the Craftsman

David DelaGardelle

Swordsmith, Artist, and Sole Proprietor of Cedarlore Forge

As a child I had no trouble getting lost in the epic worlds I read about in the classic books and stories I loved, intensifying my imagination, creativity, & artistic abilities from a very young age. I loved listening to my family’s stories of our Norwegian and Germanic ancestral heritage, and the evocative and mythopoetic legends they all entailed. Countless nights were spent by the fireside up north with my Opa (grandfather) and father telling stories of our family’s lineage who immigrated to the States only a couple generations ago. I look back on my childhood with thankfulness towards my parents and loved ones, who created a limitless environment for my imagination to run wild and grow in.

Today I hope that my work as an artist, and particularly as a swordsmith, evokes the same feelings I experienced when first reading Tolkien’s novels and experiencing the world he crafted, I hope my work ignites the same spark in people that I felt being ignited in me when I first heard lines of Beowulf being recited in Old English. I hope my art brings people the same joy that I experienced when I first read C.S. Lewis stories, G.K Chesterton’s “The Ballad of the White Horse“, or John Bunyan’s “Pilgrims Progress”. Since falling in love with those stories, and since choosing my path as a swordsmith and artist, I now strive to use my creativity as a tool. A tool to create a path to enter into those epic tales, learning from the themes and truths they spoke of.

Alongside the stories I love, I draw a huge amount of inspiration from the rustic environments and communities I grew up in. Just behind my grandparent’s house, on the shore of Scandinavian-heritage-rich Door County, Wisconsin, lay a huge expanse of tall cedar forests where my brother and I would go exploring. its places like those that inspire me to try and capture the natural elements in my work, either by carving organic shapes, crafting with beautiful wood grains, or etching rough textures into the steels I use. Artistically, I hope these details portray a sense of antiquity and depth.

For some a sword may be just that, a sword. But for those that understand my perspective and my goal, you might also have those adventurous inclinations when you view or hold one of my swords. You may, I hope, feel inspired to live not in selfishness, violence, hatred and revenge, but instead with honor, respect, grace, and love towards other human beings.

I firmly believe in the concept of a “Metanarrative” an absolute unchanging Truth in the reality of good and evil, and the split between the two in the broken human heart that wants to receive redemption. I think the sword is a perfect symbol to explore those truths, and delve into what makes human beings truly human.

I hope that through my work I might inspire others to use the God given talents that we all have for a good and positive purpose, whatever it may be.

God bless

- David DelaGardelle

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