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Living by the sword: Carving a niche making warrior blades

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(7 Apr 2017) LEADIN:A New York man's love of swords and history has seen him create his own blades that wouldn't look out of place on "Game of Thrones" or being swung by a Samurai. John Lundemo has carved out a niche making pricey swords inspired by history, but with a liberal mix of elements from East and West, high art and Hollywood.STORYLINE:John Lundemo (pron: luhn'-deh-moh) really does live by the sword.He forges blades, grinds them and tests them before selling the history-inspired weapons to buyers all over."The cool factor is way up there, cool factor eleven," he says.The 60-year-old makes high-end swords here in his workshop around 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of New York City. Prices for his custom Odinblade swords start at $1,500 USD.He gets his inspiration from European history, Japanese Samurai and swashbuckling movies, but the designs are his own. He mixes East and West, history and Hollywood."It's European-looking, right? But it looks kind of Asian too at the same time," he says holding one creation."In fact, this pommel, the shape of this pommel, I got off a sword I saw in a movie called 'The Bride With White Hair.'"The sword market is crowded with makers of historic replicas and fantasy weapons. The owner of one online sword retailer says not all buyers are cut from the same cloth."People with a general historical interest, that's a big segment," says Ryan Whittlinger, the owner of Illinois-based Kult of Athena."There's also martial arts practitioners, people who practice both Asian martial arts and European, Western martial arts."Lundemo began forging swords about 30 years ago. He used to buy weapons for sword fights with his brother, but there were problems."I was always breaking the steel swords," he says. "I was breaking them all the time. You know, halfway through a sword fight and your sword breaks, it's annoying. So I started making them."It took Lundemo years to master edge geometry, balance and steel hardeningThe 60-year-old may have given up sword fighting, but he still has a way with a blade.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4089595 2b13194e3a455d06cc42bba786840b09 HZ US Sword Master
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