At the start of this month we were saddened to hear that our good friends at Ryujin Swords had several workers and bosses test positive for Covid-19 and while their symptoms were minimal (most were only sick for 3-4 days with a fever and some coughing) the warehouse was reduced to a skeleton crew and we had to temporarily suspend the Ryujin line of Custom swords as the key workers were simply not around..
Well, as the title says – the tests are coming back negative, and as the tests come back, so do the workers – and we are delighted to say that Ryujin is back to business as usual!
First there is a backlog at Ryujin that we are working through, then there are a ton of emails that need urgent attention, and we need to make a few changes and update the site and stock levels (which are, for most of our suppliers, very limited!).
Personally I spent at least 3 hours a day over the holidays working on the site so that there was no mountain of work to come back to – and also unable to see my family being locked away overseas since the pandemic started, had plenty of time up my sleeve..
But it has NOT been a positive start to the year at all. The industry in Longquan is more or less decimated – we warned about this for years, but the eBay guys have stripped it like locusts and we have seen many talented smiths retire or forges change to producing Celedon ceramics. But personally, I am saddest to see Master Michael Ye move on from sword making – and taking all his products from the Forge Direct Line up with him..
The Wuxia line he made for Legendary Swords have been discontinued for a long time. But here are the swords that have since joined the permanently retired archive..
Honestly, it does not leave us with anywhere near as many Forge Direct Chinese Swords to Choose from – and as the industry continues to shrink, chances are so will the number and possibility of obtaining new models..
Anyway, it’s real shame to see him go – and sadly, the writing is on the wall. Many others are soon to follow his lead. He did some amazing work, and was part of the collaborative project to create the fantasy blade the Seraph Aegis with US artisan Jeffrey Robinson
Add to this extremely low stock levels at Hanwei – with restock expected first in November, then December and now, unknown…
But it’s not ALL bad news..
BCI USA advised me that we have a single new and unshipped Zelda inspired Master Sword still in stock! And one that was returned because the customer did not like the construction techniques and was upset that the hilt is 2mm different on one side than the other..
Have a look and tell me if you think it looks terrible or not,
Anyway, you can find them both for sale on the main page of the site. So grab them while you can!!
First off, I posted earlier on Facebook the very sad news that the father of Blade Culture International Mr. Fernando De Guzman Snr passed away Sunday morning at 4am local time.
Fernando with his son
I had the honor of meeting the man personally, and he was a quiet, humble and hard working type. While he was not well known, his work is – think Kris Cutleries best work, because it HIS forge that made all their acclaimed early blades still in demand to this day and who now make under their own name, Kingdom of Arms and Legendary Swords.
The whole family were so kind and so welcoming. So it is with great regret that I advise of his passing and vow to ensure his legacy and BCI live on.
Ryujin Custom Line temporarily on hold
In other news, first one and now two workers at the Ryujin warehouse have contracted Covid-19 and so the warehouse no longer has enough staff to make the custom Katana series until several weeks later.
Neither of the workers are showing severe symptoms, but 2021 isn’t starting off so nicely and feels a lot like 2020 may go on for years..
We will keep you updated of the situation and wish the workers effected a speedy recovery. Take care out there everyone.