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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


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Location: Alexandria, VA USA
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2007 1:59 pm    Post subject: Visiting Albion         Reply with quote

I just spent the last week in Wisconsin, and I figured that I simply couldn't spend all that time in the state without seeing the fine folks over at Albion Swords. What a great time that was!

Before anyone asks, no, I didn't take any pictures. I think I was too excited playing with the Knecht, and forgot how to operate anything else. Happy Seriously, though, I just completely forgot for some reason.

In any case, it was great to finally put some faces to the names of those on the team I'd never met in person before. I was able to set up a tour, though my timing was a little off, as most of the stuff was gone for the Atlanta Blade show. It was probably for the best, though, as I think my brain may have exploded from overstimulation.

The facility was really cool, and I loved getting to see the entire process of sword making. Watching a blade being milled to shape, watching as the various pieces were worked on, was a very humbling experience. Each one of these pieces are made by craftsmen who truly love what they do.

I got the chance to handle many of their new pieces, including the falchion pieces. The Knecht and Soldat (the two messers) are NICE. The Knecht is a real "straight to the point" looker, but it handles with a grace that is only rivaled by its efficiency. And the soldat is a mean, solid little guy, but again is far more graceful in the hand than many expect of this type of weapon. And the Vassal.... wow... the Vassal... That falchion is drop dead GORGEOUS. It has a number of sublte characteristics that I hadn't realized from the photos.

They gave me a pleasant surprise, too: My Maestro Line Mair, which I wasn't expecting to be completed yet, was there for me. That is a fantastic trainer. I had the chance to test it out at Bob Charron's place with some other practitioners, and it was really a solid piece of work. And it is far prettier than any practice sword has the right to be. Happy It has just enough flex for a safe thrust, handles wonderfully, and so far seems to have a top notch heat treatment. After countless hours of drills it so far has only seen surface mars on the flats.

I got to hang out with Aaron Schnatterly at his place, too, where he had his own private collection of Albion swords, too, amongst other goodies.

All in all, it was a great experience to be able to see the manufacturing side of the sword world. Those of you all who are going to be at the Atlanta Blade Show, enjoy yourselves, because there will definately be some really impressive work from the Albion table. Happy

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun, 2007 3:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am soooooooooooo jealous. I keep trying to talk my wife into the 800 mile trip to Wisconsin, but so far no luck. Razz
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun, 2007 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We all appreciated the visit, Bill! Glad you had a good time here.

It was nice for me to finally catch up with you after, what, a couple of years of exchange here and offline? I wish I had been healed up a bit more - might have tried to talk you into a little WMA session.

Racine is around the corner... hopefully I can manage to swing that trip. Would be great to catch up again!
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Michael Ahrens




Location: Staten Island & Andes NY
Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun, 2007 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HI Bill

i am very jealous that you had the opportunity to handle the Knecht. i would like to know more since i just
ordered one. so how was it ha tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The other mike from new york

Mike Ahrens
http://www.selohaar.org/

Staten Island German Martial Arts (S.I.G.M.A.)
http://www.sigmanewyork.webs.com/

Member of the 1st Universal Church of St. John Cantius Garand, Reformed (Gas Port)
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Grayson C.




Location: NCF, Sarasota, FL
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun, 2007 8:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Bill!

Amazing that you were able to go!

Where these the only swords you were able to handle? I ask because I was curious if you got a look at the new Ringeck? If so, here's one interested lad wanting your impressions Laughing Out Loud
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,145

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun, 2007 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike,
All I'll say is that you definately made a good choice.

Grayson,
Yes I did. It is a sweet longsword. In fact, I've handled the Talhoffer and the Fiore before as well, and they all have subtly different characteristics, but all have that sense of powerful grace: Swords that flow very nicely from attack to attack, but don't sacrifice any striking ability.

Aaron,
If you make it to WMAW, I'm oweing you a drink. Happy

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 07 Jun, 2007 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Bill, you definitely struck a chord with me when you mentioned the Vassal being drop dead gorgeous! I "think" I have the first Vassal ever made, since it was ordered by Ryan at Kult of Athena the day the concept art for it went up on the Albion Website. I had ordered a Vassal through Ryan a couple of months after his order with an oxblood hilt and later decided I'd rather have the black hilt that Ryan ordered, if that was OK with him. This is kind of funny, because Ryan was as blown away with the Vassal as I was and he liked the oxblood hilt more, so I got the first Vassal shipped to him and he liked mine so much when it came in that he decided he had to have a Vassal for his own private collection and therefore had to order a 3rd Vassal (oxblood grip) for the store! Laughing Out Loud
I have 10 swords (including the 3 Ring Italian Rapier) from Arms & Armor, so I decided I wanted a black grip on the Vassal to match, and my Berserkr also has a black grip.
My eyes bugged out and I went completely nuts with anxiety and lust the day I first saw the artwork on the Vassal Exclamation
After I got it I wrote a few posts in myArmoury about my extreme elation! I just had to share my joy with everyone!

The Knecht in particular is another Albion that I have been gawking since the artwork came out. In fact, the same day I lost my mind over the concept art for the Vassal, I lost it over the Knect too! LOL
Only so much money to go around.

Last summer I missed Aaron, Howie and Mike at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, this is ironic because I always go on a Saturday and that particular weekend I went on a Sunday for the first and only time, whereas if I'd gone on Saturday I would have had the pleasure to meet them all and buy them a beer! Shucks! I was both bummed and mad at myself when I heard I'd missed them by going on that Sunday instead of Saturday!

I am "hoping" to meet them this year! Three Very Nice people there Exclamation

I can't buy another sword this year or I might have a sword as a prosthesis via my wife, but 2008 the Knecht IS one of my strong considerations. I love messers!

Bill, I'd personally love it if you bought the Vassal! I am so very curious what a sword expert could do with this gem Exclamation

Enthusiastically!

Bob
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