Middlefield sword-makers get call for special mission

As was widely reported, on Oct. 13, 2021, William Shatner had “the most profound experience” looking down on Earth aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard sub-orbital capsule.

At age 90, the actor became the oldest person to fly into space, and was hailed for his vim and vigor.

But Star Trek’s James T. Kirk didn’t receive a sword upon landing.

Let me explain.

One month before Blue Origin blasted passengers into space and brought them safely home, SpaceX did the same with its Inspiration4 mission.

After three days orbiting Earth, on Sept. 18, the astronauts aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft splashed down off the coast of Florida.

For his efforts, mission commander Jared Isaacman’s crew gifted him a sword created by Dragon’s Breath Forge, a company operated by Middlefield residents Matt Berry and Jamie Lundell.

Kindly reframe your understanding of what a sword is. In this case, it’s a work of art. Consider the blade as a canvas. Those of us who have invested time in Google Draw to create a straight line on a page will be humbled by the symmetry of calligraphy-style etchings on a piece of sharpened metal. 

“Jamie worked on the sword, while Matt worked on the handle and guard,” a post on dragonsbreathforge.com states. “For the sword Jamie created a custom mosaic Damascus pattern that is stunning to look at that also has the word ‘Inspiration4’ inlayed into the blade with 18K gold. The guard is made up of 2 medallions that Matt hand-carved and cast into silver. The front medallion is the Inspiration4 emblem that adorns the crews flight suits, while the back medallion is all 4 crew members call signs, the emblem of the dragon space capsule, and the date that their mission blasted off into space.”

The Inspiration4 mission raised awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“The dragon on the handle, carved by Matt, was cast in bronze and is adorned with beautiful amethyst stones set into the eye sockets; and over the dragon’s heart is the St. Jude symbol cast into a silver coin. The handle is a gorgeous piece of stabilized cherry burl and feels lovely when held in your hand,” the dragonsbreathforge.com writeup states.

And the sword was created in less than two weeks.

Together, with their colleague Matt Parkinson, Berry and Lundell have built a brand that is recognized around the world. See their work, and you will understand why.

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