This has been finished for a little while now but I'd not got round to taking some decent pictures until this morning. I'm still not satisfied that the full depth of colour and tonal variation has been captured but for now these will have to do.
The patina is built up using 4 different process ( 2 of which are my own secrets
) but the second step is a straight forward iro-age
You may be able to discern the crystalline structure around the top of the nakago-ana
in the close up. This, larger form, is called kesho
Part of the total variation of the patina is helped by the finer crystal of the surface of the metal. This is what I've been after and why I've been going to all that trouble forging out water cast ingots.
The kara-kusa pattern is inlaid fine gold wire and started out as 0.2mm in diameter...and no, I am not going to explain how I managed to inlay such thin wire and still have it end up in relief. It's magic.