When I received Steve’s straight razor, I was impressed. The wooden handle was stunning and the overall effect of the blade was impressive and of the limited run of three razors Steve made, it was the one that drew me the most. To hold it in your hand, there is that nice weight in the hand to tell you this is a masterpiece of some substance.
Holding the razor as if to shave, it feels comfortable and very wieldy in the hand; In fact, it felt more natural in the hand to me than one of the traditional style of straight razors. I tried a dry run with the blade sheathed to get some practice in before I slice my face open – and it really did feel more comfortable and natural in my hand to shave with than the traditional styled straight.
The blade was sharp, although in my opinion, it wasn’t shave ready and for this reason I sent it to be honed to a shave-ready condition (a local chap did it for me for a reasonable price) and a final strop with a leather strop and some diamond paste to put the final shaving edge on it before I lathered up ready for my first shave with it.
I am notoriously cack-handed (or whatever you call in in your part of the world) and whilst it feels comfortable to shave the right-side of face only; whilst I struggle with awkward hand positions trying to manoeuvre the razor into the correct position to shave the left side, top-lip or the throat. And for this reason alone, I never really persisted with a straight razor.
I am glad a dry run to give me some confidence before I set out with a wet shave; I used my best badger hair brush and a favourite shaving cream whipped up into a soft, warm lather. Two passes later (with the grain and again against the grain) and my face was left as smooth as a baby’s bum without a drop of claret spilt. This is a straight razor I can use with a degree of dexterity, comfortably and with a great deal of comfort. I don’t need to worry about the scales of a traditional straight get in the way.
Not only is the razor a beautiful work of art and a fully functional work of art at that, it is something that can be passed down the generations because it is genuinely a work of art – there is a pedigree to this blade, provenance too – how many people can say they have shaved with a blade made by a sword-smith? How many can point to the artisan’s work at the movies and know they have a piece made by the same chap?
The provenance, history and the story behind the blade is only part of the story. Perhaps a blade made by a master swordsmith and designed with care and thought only adds to the blade that I can handle both deftly and with aplomb.