The journey of an apprentice is a long and hard road, with many hours of thankless work under a master that at some point will hopefully be surpassed in skill and knowledge. Here’s an interview with a Western student learning Japanese bladesmithing from an Eastern expert. The folks over at Merchants and Makers took the time to talk with Eric Chevallier, apprentice at Sasuke Blacksmith Works, Sakai, Osaka to see what it looks like to commit to the pursuit of something so completely that it truly becomes you.
Although it’s a big step to commit to a decade-long (or longer) journey in a craft, there’s something natural about picking a skill and honoring it’s development so completely. The thought that a craftsman moves to an expert through time, practice, and observation of things done right is logical and inspirational. While I don’t have the opportunity to sit under an expert, I have plenty of experienced makers who enjoy teaching everything they know. Do you have anyone willing to give you a hand in increasing your skill set? Take the time and learn everything you can!