Bad Ass. Those are the words that come to mind to describe Hand-Eye Supply's latest collaboration piece. Behold the mighty Bridgetown Forge x Hand-Eye Supply Hand-Forged Nata Hatchet! Each Nata is crafted in Portland, OR by the experienced and rugged hands of blacksmith Arnon Kartmazov of Bridgetown Forge with the assistance Nitzan Lilie, punctuated by short bouts of Russian martial arts while the metal is heating.
A nata is a traditional Japanese Hatchet that utilizes a square blade and a slightly curved handle for good balance and cutting angle. For the BF x HES Nata we agreed on a slightly smaller axe blade with double beveled edge for ease of use. The blade is forged from reclaimed 5160 Carbon Spring Steel from truck leaf springs used for wheel suspension. 5160 is extremely durable and commonly used by blacksmiths because it can handle high impact applications but will hold a sharp edge. For hatchets Arnon prefers 5160 to white or blue steel, which is traditionally used for Nata, because of it's tendency to chip. The handles are made from hickory by Nitzan Lilie, former competitive Argentinean tango dancer and tough as nails blacksmith. The handles are then pinned with hammered copper. Each blade is finished with a stamp of Bridgetown Forge and the HES logo (the stamp made by Nitzan), marking the Nata's authenticity.
Since each Nata is formed by hand they vary slightly in size and character but all are made to perform! They are razor sharp and burly as hell!
Bridgetown Forge is run by Arnon Kartmazov, who's over a decade of experience apprenticing in Japan makes him an ideal person to craft this Japanese style hatchet. Beyond his experience in Japan, Arnon studied with master blacksmith Uri Hofi in Israel world renowned for his forging ability. Arnon's Japanese knives are sought after by chefs. "Arnon has been heavily influenced by the Japanese esthetic, and feels that even the most ordinary, everyday objects can, and perhaps should be special, surprising, of high quality, long-lasting and a pleasure to use. Thus, Bridgetown Forge makes items like food bowls, spoons, and sushi platters -- all forged from stainless steel, and finished to please both the eye and the hand."
Below are photos of Arnon Kartmazov and Nitzan Lilie forging our nata.