Blacksmithing and metalworking

Medieval armouring – a 13th century helm with Graham Ashford

Ref: SLW08846

Beginners

£422.00
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2 places available

About this course

Learn how to make a mid-13th century helm as illustrated throughout the Morgan Bible. Using these illustrations and cathedral statues as source material, we will work together to recreate a completed helm each. You will learn techniques to hot and cold shape the metal and leave either rough from the hammer for waxing, or leave plain ready for painting.

Course Description

This course is aimed at beginners or those with some basic metal working skills; introducing everyone to the skills required to size and make a 13th century Helmet seen throughout medieval illuminations such as the Morgan Bible.

The helmet you will be making was the product of an ever evolving response to the changing nature of 12th and 13th century warfare. Made from a series of overlapping, riveted plates with some simple shaping it is likely the first helmet that is instantly recognisable as medieval and was the jumping off point for many later iconic helmets.

It offers the opportunity to make something truly historical and aesthetically wonderful that once represented the very pinnacle of science and military research.

There are no original versions of these helmets, so we will take a look at sculptures and artworks that depict these helmets, as well as the one made by the tutor. The course will teach you how to properly, shape, planish, clean and fix the plates creating a finished piece any 13th century knight would have been proud to call their own.

Depending upon your skill level, it is hoped that everyone will be able to finish one complete helmet. These helmets were often painted (according to illuminations) so they will be left rough from the hammer to be painted after the course, should you wish to.

To allow for the required skill for the course and to ensure that there is enough time left, some parts of the build involving hand tools like power shears and grinders may be done by the instructor.

All tools and materials are provided by the College.

Timetable

Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

Included

  • All fuel costs and metal required for the project.
  • Leather aprons, work gloves, safety spectacles and ear defenders are provided in the Forge, and suitable protective clothing must be worn.
  • You may wish to bring any of the above, if you have them. If for example you have particularly large or small hands, your own work gloves are likely to be a better fit.

What students need to bring

  • You will need clothing with long sleeves suitable for workshop use, together with steel toe capped boots, which are mandatory when undertaking a course in the forge. If you fail to bring suitable footwear, you will not be able to take part in the course. Safety boots can be purchased from most tool hire shops and builders merchants as well as online.
  • Please note that cotton or wool clothing is preferable to nylon or other synthetics. A pair of cotton jeans is far more protective than a pair of nylon trousers.

Please note: potential students must be able to repetitively use light hammers and hold metal tongs in the other hand while standing at an anvil height and higher worktop.

Tutors

Graham Ashford

A professional armourer since 2008. Graham won a QEST Scholarship apprenticing with Master Armourer David Hewitt at White Rose Armouries for 3 years. Working principally for reenactors, museums and collectors across the world. I have written pieces for historical periodicals and now work from my workshop in Fareham.

Accommodation

Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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