the gods left the secret of steel on the battle field beneath
a leaden sky,
Jody Samson found it, learned its riddle well, has mastered
and now shares it with the awesome folks at Albion Armorers.
His work is legendary, his talent is supernatural.
-- Rick Robinson
people know Jody as the creator of the "Conan"
swords -- he sculpted and assembled the blade and hilt for the
"Master's (Father's) Sword." He created the
blade for and assembled the "Atlantean" sword.
Both have become icons in the Conan legend, inspiration
to swordsmiths everywhere, and symbols to many of the epitome
of swords and swordmaking. Both of the "Conan"
swords were designed by Ron Cobb, while the "Atlantean"
sword's hilt components were fabricated by Tim Huchthausen.
most people don't know is Jody's history, and why he was approached
by Conan director, John Milius make these landmark weapons.
got his start in knife and sword making while hanging around
the shop of the late John Nelson Cooper, one of the most prolific
knifemakers of all time. He met John quite by accident -- wandering
into John's shop in Burbank, California, looking for a knife.
They instantly struck up a close friendship that lasted until
Jody began making knives himself, first on a part-time basis,
and then full-time in 1974. After that, Jody went to work for
Bali-Song (later Benchmade) knives and produced a variety of
memorable designs during his tenure there, including the first
"balisong" or "butterfly" knives and his
famous "WeeHawk" knife.
Returning to Burbank, Jody worked for seven years in his own
studio, just blocks from where John Nelson Cooper's shop used
Jody has made his permanent residence in New Glarus, Wisconsin,
working with Albion. Jody maintains a large studio in the Albion
facility, personally supervising the making of the Conan
swords, and creating a line of knives and swords for Jodysamson.com.
This site features swords, daggers, axes and other edged weaponry
in both steel and aluminum, as well as artwork and sculpture
by Jody, ranging from one-of-a-kind pieces to limited editions.
One-of-a-kind pieces will never be duplicated exactly, though
hilt components and basic blade shapes may appear in different
combinations. Limited editions will range in size from 2 to
100. Each piece comes with a certificate signed by Jody.
is sculpture in steel," Jody says, seeing himself first
and foremost as an artist. No one can argue that point once
they have seen Jody's many fantastic designs.
"When I was a kid, there were two things I enjoyed doing --
reading and drawing. I read every book I could get my hands
on, especially the 'sword and sorcery' type.
I was a big fan of stories by Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber,
H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs and the classics such
as Dumas' Three Musketeers and Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe.
When other kids wanted books with photos, I looked for books
with paintings and illustrations.
Then I would draw the swords the way I imagined them (and anything
else in the story that caught my imagination.)
Today, I don't draw swords much, I just make them. -- all of
the swords I wanted to see from books, but could never find.
One day I might have a book made, displaying many of the swords
I have created, and some kid (and maybe some grown up kid like
me) will finally see in them some of the swords I couldn't find
when I was a kid.
And, unlike the illustrations I found to be so interesting,
these swords are real."
Read an interview of Jody by Ed Waterman here.
answers to questions frequently asked of Jody here.
swords and knives have been featured in:
FILMS - Conan the Barbarian, First Knight,
The Mask of Zorro, Blade, Blind Fury, Batman & Robin, Batman
Forever, The Fan, Under the Rainbow, My Science Project, The
Big Brawl, Sharkey's Machine, Up In Smoke, Red Dawn, The Men's
Club, Streets Of Fire, Don Juan DeMarco, Tall Tale, Action Jackson,
Hook, Amityville Dollhouse, Edwards & Hunt
TV/VIDEO - Beastmaster III, Last Stand At Saber
River, Kung Fu -- The Movie, The Sacketts, MacGyver, Babylon
THEATRICAL - Conan: Universal Studios Theme
Park Live Show, Busch Gardens (Virginia) Pirate Show,
Macbeth, Tristan and Isolde, The King and I
are some of the reviews Jody has gotten from around the world:
"The Best there is..." Terry English (armorer for
Excalibur and The Messenger)
"You keep me well armed..." Anthony DeLongis, swordplay
choreographer and stuntman
"Artist in steel..." Roger Coombs, Gun World Magazine,
"A Jody Samson sword commands instant respect. It is all
made to order, totally custom, all hand made to precision. You've
heard the old saying 'The sword seemed to come alive in his
hand'?" John Steven Soet, Inside Karate, July 1998
"Jody is a sculptor, an artist, a man who expresses himself
in steel in much the same way as a painter does on his canvas
and as a musician does with his instrument." C. Flambourari,
K.G.H.M., La Passionades Couteux
, Atlantean Sword , and Father's Sword are
registered trademark of Conan Properties, Incorporated