Photo Credit: Photos | Seth Cosmo

VIDEO: Artist Revives the Lost Art of Swirling Steel

Seth Cosmo is bringing a medieval job into the modern era

Knifemaking blends love for metallurgy, blacksmithing, woodworking, and science into functional works of art

Blacksmithing is a lost art, but Seth Cosmo is bringing it back to Salt Spring Island.

He first got interested in metalworking as a teenager.

“My first exposure to working with metal was in a mechanics shop at age 16. At 19 years old, I restored a 56 Chevy pickup truck which involved learning the art and techniques of gas welding and fabrication. I made my first custom-ordered knife out of the Chevy leaf spring. That was the beginning.”

Since then, he’s honed his craft and now makes countless unique pieces from distinctly swirled and patterned Damascus Steel and mocume (a Japanese technique combining non-ferrous metals.)

He creates everything from pokers to wedding rings, but his real passion is knifemaking.

Daggers, pocket knives, kitchenware – he’s making them.

“He fell in love with knifemaking because it combined his passion for metallurgy, blacksmithing, woodworking and science with the freedom and creativity to make functional pieces of art,” says his website.

He’s produced over 3,700 knives since he started working on them in 1998 and has shared his entire process in this video. It’s a feast for the senses from beginning to end.

Cosmo came from a family of artists and architects, knowing from an early age that he wanted to create beautiful things with his hands.

He made his first ordered knife–an 8″ dagger– with the guidance of long-time Salt Spring Islander George Brewer.

“George was an incredible blacksmith and craftsman. He taught me a lot about forging and designing. Amazing man.”

You can find more of his work on his website. On Salt Spring, he’s become a part of local lore and continues his journey of designing beautiful, functional and timeless objects.