Howard Clark is Omimi. Big Ear. The most sought after maker of Japanese style sword blades. The creator of the L6 Banite Katana which is hands down the highest performance sword blade in the world. Omimi-san has been a bladesmith for over 30 years. Early on he mastered forging, damascus, and distal symmetry. As Morgan Valley Forge Howard produced knives with organic flow and keen balance. Everything he made was meant to be used and felt right in the hand. The natural style of his work in straight fixed blades and folders is distinctive.
Howard delved deep into the science of metallurgy. Teaching himself how to read isothermal transformation diagrams he began the journey to create what he desired as the best blade. One that was tough; would not chip, crack or break. One that was hard enough to hold it’s edge for prolonged use and still be able to be resharpened. Through his research it is said Howard broke more blades deliberately than most knife-makers made. With known steel alloys, controlled temperatures, the test of the metal was in the heat treatment.
It is interesting to see so much of what is now readily accepted as standard practice and regurgitated on internet forums and bulletin boards came originally from Howard Clark. It was a long time coming. At the git go the good-old-boys-club of knife making didn’t want to accept what this upstart was teaching. They didn’t want to hear: that blind procedure without analysis could not produce consistent quality blades; that color of a hot blade prior to quenching was subjective; that besides carbon content other alloys in a steel also played roles and changed the dynamics of the heat treatment dance for a given steel to get the desired end product.
There are multiple reasons and much history in why Omimi is the sole source of the L6 Banite Katana. Why the Omimi 1086 Katana will out match the majority of Japanese style blades and the Omimi L6 is the quantum leap beyond. It is his genius level intellect. It is his hard working hands that create. It is his eye that can look down all surfaces of a 30 inch katana and see where the plane is a few thousandths of an inch off. It is Omimi.
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