Friday, 20 July 2012

Roman Gladiator Sword.

I had a customer come in this week who re-enacts roman gladiator battles. He had bought a large curved knife that had a basic handle made from the tang bent over.

The customer wanted a better grip making and he supplied me with some buffalo horn and some Red deer antler.

After some discussion, I came up with a design in my mind which resembled a gladius in form, only off-centre.

It was a great chance to get to know horn, which I a material id not used before. I found it to be really, easy and satisfying to use and a wonderful material to finish.

I finished the grip the brass hilt plates and copper nails.

Customer’s hands are a bit larger than mine, so the handle was made to accommodate this.

Its surprising how a proper grip totally changes the dynamic of a sword or any tool for that matter. This piece was ungainly and awkward to use with the shock of impact being transmitted straight to the hand. With the new grip the sense of balance and control has improved.

Moving Pictures!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Hidden Treasures

Last year I did some work in museums and I would like to share some of the incredible, personal objects that are kept away in the back rooms.

Most museums have the vast majority of their objects out of view from the public. This is an unfortunate but inevitable result of not enough funding, not enough staff and a long history of each institution having decades of donations from the public, slowly filling up the stores. Once an item is accepted by a museum it becomes an accessioned object and is actually legally protected and can never be destroyed, or released from that museum’s collection.  Each piece has unique number (unique only to that institution as our regional museums are not connected through any network) kept on their records with who donated it, when and a description of the piece. Many of our museums were founded in the 19th century during a time of philanthropy and enthusiasm for archaeology and history in general and much of these collections date from then.  Many of the objects have never been on display which is such a shame because they are so interesting.

Cussions for newborns. Now extinct English tradition