Friday, March 13, 2009

Measured drawings

It seems a century ago, but judging by the white in my beard, maybe not so long ago. A couple of years. This of course, is me, at the Palace Armoury in Malta, actually taking measurements off of a real honest to goodness piece of armour. A smelly job since the armour is covered in grease which has pretty much saponified into a sticky hard shell. The dark rusty look is the grease. Except on the inside, when it is grease and rust mixed.
You NEVER see the backs of armour, and NEVER see the inside. I tried as much as possible to see the inside of armours because, well, that is how you see what goes into their make up.

And when making armours as much as possible, it is important to be as accurate as possible. It is true that many medieval armours are clumsy and maybe don't perform or look quite is even more possible that they knew something I don't.

The curator, Mr. Michael Stroud, has a tremendous love for the armour, and the idea of being able to look after this armour as a job tickles him inordinately. Here he is pointing out a couple of details I never thought about...for instance the surprising height of the rolled edges. Until you actually touch these armours, you can forget details like that. I had lost these particular pictures up until now, and I wish I had had them when I made the replica below. I was just going by the measured drawings, and have no idea why I put so few grooves into the roped edges. Sometimes the drawings are not quite enough!

The armour turned out not too badly. I cleaned it up on the wheel instead of on the planishing anvil.

I think the fancy "filed" bits ended up looking pretty good. I used to wonder how the sliding side pieces would open up again after a cross body swing of the arm, but I discovered that if you make this armour exactly like the original, the metal will actually spring back into position on its own volition. Score another one for historical accuracy. I think I am the first person to ever notice or comment on this rather cool thing. And here I thought it has something to do with the straps dragging it back into place! Shows how you can get into an idee fixe for no good reason.
The rest of the pictures below are just more of the same. Some nice closeups of a piece of work which is not my best, and not my worst either, but it IS something I am quite proud of. An actual measured drawing, made into a replica of the original. I hope to be able to produce more of the same as time goes by.

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Claudio Setti said...

Wow Bill!

I haven't checked out your blog in ages - incredible work you have been up to as always!

Really incredible!

I think you will like my new work as it will be inspired by Norse Valkyries! :D

STAG said...

awwww Claudio, if you ever put your hand to making an armour, it would make mine look like a grade five crafts class.

There is no doubt that armour making is 5 percent inspiration and 95 percent perspiration. I see by your blog that the bronze work you are doing is much the same.