I’m a swordmaker and theatrical lighting designer based in Washington, DC.
Although my love of swords dates further back, my experience wielding swords and knives began in high school and college, first with modern sport fencing and then studying stage combat with the Society of American Fight Directors.
I turned my attention to sword-making while getting my MFA in lighting design at the Yale School of Drama. It began as a much needed break from design studies, but once I got started I just couldn’t stop. I’ve been making swords ever since (10 years I think, but who's counting?).
As a swordmaker I supply weapons to performers, theaters, universities and film productions as well as historical fencers and collectors. I make my own lightweight aluminum blades for stage and film and mount steel blades from a variety of manufacturers onto the other hilts I build. My goal is to create weapons with authentic forms and proportions that look real to audiences and feel real to their wielders.
While I’m mostly self-taught, I’ve benefitted tremendously from the generosity and goodwill of many other swordmakers and craftspeople who have shared their time and knowledge with me. I’m always excited to work on projects that stretch my skills and allow me to explore new techniques.
All my pieces are made in a small workshop with the help of my loyal shop dog Clementine and the bemused tolerance of my wife, Sarah.
If you'd like to see what I'm working on now, please visit my facebook page: Jesse Belsky Stageswords
Clementine pretending to be noble. Don't be fooled.