Custom Gendai Tsuba
Finding the right fittings can be challenging when mounting your sword. Generally, one is limited to finding a reproduction that lacks feel of a handmade work, or an antique tsuba that is of quality suitable for mounting and use if desired. The choice can be a compromise and finding the perfect design and size can be difficult, time consuming, and frustrating.
In response to this, Legacy Arts now offers custom iron, copper, and shakudo tsubas crafted by a Japanese Tsubako. These tsuba provide a new avenue of choices that can be far better than settling for what is available off the shelf. The example works shown in iron are tsuba made to our specifications of design element, shape, diameter, and thickness. Some were inspired by designs in private collections or illustrated in well known reference texts. Others are designs specifically requested as “one of a kind” tsuba for clients.
Each tsuba is meticulously pierced, sawn, filed, and finished by hand. Iron is patinated to a charcoal black, durable finish by traditional patination methods. The patination process alone can take months to complete. Copper tsubas are patinated to varied shades of browns, and Shakudo to deep crow’s feather blue blacks. The iron tsubas are also fitted with “sekigane”, or copper inserts at the ha and mune sides of the nakago ana. This not only facilitates fitting the tsuba to the nakago more easily, but also serves to protect the nakago from fictional iron to steel contact points. Many old nakago display a small depression in the tsuba areas called “tsubazuri” because of this.
The designs are limited to pierced renderings, with polished or stoned textured surface and limited surface detailing, and elements such as raised rims. Elements such as engravings, metal on-lay or inlay, or high detail sculpture works, are not available. Designs are also limited to the desire of the maker who enjoys traditional Japanese styled and oriented works. Fantasy, Anime, Manga or other cult followings need not apply.
Prices are subjective in custom works, especially when one considers the costs of materials such as gold which is a component of Shakudo. It is not unusual for an unworked plate of shakudo to cost as much as $2000.00 or more. Intricacy and elaboration of the piercing, texture, and shaping equates to time invested as well. For iron, the general prices start at $450.00 and increases with complexity.
When inquiring, it is best to have a jpg image or drawing of the desired design, with length, width, and thickness of plate at the seppadai to the nearest one half millimeter. If you are unsure of your design or would like some assistance, I can help create a tsuba with you based on a consultation fee. Lead times for production vary, but iron tsubas generally require about 4-6 months for delivery from submission of finalized design. Most of this is due to patination time required.
To inquire about having a tsuba made contact me by email.