Artist - Swordmaker - Knifemaker - Friend
November 4, 1946 - December 27, 2008
It is with the deepest regret that we announce
the passing of legendary swordmaker,
on Saturday, December 27, in his shop in New Glarus, Wisconsin.
was a true friend, a multi-talented artist, and one of the
most generous people you could ever meet.
He will be deeply missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his many other friends and fans
around the world.
When we think of Jody, this quote from one of his customers always
comes to mind:
the gods left the secret of steel on the battle field beneath a leaden
Jody Samson found it, learned its riddle well, has mastered it
and now shares it with the awesome folks at Albion.
His work is legendary, his talent is supernatural.
-- Rick Robinson
We are having a private sale of a selection of Jody's remaining custom pieces.
Go here for more information.
we do in life is what we leave behind. We have no choice but to
leave it behind. For better or worse, our works are what we will
be remembered for. Even if you choose to do nothing, then that
is what you will be remembered for - nothing.
Some people however are so passionately creative that it's impossible
to forget them when they're gone.
Jody Samson has died.
He was one of the master swordmakers at Albion, and a man who
taught me a great deal about being an artist. I worked closely
with him during my early years at Albion, learning from him in
a very casual and informal way about wax carving, three-dimensional
design, cutlery, metal work, leather work, moldmaking and many
other things. Working knowledge in any one of those areas opens
up almost endless possibilities for an artist.
Though Jody never wanted an apprentice or heir (he was much too
reclusive for such a relationship) he was always willing to teach
anybody anything he knew. His passion was to create. He did so
with every free moment. He couldn't stop making new things even
if he'd wanted to. When he took the job at Albion he joked that
he'd always wanted a workshop with a hatch, into which someone
would push food and out of which he would push swords.
And that is essentially how Jody worked, preferring his art to
human contact. Nevertheless he was always generally pleasant if
interrupted, but content to go for days without really conversing
with anyone. Except perhaps for Howard.
Jody was an avid crossword-solver and chess player (when he was
feeling social enough to sit down with someone,) but mostly he
would just do art in his free time - sculpting, drawing, writing,
jewelry, whatever struck his muse. In his native California he'd
taken drawing classes so often that he served as a stand-in when
the instructor couldn't conduct a class.
Normally Jody would begin work very early, long before the other
employees were even out of bed. As a result he would go home early
in the afternoon, and during those days when I worked in his shop
I would then take the opportunity to examine and explore and enjoy
all his various "stuff." Everywhere in his shop there were trinkets,
oddities, curios and memorabilia. Each countertop, shelf, table
and patch of wall bristled with carvings, skulls, bones, figurines,
models, half-finished projects and handmade tools.
Of course all of it was infused with the smell of the Swisher
Sweets cigars which he was fond of smoking, and the pungent odor
of the black steel dust which flew from his blade grinding machines
and covered every exposed square inch ("the Devil's dandruff"
he called it.)
I loved leafing through his leatherbound sketchbooks, fascinated
by the pencil, ink, or charcoal drawings of castles, creatures,
weapons, nudes, landscapes and abstract designs. Led Zeppelin
and Loreena McKennitt CDs were usually on "repeat" in his stereo.
His favorite scent and flavor, he once told me, was cinnamon.
I remember the views from his shop windows, and the sound of the
little bell he'd hung above his door so that he would know when
someone had come to see him. When I was set up with a waxworking
shop for Albion's line of historic swords, Jody gave me his set
of handmade carving tools - a wonderful and thoughtful gift which
he gave lightly, but I did not take lightly. He made himself a
new set of tools, heating and hammering and grinding tiny curved
blades, then setting them into wooden handles.
He was a man deserving of admiration, but who didn't desire it.
He loved to talk and show and share, yet he disliked formal interviews.
He enjoyed parties and casual gatherings, but hated mandatory
For years I've had an idea that someday I'd stop by Albion and
see him again. When I left there he'd given me a standing invitation
to use his shop or tools any time, or just come in and chat. I
thought there would be a day when circumstances would find me
in New Glarus and I'd head to The Far Side, which was the name
Jody had given to his shop - it being the farthest possible area
from the front door, the offices, and unfortunately the bathroom.
There he would be, sitting in his favorite padded chair at his
favorite work table, carving wax with his magnifying visors on,
a cigar smoldering in the ashtray beside him. Or perhaps standing
at the grinder with some crazily curved blade, his sweatshirt
sleeves pulled up to the elbows and sparks showering toward his
I wish now that I could thank him for all he's done, teaching
me both directly and by example. Jody was a man that I looked
up to and wanted to be like. He had his faults as we all do, but
certainly he was fascinating and inspiring, living his dream and
never failing to do what he loved. I've had the pleasure of meeting
many truly amazing artists through Albion, but I've never met
anyone as fiercely and tirelessly creative as Jody Samson, and
I don't expect I'll ever meet anyone quite like him again.
-- Leif Hansen
just received the news that Jody had died. I am very sorry to
hear that. I knew him in the mid-90’s here in Los Angeles when
he used the backshop at Tony Swatton’s Sword-and-the-Stone. I
was always amazed at how easily he worked with metal and wax sculptures
for his castings and once completed how each blade felt smooth
in cut and function. He indeed did learn the riddle-of-steel.
May he now forge weapons for the Gods.
-- Thomas Majors
will very much miss seeing Jody's work, as this is the closest
I was ever able to get to him. And although I never met him in
person, I feel assured he was the nicest man one could meet. The
world has indeed lost a great visionary and artist. Again, my
most sincere condolences. With sytmpathy and respect,
-- Christopher Gregg
sincerest condolences to you all and to the family of Mr Samson.
As I tried to check out some of Mr Samsons work yesterday I was
shocked to find out that a legend had passed away just ten days
after I ordered one of his great works! I have been viewing his
work for the last decade and I'm truly proud to finally own one
of his beautiful creations. How much he will be missed cannot
be expressed in words, so I won't try. I wish you all great strength
in the days ahead. With the highest regards,
-- Michael Zwollo
is hard to imagine the handmade sword industry without his presence.
In fact, I cannot.
-- John Hatchett
told me of Jody's passing and I wanted to let you know that you
and those at Albion are in my thoughts. Everyone, including myself,
that had contact with Jody, or saw him work and create, could
not help to be inspired by him. Although I was not at Albion for
very long, my memories are good ones and I have Jody to thank
for many of those times. I was carving something just this weekend
and I thought of him and his work. The first time I saw his waxes
I was amazed at his skill and his technique. There is no way he
could know it but those times working with Jody opened up possibilities
to me of what can be done.
-- Paul Nitsche
deepest condolences to everyone there. It is a huge loss to
the sword community.
-- David Viglione
sure you're getting slammed with emails so don't feel the need
to respond, but I just had to send you and everyone at Albion
my sympathies. I was floored when I pulled up the site and read
about Jody. My heart sank and I can't get rid of the lump in my
throat, so I can't even imagine how you folks must feel. It must
have been a great privilege to be around him for the time that
he has been a part of Albion. It's great that you have that to
hold on to, it's such a rare gift. I feel extremely honored and
lucky to have a few pieces in my collection that were either completely
made by him or at least have been in his hands at some point.
He is an icon, and icons cannot be replaced. There will be a void
in this world, for the remainder of time, where Jody Samson once
stood. He will live forever in my world through Steel and great
memories. I was just a kid when he did it, but when he forged
those original Conan Swords, he didn't know it but he also forged
a huge part of the person that I was to become.
I was not lucky enough to say that I knew Jody as a personal friend,
I can tell you that I was very lucky to have met him several times.
When I first met him, it was many, many years ago at a Renaissance
Faire here in California. He was happy, vibrant, outgoing, and
extroverted! He was on his turf and havin' a good time! It seemed
as though everybody knew him there and loved him. I was introduced
to him, shook his hand, and we had a quick conversation. I admit
to thinking after how cool it was to meet the guy who had so much
impact on the weapons we recognize from the movies. I made sure
to run into him again that weekend... and again on other weekends.
It looked as though everybody else did the same. He seemed to
always be surrounded by fun-loving people those weekends!
Many years later, I met him in New Glarus while visiting the folks
at Albion. His demeanor was different than our first meeting.
He was older, more settled, and much more reserved than would
be found at the party atmosphere of the Ren Faire. Though less
gregarious, he was still the friendly, inviting, and quick-to-share
man I had met more than a decade earlier.
I went to New Glarus a few more times and was fortunate to have
spent time with Jody in his shop.
Each visit, Jody took time to share stories of California and
the people we both had known over the years. He showed me photos
and memoirs of times past and the things he had made over the
His shop was full of items that marked periods of time and told
a story all on its own.
I am grateful to Jody for adding the narrative and making it all
that much better. Jody was an artist.
We all throw around the term true artist and it's people like
Jody that give that term meaning.
Just looking around his shop revealed so many amazing things --
tiny tidbits of creative flair, brilliantly executed pieces, and
the signs of so many things yet to come. The sheer number of ideas
flowing from him has always shocked me. He was indeed one of the
most prolific artists I've encountered. Truly mind-blowing.
When I met with Jody in Wisconsin, he seemed like a quiet man.
It only took a few moments with him to know that he was anything
but quiet. Jody couldn't help but be an open book.
And what a story that book has told.
I'm lucky to have met him. I wish I had known him better.
-- Nathan Robinson, MyArmoury.com
was 12 years old, and my friend’s mom bought us tickets to see
Conan the Barbarian at a theater near my house. I remember being
so blown away by the movie that I sat through (and read) the entire
credits. About midway through the credits, one in particular caught
my eye “Sword Maker – Jody Samson”. The swords in the Conan movie
were so awesome that they credited their maker. This was long
before the Internet even existed, but at the time I remember fantasizing
about some day finding this Mr. Samson and getting myself an “Atlantean”
It wasn’t until years later that the Internet took off, I remember
doing many a search for “Conan Sword” and “Jody Samson” trying
to get my hands on the sword that I spent a majority of my teenage
years (and twenties) fantasizing about. All that ever turned up
was Jody was working out of some shop in California, but there
was never any contact information. I think it was sometime around
2000, that I finally hit on Albion’s site, and plans were in the
making to bring Jody on board and there were drawings of the “Sword
of Crom” and “Sword of Atlantis” posted on the site (the rights
for the Conan movie swords weren’t worked out yet). “Finally –
Success” the maker of the Conan swords had surfaced and was going
to be turning out swords for the masses.
Everyone knows the rest of the story, the rights were acquired,
the Conan swords were a success for Albion (I own Atlantean #95),
and a separate site was launched for custom swords by the man
Since JodySamson.com was launched, I’ve checked it every time
I’ve sat down to get on the Internet to see what new masterpieces
he might have turned out. I’ve personally been pestering poor
Mike in customer service for the last three years for when the
Frazetta Barbarian was going to be available.
A few years ago I made it up to SwordFest weekend, and in talking
with Howy during one of the breaks, I explained that while all
the historic stuff was great and all, I was really a big fan of
the fantasy stuff, and a big fan of Jody. Howy explained he was
a big Jody fan himself, which was evident by the Conan Fathers
sword he had hanging on the wall upstairs at his house, and the
Samson Katanas over his fireplace downstairs (part of SwordFest
was held at Howys house).
When SwordFest made its way over to the Albion shop, Howy personally
took me up to Jody’s workshop to see where the man did his magic.
I got to see probably the next 6 months worth of waxes that Jody
had on a table, and half a dozen or more un-mounted blades hanging
on the wall, and a series of other swords in various stages of
assembly. It was the highlight of my SwordFest weekend.
Sometime last year I finally purchased a Jody custom (Icebrand),
and it’s everything I thought it’d be and more.
I’ve tried getting my hands on a few more of his pieces, but as
the timing never worked out for me, and others had snatched them
up before I could put the order/s together.
I was just crushed the other day when I went to check out Jody’s
site, and learned that he had passed away. It just couldn’t be
possible that he was gone and that there would never be any more
new Jody swords….
In reading everything on Albions site, and in other locations,
from people who did know Jody, it’s readily apparent that a lot
of very skilled and very creative people held him in very high
I never got a chance to meet Jody, but I’ve spent the last 8+
years admiring his work on the Internet, and even longer from
the movies. I’m grateful to Howy that I got to see his shop, and
thankful to Albion for making it possible for me to own a Jody
Samson custom sword.
When he was with us, he was unique among swordmakers, and now
that he’s gone, its clear there will never be another Jody Samson…
Just like in the Conan credits, in my mind, he will always be
“Sword Maker – Jody Samson”
Albion: I don’t know if Jody was married, or had family of some
sort, but if there was, or there are some expenses involved in
giving Jody a proper send-off, of taking care of anyone that survived
him, you may want to consider setting up something on the website
(paypal, or maybe a charity) to allow people to donate. I’d certainly
send something if there was.
Maybe in the future, once everything is all settled, some kind
of tribute book with some of his drawings and pictures of his
work? Your call, you know what would be best…
are all, truly shocked, and saddened at Jody's passing. I first
met Jody years ago when he was working out of Tony Swatton's shop
in Burbank. He was truly one of the best as an artist and as a
I remember many good times hanging out with him at the shop smoking
cigars. He taught me a lot about swords, the creative process,
about being a good person and being true to yourself, which he
was. He was one-of-a-kind.
I am grateful that I have several pieces by Jody to remember him
by. Like all great artists he will live on in the pieces he created,
which brought appreciation and joy to so many. This world will
miss him. The next world has embraced him.
-- Jeff Urdank, Sherman Oaks, CA
will always cherish the friendship and experiences that I enjoyed
with Jody for the rest of my life. The discussions we had, the
philosophies we shared. Just hanging out in his shop or at the
Renaissance faire, was a good time. I will miss his stories, his
sketches, and the creativity that served to define the person
He was always faithful to himself, in a melancholy way, seeking
the true path of artistic progression. He would suffer nothing
When he would finish a blade, I wonder who received the greater
joy, the person receiving a Samson piece, or himself, who rejoiced
in the realization that his work was so greatly cherished.
As long as someone draws breath in awe of his artistry, so too
is life infused into the memory of his enduring legacy.
We will miss him greatly, and the tears that are now shed, honor
his memory and keep it alive within us. I have some wonderful
treasures to remember him by, yet; sadly they cannot replace the
He is deservingly, in the company of great artists now. For the
rest of us… the world is a dimmer place.
He was a great mentor, a teacher and best of all,……… my friend.
-- Jaan Calderon, Woodland Hills, CA
can it be that we can no longer hear the Blacksmith's song? The
forge is cold, the anvil silent, where has our Master Smith gone?
The wind brings the Fenris howl so he was called to Valhalla so
they say. Great indeed must be the need of the Gods for them to
take our friend away.
Your presence made my life a little less ordinary. You were an
artist, a master smith, a visionary. But most of all, you were
my friend. Rest in peace Jody my friend. You will be missed.
-- John Reynolds, Arleta, CA
world has truly lost a great artist! His name will live on in
the gifts he created.
-- Scott Haines, Reseda, CA
Jody, the world has lost a great artist, but more important a
great friend. He would give the shirt off of his back if he felt
it would comfort you. He was always generous and caring. He was
someone I looked up to as a one of a kind artist, a mentor, and
a dear friend. No doubt he is now roaming the halls of Valhalla.
Jody...may the Gods bless you forever! I will truly miss you.
-- Billy Rodriguez, Glendale, CA
didn't know Jody but I guess I can blame/thank him for my interest
in swords or also called SAS (sword acquisition syndrome) disease.
I am sure I am grouped in with quite a few people who saw Conan
and went absolutely crazy over the swords. As I got a bit older
and was able to afford a one of a kind sword my first thought
was to get the Atlantean sword, however after seeing other of
Jody's pieces/works of art what I bought was two of Jody's creations,one
called Jody's curved sword and one called Xerxes,both not just
swords or weapons but " works of art".
I made it a habit to check Jody's web page every day to see what
was new and was always plotting a way to afford my next purchase.
Then something surprising happened: my wife saw one of his swords
(Arjuna) at the Atlanta blade show and had to have it,WOW my wife
wanting a sword,I guess she recognized the time and talent it
took to make that sword and we bought it on the spot.I am going
to miss checking Jody's page every day and to all Jody's family
and friends my sincere condolences he will be missed.
Again I never met him but I feel I know him a bit just by getting
to own a few of his swords.After reading this you see I have used
the word ART along with the word sword a lot, well I collect for
two reasons one I love swords but number two and more important
to me is what the maker/artist put into them.I do some cutting
with them but most of all just sitting and looking at them to
me is like owning a fine painting or masterpiece sculpture and
Jody was my favorite artist and I feel like we own a small piece
of his legacy.
-- Marty and Lynne
am sorry to be writing you guys an email at such a sad time
as this, but I just wanted to say I am sorry for the family
of Mr. Samson. I know in my heart that they will miss him a
I am also deeply sorry for all the guys at Albion I know the
you guys will not only miss a partner in sword creation, but
more so you will miss an incredible friend.
A guy who's life has been dedicated to art and history for many
years. May his spirit live on through the many swords and objects
that he created. He will live on through all of you at Albion
and through all the people that he knew that owned his magnificent
works of art.
May Jody be forging in heaven with the Lord at his side.
-- James Parker "Atlantean #299"
here I cannot believe that one so great as Jody Samson has passed
so soon. I have admired this mans work for so long and I cannot
believe that this legend has passed so soon. He and his masterpieces
will live on in the minds of us forever. My deepest condolences
to his family and everyone there at Albion who is his family as
If there was ever one who knew the riddle of steel, it was Jody
Samson, whose creations would amaze Hephaestus himself. I am sure
he will be greatly welcomed and hailed as a legend in the halls
of Crom for all eternity. We will miss you,
-- Johnathan Feccia
many words were left unsaid,
So many thoughts left inside my head.
Yet Jody would always say so much,
With a kind smile or a gentle touch.
So much for the world he had to share,
The talents he had were beyond compare.
I often tried to contemplate the ides that flooded his brain,
The designs of the art he'd left others attempting to feign.
And I am so grateful.
I know a piece of my soul was spliced from his heart, fashioned
from his vision, forged from his art.
So many stones, so many questions,
The best memories during so many lessons.
And now i chose a career.
To put my life on the line in so many places,
For so many people with tears in their faces...
And as I watch my fellow soldiers as they sleep through the
night, their struggles by day, each mans personal strife.
It occurs to me the depth of his lessons - the strength of my
soul and goodness of heart-the influence of him on my life -
are far beyond the scope of what I can write.
I love Jody with all my being. There is nothing for him I would
not do. This extends to all his "family" friends that to him
were always, always true.
Goodbye my friend, my teacher, my inspiration, my source of
wisdom, my sense of balance - my family forever!
With the utmost love and respect - god bless - Amen
-- Allen Bridgeman
great light has gone out on this earth when Jody Samson passed
over. He is gone from those of us who knew him and knew of him.
Yet an even brighter light now burns in the heavens above thanks
Jody was a long time friend, colleague and just a damn great man.
Talented artist, gifted genius and very down to earth in what
he did. I will miss him greatly, and I do miss him greatly. As
those who have gone before him that we both knew..Alex Collins
and Bob Engnath, Jody will be amongst the Greats in the Heavens.
Hopefully when my time comes, he will be there, smiling, smoking
a Cheroot and just waiting there to greet me with both Alex and
I am lesser of a man for the loss of Jody, but I am a greater
man for knowing him...Few people pass from this earth with any
impact on it, Jody is amongst those fortunate few who will live
on through his work, and he will never be forgotten.
-- Dr JP Hrisoulas, Bladesmith
had never really met jody,as such,but had seen and spoke to him
on occasion at renfaire in california. his was a quiet wit and
one ready to talk knives,swords,and art with any and all who'd
but give him the chance.about a year-or-so ago i found one of
his pieces-the conan brass claw dagger-in a shop in moreno valley(had
to have it,y'know?). then we went to new jersey this past x-mas
to be with my fiancee's family. knowing what a sword-freak i am,she
said "google swords in new york!"...low-and-behold there was one
shop on 58th. st. called mastersmith's! all the way there:58th.st-58th.st-58th.st.
the one sword in the whole place that caught my fancy and wouldn't
let go was a seaward katana by jody!!! i bought it on the spot
sunday the 21st. of dec. and had it shipped home...it was with
deep regret and sorrow that i learned of his death the next sat.....it
is a shame that so bright a light has gone out of this world...but
he is without a doubt shining in the fields of valhalla and arming
many a hero and warrior with his artistry and steel!!! may the
halls ring loud with the god's huzzahs!!! thank you,jody,once
again for blessing me with a piece of your soul and we'll see
-- ken mcfall, los angeles,ca
just read about Jody. I'm so sorry to hear the news. I know everyone
there was close to him. My prayers go out to his family and all
of you that were close to him. He was an incredible talent that
I know will be sorely missed. I hope you guys are holding up well.
wife and I knew Jody as “friend”. (Close to 16years) We would
have him over to dinner many times when we lived in Washington
and he lived in Portland. Jody would always not want to impose
but would always show up (he loved my wife and would always hope
that I would die before him) I helped him move to LA and would
visit with him there as often as we could. I remember going to
the renaissance fairs with him and he always looked as if he was
part of that life a dashing cavalier. We had many of conversations
with him when he moved from Burbank, (he liked my wife’s voice
and would want to talk to her not me) I only wish we could have
seen him again. He will be missed and his art will live forever.
-- Jim Beckstrom
recent quick glance at his webpage, wondering about the latest
awe inspiring creations of my old friend from long ago, I was
shocked to learn about his passing-way too soon.
Before making his first knife, he drew and painted, wrote poetry,
and read anything and everything. I never knew him to go anywhere
without a sketchbook, and he would stop mid-conversation to capture
the beauty of a landscape, the angles of a stranger's face, or
a fantasy castle in his mind's eye from the latest sci-fi book
he was reading.
He sometimes said he was born in the wrong century, and I now
believe this may have been true. His extraordinary talent in the
art of creating knives and swords was uncommon in today's world.
He was a good man, passionate about his need to create, and uncompromising
in the quality of that endeavor.
He will be remembered lovingly for his strength of spirit, his
subtle humor, and an unexpected gentleness shared with those who
were not intimated by the intensity of his gaze.
Those of us left behind can only wonder what he would have created
next . . . but also be grateful for the time we knew him in this
-- Connie (Samson) Cone, Phoenix, AZ
will never forget January 4th, when I went to Jody’s site just
to see if anything was new. A chill touched me when I saw the
full-length portrait, and then I saw the dates below.
I can’t describe the stunned, hollow feeling that stole over me
as I realized the significance of what I was reading and seeing.
The world lost a pair of Great Hands when Jody passed away.
No one could doubt the distinctiveness, the “moment”, of his work.
Even friends or guests who are at best indifferent to the subject
matter understood when I showed them my Samson pieces, as contrasted
with the rest of my collection. Comments would fly. And the expressions
of pleasure from those old enough to remember seeing “Conan the
Barbarian” in the theater back in ’82, realizing that the man
who made THIS PIECE also crafted the notable swords from a movie
they remembered from their youth or childhood.
I still remember the opening moments of that movie. I can still
feel the shiver that ran down my spine as the molten Father’s
Sword took shape, set to the Basil Poledourus soundtrack. The
hammering of the drums and the rumble of deep brass was the most
perfectly appropriate and dramatic background to the birthing
of the weapon on the screen before me. How right, how fitting
it seemed for such a beautiful weapon. Weapons of antiquity, and
especially swords, have fired my imagination since I was a very
young child. I can still feel my desire for the Father’s Sword
from that day, and how someday I wished that I could own something
so beautiful. So you can imagine the overwhelming feelings of
emotion when I opened the box containing “Stick”, my first Samson
piece (“Leafblade I”), two years ago, and the same feeling with
each of the three other pieces that I am proud to own.
I am 41 years old, and am probably exactly halfway through my
lifetime. I knew from the few pictures Jody was no spring chicken,
but I looked forward to several years – if not decades – more
artistry and craftsmanship from his hands before his passing.
I never knew the man, and I never shook his hand, but it seems
to me that the world is a darker and sadder place now that the
Far Side of Albion is empty.
-- Ted Myers
have been a fan of Jody’s work for many years, ever since Conan
the Barbarian came out, and was stunned to learn of his death
at the end of last year. Even before I started on the path that
led me to my current career as a sword smith, I had admired Jody’s
work. It was not until the internet grew up that I was able to
learn more of him and his continuing creations, and I was able
to harbour the dream of being able to meet the man whose artistry
was part of the inspiration for myself and many other modern sword
smiths. That chance is now lost, but I must say that Jody will
live on through the work he has done, and the inspiration he has
given to myself and others who love the craft and art of the sword.
-- Peter Lyon, sword smith
I cannot express how saddened I am over the loss of this great
man. The wonderful memories of sitting in Tony's shop, just chatting
and laughing will be with me always. I made some of Jody's costumes,
one of my best memories is walking into the shop and Jody asking
"Where's my shirt?"
I have several pieces that Jody made for me and I will cherish
He is at peace in Summerland.
-- Ludmilla Lowery, Eminence, KY
have Atlantean #82 and Fathers #113 They hang on my wall in
a place of Honor, I oil them with care and when I hold them
in my hands I am at peace.I once Dreamed of traveling to see
Jody Samson with not but the two blades and placing them at
his feet asking to learn and be taught the riddle of steel at
his forge.I did not go and it shames me to have not tried,for
I was weak and Crom laughes at me,but I have had a dream last
night,I saw Jody Samson standing with two men,they were examining
and commenting on a blade held by Jody,One with a face like
a Easter Island statue held a strange book in his hand with
the title Necronomicon,the other a large man Like Jody Held
a copy of Wierd Tales,They seemed to be welcoming him,I lost
them in a grey mist then when it parted I saw... . thousands
of Years from now a man entering into a lonely and time lost
cave,he comes upon a sword covered in dust,wiping it away the
blade shines forth,inspecting it further the Name Jody Samson
is revealed... He along with Robert E. Howard,and H.P.Lovecraft
were not of this world,not entirely... they like him lived not
a man's life but one of future memory.May they Never Die!
-- Timothy Nelson, Destin, Florida
It was with great
sadness that I learned of the passing of Jody Samson, a man
who has had an indelible effect on my life. I offer my most
sincere condolences to all those that cherished and loved
him and hope that you may find peace in the knowledge that
he was one of the few people in this world that had the great
fortune of being able to do what he loved to do and he did
it so very very well. To this day I have a passion for edged
beauty that began when I first saw the opening scene of Conan
the Barbarian as a child. Even the subsequent knowledge that
this was not how a sword was truly created did not efface
the sheer majesty and power of his creation. It is still to
this day the standard against which a measure any blade that
I see. The effect was electrifying. No matter how many times
I watch this scene, or hear the soundtrack ( is it even possible
to wear down a CD? I'm trying), I get chills all over my body.
It is a strange feeling to be so affected by the passing of
a person that I did not even know in person. But like all
those greats that have affected my life, and then moved on,
I am truly saddened not only for those who loved him, but
selfishly because I will not see any more of his wondrous
blades. Again please accept my most heartfelt sympathies,
and I hope that you will keep his magic alive.
| It has been a few
years since I have had the opportunity to write to you, and say
Hello. My name is Leonard Campbell, now a Sergeant in the U.S.
Army, and several years ago I had the distinct pleasure of finding
you all, purchasing from you, and now owning the Atlantean, and
Father's Swords from the Conan movies. I am at a total loss as
to how to give my full respect for the man that was greatly responsible
for making that dream a reality. I just read on your website that
Jody passed in December last year. Man, that really bothers me.
I have been serving now for some time, and we never like to hear
that a friend or loved one has passed away. Please accept my deepest
condolences for a man that I never had the pleasure of actually
meeting, but felt as if I somehow knew for a long time. I have
the swords that were crafted by him hanging on my wall, and they
will continue to hang there, they will be gazed at with even more
pride now if that is possible, as they are a part of his legacy.
I still remember when I received them several years ago, they
were wrapped in the paper that said that they were sharpened by
him. Call me stupid if you'd like, but I have never had reason
to have those blades re-sharpened, and I am proud to say that
in the honor of a man that was truly great at his craft, those
blades will never be touched by another hand again. When they
are passed on to my son, he will be told of the importance of
this by me, and I know that he will follow my wishes. I believe
it to be important that he was the first, and last to sharpen
those blades, and so it will be done. To the Albion Family, a
great man has departed this life for another, and I am sure that
he will have as much of an impact in that life as he had in this
one. DO NOT mourn his passing, celebrate his life, his legacy,
and the artistry that we are blessed to have because of him. Once
again, my deepest condolences for a man that was an excellent
craftsman, and considered friend to more than he knew. May the
Lord touch him, be with him, and rest his soul. Respectfully,
-- Leonard Campbell SGT US Army Infantry
|I knew Jody in the
late 70’s and early 80’s mostly. He would come into Carter Sexton
Art supplies where I worked and get supplies. We had lunch many
times while going over his drawings and sketch books. His knives
and swords are beautiful. I am sorry and shocked to hear of his
passing. He was so young. He will be truly missed. Fondly,
-- Brenda Lloyd-Peterson
I just heard. What a loss. I knew Jody, not as well as I would have liked by a long shot. We met through mutual friends and spent an afternoon together in his shop in SoCal. I remember his collection of skulls, that to this day, I still find amazing. His passion for them and the humor that he found in them I remember like it was yesterday. We talked shop for hours and I so enjoyed sharing techniques. He was a man of great artistic passion and great abilities. He is missed.
-- Greig Fors
Rockett's Forge and Brass Works
It was my joy to be married to Jody for many years. We shared a unique friendship as well as passion together and his death has created a hole far wider than I might have expected. Though we were divorced before his death, still he remained in my heart as someone i truly loved.
He never thought of the price when offering is talents, only of the joy they would bring to others and the pride of his artistry and craftsmanship. His drive to create kept him in his shop in Burbank into the wee small hours of the morning and found him there every day possible. It was a place where people could go and talk of philosophy, art, weaponry, creating, fantasy, and oh so many more things. He played a mean game of chess and was deliciously proud of his ability to beat nearly anyone who dared to play him. He had a mind that spanned such an enormous variety of talents that it was hard, knowing him intimately, to know which was his strongest suit. His drawings, "doodles" were amazing, filling book after book and his stories were small flights of fantasy that delighted those lucky enough to read them. I remember his adventure with making those famous and infamous Conan swords and the time and meticulous attention to every detail he lavished on them. I still own the little knives and other marvelous accouterments he gifted me, every one still lovingly displayed and cherished by me. My children still hold Jody in their hearts as a sort of "father" who introduced them to the marvelous world of fantasy and sword making. Jody can never be replaced in my heart. He was and will always reign supreme in my love and will always be so very missed.
-- Sandra Linebarier
formerly "Sandi Samson"
Dear people at Albion-
Thank you for keeping Jody's memory alive. He was a good, kind incredibly talented man.
Yesterday, on a whim I decided to look up my old friend, Jody Samson, on Facebook and found he had passed nearly four years ago. The danger of knowing someone off and on for years is that part of you assumes there will always be another time that you will run into each other somehow, someplace.
I thought I'd share with you who knew and respected him, my fond memories of him.
The amazing, versatile artist and craftsman with warm brown eyes and a shy smile is….gone. I find it hard to believe I can’t just reach out and rekindle our friendship. Since I last saw him, I've always envisioned him someplace creating beautiful, deadly pieces of art, drawing, sculpting his intricate figurines and writing fanciful stories.
I remember how I first knew Jody in his shop in the LA area, the handsome older man who made metal into magic; fabulous swords, knives and figurines fit to evoke the old Gods. His was already legend in some circles. I looked with awe at the prolific and varied fruits of his gifted craftsmanship.
By the time I worked Southern Faire Jody had moved to Portland but we chanced to reconnect at the back of Tony’s shop, The Sword in the Stone, when Jody was in southern California visiting.
We shared a memorable weekend in Portland, cooking, eating and playing in the Oregon Science Museum. I still have the movie, Ran, the classic, Kurosawa version of “King Lear” Jody bought for me that weekend. How apropos that this movie of battles of stunning beauty was given to me by a master swordmaker.
My heart holds Jody in with great tenderness as I give a belated fair-well.
Perhaps some day we’ll meet in the Elysian Fields, but until that day good-by.
-- Jo Ellen Larsen/Miranda
are having a private sale of a selection of Jody's remaining custom pieces.
Go here for more information.