James Hunter

I lost one of a set of  swords that I had been using in “Circus Bizarre” since 1999 when in Italy for  “Guinness Records Italy “in early 2009 and  tried unsuccessfully to  buy in a replacement from Malaysia  where  I had purchased the set sometime around 1998. Apparently they have strict export restrictions on weapons that terrorists may use. Me, well I had just been lucky I guess when I bought them back as unaccompanied luggage.


I had tried to find a blacksmith to make me a replacement and had searched the greater Newcastle area to no avail. At the point of giving up I was given Will’s name by a local engineering business and so came to meet Will.


Not only did I find Will to be a blacksmith and as my grand dad was a blacksmith, I have more than a passing familiarity with the trade, but Will is an Artistic Blacksmith. What a find he has turned out to be.


Will fashioned a sword for me that in the blade is so close to the originals as to be undistinguishable at anything except very close examination. He has finished the blade ready for plaiting and the job of finishing is worthy of the best metal polishers.


All very well one may say, but it is the handle that is the real “Masterpiece”.  I had asked for a steel handle  of a similar  shape to the  cast plastic originals with a view to painting it black. What I ended up with is something that  is superficially similar but with  shaping and  touches to the  end that  mean I am going to plate the whole thing and  will have something that I would be proud to show in any company.


As I do use the sword for chopping watermelons, both in our show and for the odd Guinness Record the balance of the sword is very important and in this aspect the sword by Will is just so superior that comparison is pointless. He has the “Sweet Spot” in exactly the place where I would have asked for it if I had thought to ask.


So there you have it. A superb job by a great artisan in the true tradition of both blacksmithing and art.


Thank you Will from myself and the cast at Circus Bizarre. We will give the sword a  real test run with the Adelaide Fringe 2013 season !!