Integral Composite Mosaic Damascus Gyuto


The creation and use of tools is part of what defines human beings and separates us from other primates. The knife, it could be argued, was the first tool; now used throughout the world daily, it has become an essential part of the human existence.


Sam Gleeson’s submission showcases a progressive pathway of skills inspired by centuries old bladesmith techniques pushed into the modern age. Working with carefully selected base materials, each completed blade represents the development in understanding of metal fusion and forging, from necessity to extravagance of design.


In response to the ‘Pathways’ theme, Sam’s three pieces identify the journey of human need through creation, to refinement and efficiency, arriving at achievement for the sake of expression – being able to use heritage skills and apply them with a modern craft interpretation is what fuels my daily desire to work – looking into history to inform the future. 


The blade shown here is a composite mosaic damascus integral Gyuto. There are very few smiths working these techniques in Europe and the completion of a blade using steel in this manner is the pinnacle of skill and understanding of metal, fire, maths, craft, design and dedication.


Description: 220mm Mosaic composite damscus steel blade – pattern is formed from series of forge-weldings, twists and reorientations of the 2 different steel types. With an integral bolster and full distal taper forged into blade length. Bi-lateral S grind for food release, fully ergonomic handle shaped to give balance point on the bolster for precision use, full acid etch to give pattern contrast sharpened on Japanese whetstones.


Materials: 15n20 (bright) and 1084 (dark) high carbon steel blade, Vintage linen micarta and cow bone bolster with wind-felled Irish Oak from the Ballymaloe House Estate


Artist Bio

Sam Gleeson is a bladesmith; he creates knives as contemporary tools to be used in the professional kitchen and the home to prepare meals, to be enjoyed for their creativity as well as their purpose.


The craft of bladesmithing includes metalworking techniques similar to those used by blacksmiths, woodworking for handles and sheathes and leatherworking for rolls or cases. The process is elemental – earth for the ore, air to fuel the forge, fire to heat the steel and water to quench the blade; being able to work at such a base understanding in the modern age is inspiring in itself.


Sam is motivated by materials and the story they hold – giving new purpose to found and recycled steels and incorporate them into his work using centuries old forge-welding techniques to blend and twist them together. High carbon steels sandwiched between found gems; wrought iron cart wheels, whiskey barrel straps, limbs from long forgotten orchards, 300 year old storm-damaged trees from Irish Estate Houses or bog found relics of mellenia old forests brought back to life.


Sam has arrived at creating an individual expression of a common tool.