IT’s a job that is sure to see the successful applicant thrown in at the sharp end.
In what must be one of the most unusual situations vacant in Edinburgh, applications are currently being invited for the post of sword maker.
Paul Macdonald, who launched Macdonald Armouries in 1996, is seeking an understudy to make blades and design the weapons in what he describes as “one of the most unique trades in the city”.
He is hoping the unique job description will have applicants beating down the door of his workshop as he deals with an ever-growing order book.
Mr Macdonald, who says he is the city’s only sword maker, said: “It’s an interesting opportunity for someone to work in a traditional and rare field. I’m hoping that will be enough of a pull to get some applications in.
“I think people will look at this type of thing and think that it’s a really cool job to be doing.”
Mr Macdonald wants someone working alongside him in the Brunswick Street Lane premises to learn the skills of sword and knife making quickly. They must also have the artistic inspiration to create their own designs.
A knowledge of historical details, or at least a willingness to learn speedily, will also be required as many of Mr Macdonald’s clients ask for swords replicating famous battle scenes and eras.
“Getting someone in with the appropriate skills is key and, failing that, I’d have to look at some kind of apprenticeship – I’ll have to play that one by ear,” he said.
“It’s a job you have to be completely interested in to do it – that absolutely has to be there. Ultimately, the role is to make swords, and that includes making the blades from scratch, the handles and everything else.
“Depending on what is being made, from a small knife to a replica sword, it can take from a couple of hours to a few days.”
Word has spread amongst enthusiasts across the UK about Mr Macdonald’s skills. It is that, rather than an increase in admiration for armoury in general, that has prompted the need for an assistant. Mr Macdonald, originally from the west Highlands, set up his business at the age of 26 after having worked in craft shops on the Royal Mile. His shop is the only one of its kind in the Capital, and one of a handful in Scotland.
“I think I just followed my interest and kept it going,” he said.
Interested applicants should phone 0131-557 1510 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.