratches damaged the foil, you can see it's not real skin. And I specifically ordered a sample of REAL ray skin, but got this one. Woohoo.

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