Anonymous said: did you know that the song Respect by Aretha Franklin was originally writen by singer songwriter Odis Redding. in his vision of the song he is actually giving his lover permission to cheat on him. as long as he is not home when she does it the original lyrics are Do me wrong, honey if you wannaYou can do me wrong, honey while I am goneBut all I'm asking forIs for a little respect when I come home
Interesting. I did not know that.
can we start a club for teenagers who were constantly complimented on their intelligence when they were younger and are now having trouble coping with the realization that they’re actually of average intellect at best
Some hearts understand each other, even in silence.
I have a special treat for you today, and one I’ve had planned for a while. I have interviewed my favourite sword smith, David DelaGardelle, and put it here. If this proves to be popular, I plan to do more in the future.
Wayland’s Forge: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
David DelaGardelle: My name is David DelaGardelle, I live in rural New Castle Indiana with my beautiful wife. I spent my formative childhood years growing up here in Indiana and in northern Door County Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. I’m a professional swordsmith and illustrator. I’m in love with the outdoors, spending time with my wife while hiking, camping, and going on backpacking trips with her. I’m obsessed with the music that inspires me, everything from traditional folk, modern hymns, to progressive metal. I’m passionate about learning the truth in history, philosophy, and theology. I have an unhealthy dependency on good coffee. I put sriracha sauce on almost everything I eat. I’ve sworn to my wife that I’ll one day buy us a huge dog and name him “Grendel”. And I’m married to the most gorgeous woman on the planet, who puts up with my crap continuously… ;)
Wayland’s Forge: What sparked your interest in making swords?
David DelaGardelle: I was raised in a creative and encouraging environment, thanks to my loving family. I grew up on a healthy diet of classic literature, including the epic fantasy works of authors like Tolkien, Lewis, Bunyan, and Chesterton. Also, I spent every summer running around the Northwoods of Scandinavian-heritage rich Door County, Wisconsin, which undoubtedly inspired my fast growing imagination. In many ways, I almost stumbled into swordsmithing by accident as a young kid with my life-long friend Andy Davis. Andy and I had been friends since middle school, both being like-minded fiery-hearted Tolkien-obsessed kids; we quickly setup a makeshift workshop on his parent’s farm property to try our hand at blacksmithing on the weekends. What began as a joke hobby quickly became something serious as it evolved into a business we fittingly named “Mad Dwarf Workshop”. We setup a website our freshman year of college to sell our simple forged knives and swords, like the ones we had read about in childhood. Heroic stories about defending the weak and fighting for truth in ancient mythology, folktales, and Anglo Saxon poetry fueled my creative fire from the start and still do to this day. I loved the idea of crafting a beautiful symbolic object to encapsulate those positive themes. When it came down to the tangible art itself, Andy and I learned primarily from numerous books and websites. We were blown away by the endless free knowledge available about the craft for which we took full advantage. In 2012, after several successful years of working and learning together, Andy and I parted ways as business partners but not as brothers and friends. I then established my solo swordsmithing endeavor; Cedarlore Forge.
Cedarlore Forge is my artistic exploration of the Northern European mythopoetic tradition, in the form of uniquely hand forged swords and artwork. I craft each piece with meaning and purpose, a mythic story to tell, and a truth to be known. I work with the raw materials as closely as they would have been used thousands of years ago by historical swordsmiths. To this day I am still learning this amazing craft, as it is an endless art form with no limit to the amount of perfection you can aim at, and effort you can pour into each piece.
Wayland’s Forge: How long have you been making swords?
David DelaGardelle: I started learning the basics of this craft when I just turned 13. I’m 25 today, so its been about 12 years since my fascination and passion for this craft began.
I’ve been officially working as a full time self employed swordsmith since 2009.
Wayland’s Forge: Where did you learn sword smithing, and how long did it take to learn?
David DelaGardelle: I’m primarily self taught through endless hours spent reading online articles and forum threads, watching YouTube videos on things like “how to use a grinder properly”, and reading books on historical swords and how they were made. But I of course was helped hugely by meeting a few swordsmiths over the years who offered me a lot of help and guidance every time I could pick their brains. Bladesmiths such as Ric Furrer, Rick Barrett, Peter Martin, and Don Fogg.
However it should obviously be said that I am still learning, and have an infinite amount yet to learn…
Wayland’s Forge: Are there any styles or eras of blade you specialize in?
David DelaGardelle: Not really. I guess it could be said that I stick mainly to “Western” and “European” styled blades. But I don’t limit myself to history. I’m an artist, so I make what I like and make what I feel led to make.
I’m don’t feel like limiting myself to some specialized boxed in corner. I always want to be expanding and growing in my aesthetic.
Wayland’s Forge: What are some of your influences?
David DelaGardelle: My main influences are not blade makers, nor often have anything to do with blades at all.
My favorite visual artist alive today is a gentleman named Jack Baumgartner
(http://theschoolofthetransferofenergy.com/). Jack does incredibly rich and life-filled work. Everything from printmaking to woodworking of every kind. He’s even an amazingly talented folk musician and songwriter. He’s been a huge help and encouragement to me, and is a really kind and friendly soul.
I’m inspired by the musician Josh Garrels (http://joshgarrels.bandcamp.com/)
Josh grew up in the same area that I did here in Indiana, and has been a huge influence on me artistically, emotionally, and spiritually.
And I of course have and will always be inspired by the writings of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and John Bunyan. As well as countless other writers and musicians who have inspired me in life and art thus far.
Wayland’s Forge: Do you have a favorite blade, or a blade you especially enjoyed making?
David DelaGardelle: I honestly do not. That may sound strange, but with each piece I try to keep it unique and one of a kind, and always different from the last. I also deliberately try to separate myself from each piece as best I can, so not to get too attached emotionally. If I do that, than I can see my own work more objectively. Each piece has unique elements that I both love and hate because I am a perfectionist. That is one of the marks of a progressive outlook on creativity. A creative perfectionist is never fully satisfied and always wants to grow and accomplish something better in the next vision or task. I have dream swords I would love to forge, but I also really love bringing someone else’s vision to life. It is an absolute joy and honor receiving commissions, and being able to blend my ideas with someone else’s idea for their dream sword. Each one is challenging and the challenges are always different.
Wayland’s Forge: What part of making a sword is the most difficult, and which is the most enjoyable?
David DelaGardelle: The hardest part is always designing a piece, even if drawing and designing come more easily for someone who’s been drawing all their life like myself. Its still the hardest part to try and capture an idea on paper before making it.
And the most enjoyable part (for me at least) would undeniably be the last few stages of finish work on a piece, such as carving, polishing, and fitting the final pieces of a sword together. Its then when a sword truly comes to life.
Wayland’s Forge: Have you kept any of your blades?
David DelaGardelle: I still have the first sword I ever forged (if you can even call it a sword?)
But other than that no. I’m not interested in hoarding treasure like a dragon, I want to make beautiful things and send them off into the world.
It’s an emotion probably just like a parent feels about their child. You love them, but on the other hand you want them to get the hell out of your house and make a life on their own… ;)
Wayland’s Forge: What process do you go through in making a blade, and on average how long does it take?
David DelaGardelle: It always starts as a spark of inspiration in my mind before it goes anywhere else. I begin designing it first by either sketching out rough ideas on paper, or going straight into Photoshop to render the sword digitally. It all depends on the piece and its complexity. Once I have a design locked down I begin work with the raw materials. If the sword’s blade is pattern welded than I compile the layered billet together and forge weld it into a single bar in my forge. If the blade is mono-steel, I select the right bar of high carbon steel according to the dimensions of the sword. Then I will do a mixture of cutting, profiling, and forging to get it to the right shape. I work on giving the blade its bevels by rough grinding them in on my belt sander. Once the geometry is close, but not sharp, I begin heat treatment. I harden the blade by heating it to non-magnetic temperature (bright red/dull orange) and then quench it in oil. After hardening, I temper to give it flexibility and so it won’t break under heavy use. I then begin crafting the hilt out of a wide variety of materials to choose from, such as: steel, iron, bronze, brass, wood, antler, and leather. The hilt is tightly and securely assembled so to never come apart, and the scabbard is fashioned out of similar or complimentary materials. I take the final stages of finishing each sword seriously, as the fine details matter a lot to me in my work. Each choice of color, material, polish, and patina speaks volumes about what the piece means and what it stands for.
A sword can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to make, it just depends on the details.
Wayland’s Forge: You were involved with the film “Thor”. How did you get involved with that and has that impacted your business?
David DelaGardelle: The props team for the movie at the time during their pre-production simply found my website via a Flickr image search, and contacted me and my friend Andy to see if we’d be interested.
It definitely was a huge opportunity and blessing for me in my personal career as a self-employed artist. This movie project gave me the opportunity to step out in faith and give all I have to go full time as a bladesmith. It also certainly helped spread my work out there a bit further than it would have spread otherwise. But it was not the most rewarding project I’ve worked on by any means.
Wayland’s Forge: What advice would you give an aspiring sword smith?
David DelaGardelle: Strive to grow in patience and humility. It may sound contradictory, especially in a very self-centered postmodern art work, but I honestly believe to make the best art possible a person should try to make their work not so introverted and about themselves. Don’t make work to glorify yourself and boost your ego and image, because it won’t fulfill you as a person. Instead really strive to go beyond yourself as a person and let your work take on a life of its own. Don’t try to make your work so lofty and philosophically complex that people cant easily approach it and enjoy it. Be bold with your love for the work and share that joy with others.
Practically speaking in terms of learning swordsmithing; learning patience will be your greatest virtue. So many steps in the process of making a quality sword cannot be rushed, and you need to take time to learn how to do things right the first time, so that you do not continually have to go back and fix mistakes.
Be humble and learn from anyone and everyone, but strive to make your work your own and not copy other artists. This takes confidence in your own creativity, but it can be cultivated. While I believe the old verse “There is nothing new under the sun” to be true (especially in sword making), you can still bring yourself to this ancient craft, and that has never been done before!
Be willing to make mistakes; be wise with time and dedicate yourself to learning; and take joy in the journey as you grow!
If you wish to follow David’s work, check out his website at http://cedarloreforge.com
I’m liking this new Minecraft mod! §
I think I found a great idea for a marriage proposal… If I believed in them.
"In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight. "
"It hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it’s so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn’t coma back. You’re left so alone that you can’t explain. Damn, there’s nothing like that, is there? I’ve been there and you have too. You’re nodding your head. "