Meet our bladesmith Greg Marr

Greg is one of only a few sword makers in Edinburgh and has worked with The Knight’s Vault since Autumn 2016.

How did you get into the bladesmith craft?

I started making small knives and sgian dubhs in September 2011. Since 2014, I have been forging blades and using the stock removal process in my workshop based in Edinburgh’s Leith area.

What do you enjoy most about the industry?

I can wake up in the morning with an idea for a project and by the evening I can be holding the bare blade in my hands (Or, if it doesn’t work, a piece of scrap!). The job is challenging and unpredictable, but the reward of holding your creation at the end of the day is incredible.

What training have you had?

I was an apprentice of one of Scotland’s well-respected bladesmiths. There were, and still aren’t, any formal or recognised sword and knife-making apprenticeships or training programs. Some bladesmiths teach classes in their own time to help keep our cultural heritage and knowledge of the craft alive.

What’s your favourite item at The Knight’s Vault?

A piece I completed recently – this Oakeshott type XVIIIa arming sword with blue guard and pommel. This was one sword I just did not want to part with!

What does a typical day of work consist of?

A typical day at work (after my morning coffee) usually starts off by checking emails and ordering supplies. Then, I start work on my next blade, gathering the required steel and other materials. For example, today I am designing and making hilts for a dirk and sgian dubh set which will soon be available at The Knight’s Vault.

What is your personal sword making style?

Over the last year I have been focusing on reviving historic patterns as well as trying out new techniques or finishes to expand my knowledge.

Each piece I make, whether forged or from bar stock, is completely handmade. I also incorporate my woodwork and leatherwork skills to ensure everything that can be made in-house is made at our workshop in Edinburgh.

What are your interests outside of work?

Catching up with friends, taking part in historical re-enactment with The Knights of Monymusk, the occasional roller disco, watching films and camping in the North of Scotland.

Do you have any advice you would give to someone interested in bladesmithing career?

Try your luck with any local bladesmiths and find out if they are willing to take on any apprentices. If you don’t ask you don’t get! Some bladesmiths also offer lessons and weekend courses. In the meantime, there are plenty of online forums where you can pick up knowledge from bladesmiths and sword makers all over the world.

I would also suggest taking up historical fencing to get a feel of the weight and measure of blades and how they move.

Why not take a look at some of Greg’s handmade swords here?