Ice Worlds

It’s cold. The old house bumps and snaps all night, contracting and settling like a restless sleeper. Outside the moon casts the night in a kind of black shadowed parody of day. It’s quiet. Along the brook trees crack like gunshots. The sap expands as it freezes and splits the bark, letting out a sharp crack in the crushing stillness.

It’s easy to stay inside when it’s this cold, but I work alone and it’s no good– I have to get out, breathe frosty air, interact with the world. Today around noon I took my camera out into the still world and walked up the brook. It’s cold enough to freeze running water. What I find in the ice suggests ancient alien worlds, three dimensional photographs of turmoil, or far galaxies. I see what look like half formed arcane letters or gaping faces. The secrets a frozen brook keeps.


by Jake Powning

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Jake Powning

Jake is a professional swordsmith, artist, and writer who explores the strange place where traditional culture and the land meet.


  1. Daniel Kleinhekesel

    I really enjoy your work Mr. Powning, I’ve been following it for a couple of years now and look to it for inspiration in my own work. I’m and amature wood wooker where I make walking staves, canes, spoons, hair combes, etc. When I’m feeling like I want to cut a corner I pull up your web site and get inspired. Thank you for your dedication to the faith and craft of smithing. You make living tools and I deeply appretiate what you bring to the art. Finally there is a western smith who brings to the his art what the Japanese have been bringing to theirs it for the last 2000 years.


    Daniel Jay Kleinheksel

  2. LAGNEAUX Jean=Claude

    I enjoy your quest and the rythm of your writing . I suppose you are very friend of John Howe !! NB:I’m french about my expression .

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