I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and His teachings. As such the Holy
Scriptures are the greatest influence in my life and work, and I strive to let the
principles, ideas,and commands contained therein show in my work and in the
objects I craft. I have also been influenced by the ideals of the Arts and Crafts
movement, as well as numerous books, ancient writings, and individual
craftsmen and artisans.

       It is my opinion that everyday objects should be both useful tools and
works of art. They should convey meaning and not just be completely utilitarian,
but rather should be fashioned after the manner of the Creator's work. When God
created the world He did not make just one kind of tree, one kind of animal, and one
kind of fish, but instead He created a multitude of different species of each. Also, He
does not mass-produce anything each exactly the same; on the contrary every animal,
tree, blade of grass, and even snowflake is created unique and in a beautiful way. As
an artisan every object I make is different; each item is handmade, and many carry
carving, inscriptions, and/or some other forms of decoration. When using natural
materials I try to bring out the inherent beauty, the grain of the wood, and the
subtle colors of horn, leather and bone. I believe that the methods,processes,
and means of making an object are as important if not more so than simply
making it. I strive to make every piece that leaves my shop, whether it is
a simple knife or an ornate sword, the very best I am capable of.

The Artisan Way

The rain is falling softly down,
And watering the sod,
As along this toilsome way,
Steadily I plod.

It's not that I would trade my lot,
For any other man’s,
Nor that I will be ashamed,
Of my work torn hands.

For I have chosen the path I tred,
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof,
And the consequences reap.

Ben Potter

On the Reason for Crafting Weapons

       As a bladesmith I craft weapons in addition to normal tools; however I do not
in any way support or encourage senseless violence or the shedding of innocent blood.
In the twenty-sixth chapter of the gospel of Matthew Christ said, “…they that take the
sword shall perish with the sword.” This statement is balanced with His words in the
gospel of Luke, in the twenty-second chapter, wherein He tells His disciples, “…he that
hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” To possess a weapon, carry, and
even use it in defense of life or loved ones and to live by it are two different things.

       To me, weapons, and swords in particular, represent the constant battle
between good and evil. On the one hand, when used for evil, they can represent the
oppressor, war, death, brutality, pillage and violence. The converse is also true of
the sword; as an icon it represents justice, authority, chivalry, and virtue; as the weapon
par excellence of the individual, it symbolizes freedom, honor, and the willingness to
defend these as well as the lives of those we love. It is because of the power of this
symbolism I choose not to work in some styles, and will not craft certain objects. It is
my hope and prayer that the weapons I craft will inspire those who see them to follow
in the footsteps of the ancient heroes, from Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, Ehud, and
King David with his mighty men, to the Macabees, Beowulf, Roland, King Alfred,
Leif Ericson, King Olaf, the Black Prince, William Wallace, and all those who
wielded the swords of old in defence of freedom, life, and honor.
It is for this reason I choose to craft and sell weapons.

"... I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory.
I love only that which they defend."

J.R.R. Tolkien,
by Faramir in The Lord of the Rings

Saving the most important for last:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
-Romans 3:23
"...The wages of sin is death..."
-Romans 6:23a
"...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
-Romans 6:23b
"God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners
Christ died for us!"
-Romans 5:8
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!"
- Romans 10:13
"...If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart
that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved;
for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
-Romans 10:9,10


All images and text
Copyright 2008 Ben Potter