Making a Norman Helm

The Finished Helm

Back to Part 9: Final Finishing and Assembly
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And here it is, a Norman helm with decorated nasal. Final weight: 4 lbs 14 oz.

Overall, I'm happy with the way it turned out. Just a few ruminations:

I will say that I won't soon finish an early Middle Ages piece to this level of brightness again. The buffed surface is pretty, but just seems a bit much for an 11th-century reproduction. It even seems to make photographing the helmet more difficult: not only do I show up reflected in the surface, but the sharp reflection of the windows and walls around the helmet sort of break up its outline in the photo. I've finished other helmets to a more satiny, "very fine emery" finish -- about 600-800 grit equivalent -- and in my opinion they look more "real".

My readers may notice that, although I wrote down the times needed to accomplish a fabrication step here and there, I did not consistently track the hours of labor required to make this piece. My apologies. My work sessions were broken up over many weeks, due to the logistics of photography, so I lost track of the "hammering time". As a rough guess, I would say that I expended about 50 hours to make this helmet, leaving out the time to make new stakes, take photographs, and make another nasal that I ended up tossing (I didn't like the shape). With a steadier work schedule, making this helmet style again would probably take between 20-30 hours.

I thank the reader for his patience. Till next time!

Copyright © 2000 Eric Thing

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