Once the design considerations are established, measurements are taken and patterns are completed the manufacture of the piece can begin. Throughout the build digital pictures are made available to the client showing the progress of the piece – allowing more direct involvement in the experience and inviting feedback.
Traditional techniques are used as far as knowledge and budgets allow. No manuals or guides have survived through history so almost all of our understanding has come through the direct inspection of actual pieces in private collections and museums, as well as making the armour and discovering what allows us to achieve the desired shape, while leaving similar hammer marks in the rear of the work. Our armourer at Greenleaf Workshop has been fortunate enough to have served a four year apprenticeship with world renowned, Master Armourer David Hewitt at White Rose Armouries.
Depending upon the agreed requirements of the work, the correct metals are cut from the patterns and moved into shape using hammers, forge, stakes and other tooling. At no point are modern tools such as English wheels, rollers &c,. used as it is impossible to create many of the required subtle shapes as we seek to keep the armour’s creation as close to the originals as possible. All metal cutting is done using modern tools with the edges finished by hand and polishing is started by machine and finished by hand to ensure original looking finishes.
These modern stages can be completed using traditional tooling but will sadly add to the cost and not alter the look of the finished piece substantially.
All hinges, straps and other fittings are hand made, only the buckles (when desired) are casts taken directly from or inspired by original pieces appropriate to the time and status of the whole build.