Michael "Tinker" Pearce is one of the pre-eminent makers of custom medieval-style swords, with a large international following in the collector and Western Martial Arts communities. His swords have a long-standing reputation for durability and performance. He has studied swords for over thirty years and was one of the first makers to study the structural and engineering aspects of antique swords. Tinker has introduced many of the concepts of modern sword design such as authentic weight, balance and dynamic characteristics that have become standards in the industry. His articles have been featured in Blade Magazine and many of his works on the physical characteristics of swords have been published. He is also the author of "The Medieval Sword in the Modern World", a book about modern reproduction swords and their characteristics. Tinker was an SCA heavy fighter for many years and practiced period rapier-fencing with the Academy Della Spada in Seattle, WA. He is a self-defense instructor and currently teaches Medieval European martial arts. He is also a trained fight-choreographer. His research and broad-based training has engendered a good understanding of how swords were used by the generations that fought for their lives with them and also the needs of modern re-enactors and martial artists. He is an Honorary Educational Advisor for Sword Forum International.