FAQ - Frequently asked questions
What does the Japanese calligraphy on the contact page mean?
It reads 'zuiteppitsu' following the iron brush and is a combination of a very old literary term 'zuihitsu', following, or led by the brush, and 'teppitsu', a poetic term for a metalworkers chisel.

I want to learn this craft can you help me?
Due to poor health and the more pressing demands of my own interests I am no longer available to offer classes or private instruction. There is a large library of detailed instructional film on the craft on my YouTube channel. You could also join our Patreon channel and thereby support our ongoing film production; https://www.patreon.com/FordHallam
I'm having difficulty getting reliable information on a technique I'm trying to teach myself. Can you offer some advice?
I'm afraid I can't personally deal with all of these types of inquiries so I would direct you to my forum, www.followingtheironbrush.org
By using the search function you'll unearth a wealth of useful material and If you'd care to join the forum you can send the admin an email and we'll get you set up. Note: Due to technical issues I haven't been able to resolve as yet the forum is not available at present.
There's a Facebook group set up for students who'd been following the various tutorial series' we've already posted to YouTube. You'll find them by searching FaceBook under "Ford Hallam and Following the Iron Brush study group"

I'm looking for a book on Japanese metalwork, can you give me the titles of some?
There's nothing that I could recommend as being of any real practical use, I'm afraid. You'll find more useful and clearer material on my forum.
Are you looking for an apprentice?
Probably not.

 

I'm interested in buying a tsuba I saw on another website. Could you advise me if it's a 'good deal' or if it's genuine, please?
In the past I've happily given my opinion on this sort of thing but I'm afraid that it's starting to take up too much time for me to offer this as a 'free service' any longer. If you're interested in engaging my services as a consultant please contact me to discuss my fees.
What would it cost to have some fittings made for my sword?
I no longer make fittings to order.
 
Do you take on commissions?
I'm no longer able to accept commission work based on the design briefs of clients.