Though Master Champagne left us at an early age, his work survives him. Paul left behind a number of blades he forged & heat treated, but had yet to polish. These blades are of both Japanese & European form. It would be a genuine tragedy to leave these blades to rust away. In order to preserve Paul's, work Seven Stars is working with Paul's Estate to bring his work to completion, making Paul's surviving swords available to collectors & martial artists alike. Those interested in purchasing a Paul Champagne blade, please contact us by phone at 703/573-2939 to discuss availability, as well as final polish & mounting options.
It is with genuine sadness that we mark the passing of Paul Champagne, Master Swordsmith and true friend.
Paul was a man totally dedicated to his art and I feel very fortunate to have known him, learned from his many years of practical experience and to have been his friend. As a consummate artisan, Paul forged blades for the simple joy of forging and learning from the process. He never wanted to make a living from his craft, though it is likely he could have lived quite well off his skills. He explained to me that he just couldn't afford the distraction of providing customers the service they deserved and forging what the client wanted, when he was busy working on other research projects. And it seemed he was always working on several projects at once. When his interests turned to forging Chinese Swords I was slowly able to convince him to allow me to represent his work, handling customer relations, so that swordmen would once again have access to traditional hand forged swords, while not interrupting his work.
I spoke with Paul a few days after his heart attack. He sounded tired but not too bad, and expected to make a full recovery. Paul had been working on a commissioned jian with a horse tooth pattern for months. As was usual for Paul, he repeatedly tested the blades he was forging to the point of destruction. He typically forged the same blade 4 or 5 times, breaking each one to test it, before he was happy with the end product. Paul particularly wanted to get the horse tooth edge looking right. I always wanted to say, "Paul, Man, don't break 'em all, lot's of guys (like me) would love to have one of those less than 'prefect' swords."
Paul spoke about having got things all set up the way he wanted to start forging blades, both Chinese and European, at a faster pace than the one he had just spent months forging and reforging. Alas, it was not to be. A week later he collapsed at home and could not be revived. Paul had just finished his first jian with a horse tooth pattern blade just before he passed.
Paul, you are missed by a great many people and we are very much the poor having lost you, thanks for all you gave us...
-Scott M. Rodell