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Grzegorz Kulig
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 22 Mar 2007

Posts: 98

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 10:03 am    Post subject: Thorkil - introducing and big up-date         Reply with quote

Hello everyone.
I am armorer and craftsman from Poland. This is the first time of writing about my web site on this forum (Makers and Manufacturer Talk), as I was waiting for up-date of my web site. If some of you already now my site, you will notice that it is totally different and there are many new reconstructions and replicas. Though, there still are some things to do - like belts and antler wares, FAQ and expeditions. Hopefully I will add tis soon. So, what do you think about it?

www.thorkil.ovh.org

There are few stuff on my web site I am really proud of, for example helmet from Pecs (Pécs,), st. Wenceslas helmet, Cuman helmet, black hundsgugel in Churburg style... And now I am realising two of my - armorer dreams, I will show it here, as soon as it will be ready.

I think that most of important information are already on my web site, but I will write here few most important things.

I make everything by hand, without press, machine hammers etc. Only my hand hammers and the strength of my arms. Generally I work on commission, I hardly ever have something on stock, as this is not mass production and I work alone. I care about the quality, not about the number of items I could make. Everything, (exept majority of blades, made by my friend - Robert Kapusta) is made me : armors, decoration of helmets, decoration on steel, sheaths, handles, belt etc. etc.

I don't have prices on my web site, as I don't want to limit myself to making the same items all the time. Also, I always give the price after some talk with customer, as the same item can have few different price, it depends of materials used, technique, finishing etc. etc.

What I really want is to encourage you to armors made with using historical techniques : I am able to make armors without using nowadays power tools. So, there is option to order a helmet raised of one piece of steel, for example. Those are really highest quality and exclusive stuff. Moreover, my main purpose is to make as often as possible replicas and reconstructions of original items. So, I will be encourage you to order things based on original find or something from iconography.


You can always ask me about some stuff that aren't on my site. What I like the most in this work is making new things!

Feel free to comment my work and my web site.

Best regards from Poland,
Thorkil.



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Pecs.jpg
Shishak from Pecs, Hungary.

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helm_sw_Waclawa.jpg
st. Wenceslas helmet

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Gjermundbu.jpg
Gjermundbu helmet

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bascinet_d_abernon.jpg
bascinet of Sir John d'Abernon

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hundsgugel_2.jpg


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milanese_legs.jpg
milanese legs

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cuman.jpg
Cuman-Kun nomadic helmet, raisde of one piece of steel

NEW ONLINE SHOP : www.thorkilshop.com

NEW ADDRESS of my web site: www.thorkil.pl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorkil-Grzegor...7530780383
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J. Bedell




Location: Maryland, USA
Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 226

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thorkil, the website looks great! I really like your work, it is very nicely done! Keep up the great work!

Oh! While exploring your website I found that I couldn't get to the FAQ page, I don't know if it just me or if there is a problem, thought I should let you know.

-James

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Grzegorz Kulig
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 22 Mar 2007

Posts: 98

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, James. Happy Me and my wife made our best. Wink
Yes, the FAQ section is not ready yet, I have already written it in first post, but thanks for calling my attention to that. I would also be grateful for any remarks about errors on web-site. However, FAQ, belts and antler wares and expeditions sections are just not ready yet.

NEW ONLINE SHOP : www.thorkilshop.com

NEW ADDRESS of my web site: www.thorkil.pl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorkil-Grzegor...7530780383
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Greg Mele
Industry Professional



Location: Chicago, IL USA
Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 356

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Grzegorz,

Beautiful site and some very nice work! The Milanese leg harness is gorgeous.

Of of curiosity, what materials do you work in? Mild steel only? Spring steel?

Best,

Greg
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

Posts: 936

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

wow you do amazing stuff!!
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Grzegorz Kulig
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 22 Mar 2007

Posts: 98

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Greg. Happy
Those milanese leg were made of stainless steel, regarding to customer's will. Some time ago I was using mild and middle steel, but now, as I converted to "hot forging" I use actually only spring steel and constructional middle carbon steel, as I find armors of those materials very durable, especially if you tempered it. But, I can use any kind of steel, just have some favourite after few years of experiments with steel.

Thanks, Chuck, but I thought that you already my site and my work. Razz

NEW ONLINE SHOP : www.thorkilshop.com

NEW ADDRESS of my web site: www.thorkil.pl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorkil-Grzegor...7530780383
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Hugo Voisine




PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Thorkil,

That new hungarian "pecs" helmet is very nice. I also like your klappvisier a lot. The blackened bascinet is really fantastic. Happy

« Que dites-vous ?... C'est inutile ?... Je le sais !
Mais on ne se bat pas dans l'espoir du succès !
Oh ! non, c'est bien plus beau lorsque c'est inutile ! »
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Grzegorz Kulig
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 22 Mar 2007

Posts: 98

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2007 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Hugo. I like the helmet from Pecs, either. Would like to make some more helmets in this type, or similar type : like Gnezdowo helmet, or helmet from Gniezno, or Stolbishche (Stołbiszcze) helmet... There are so many stuff I would like to make. Big Grin
NEW ONLINE SHOP : www.thorkilshop.com

NEW ADDRESS of my web site: www.thorkil.pl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorkil-Grzegor...7530780383
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2007 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just had a good look at the site and it looks very good and well as the armour and knives.

Make sure that the FAQ when it is finished gives some idea of prices, approximate wait times and specify if these are firm or just ballpark estimates: It's always better to surprise by being able to deliver before the estimated time by being realistic with time estimates i.e. promise less and deliver more is always better in the long run than the reverse. Wink Big Grin

Nothing personally aimed at you but often small arms and armour businesses damage their reputations and long time survival by being wonderful makers but not very good at business and managing expectations.

Please pardon these comments if they are very much obvious to you. Big Grin Cool Good customer service is rarer than it should be unfortunately with custom makers. Sad

I've had great luck with most makers myself and have a few suppliers who give AAAAA quality service but I think all of us have been burned at least once by very bad service. ( Again, nothing aimed at you: Just a very general comment aimed at the industry as a whole ).

The skill and artistry of your work is truly extraordinary. Cool

( Edited: Oh, I read your first post again and noticed why you prefer to negotiate the price for each custom project with a potential purchaser. Seems fine to me but maybe a very general indication of price range " might " still be useful but the choice of not giving prices also makes sense if most of what you do are unique projects ! ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Grzegorz Kulig
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 22 Mar 2007

Posts: 98

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Just had a good look at the site and it looks very good and well as the armour and knives.


Thank you, Jean, for appreciation. Happy And everyone for all compliments, again. However, I know that I will be still learning armouring and improving my skills as long as I will be able to.

Quote:

Make sure that the FAQ when it is finished gives some idea of prices, approximate wait times and specify if these are firm or just ballpark estimates: It's always better to surprise by being able to deliver before the estimated time by being realistic with time estimates i.e. promise less and deliver more is always better in the long run than the reverse. Wink Big Grin

( Edited: Oh, I read your first post again and noticed why you prefer to negotiate the price for each custom project with a potential purchaser. Seems fine to me but maybe a very general indication of price range " might " still be useful but the choice of not giving prices also makes sense if most of what you do are unique projects ! ).


Yes, that's right - that's why I don't have pricing list. I don't want to have a catalog, as I want to make new items and take new challenges all the time. Also, the same item, for example helmet can be done in at least few version, as there are few possibilities in steel, few in technique of making, few in finishing, some customers want lining, some not - I could write and write. Wink Also, I really think that the best way of deal with customer is talking. Often in the end of talking, customer order something different than he wanted previously, as I like to give advices and very often customers don't know that they have many options in ordering. Many customers writes to you saying : I want that helmet from your web site, because they don't know they could order any helmet, even if this is not put on my site. Nothing is better to know customer's expectations than a talk.

Quote:

Nothing personally aimed at you but often small arms and armour businesses damage their reputations and long time survival by being wonderful makers but not very good at business and managing expectations.

Please pardon these comments if they are very much obvious to you. Big Grin Cool Good customer service is rarer than it should be unfortunately with custom makers. Sad


As I wrote before, I always prefer to talk with customers about their requirements and to let them know how many options they have. Moreover, I always send the photos of ready item and ask if it is like customer wanted. Also, very often I make photos during production and send it to customer.
However I am not ideal. Wink I admit, they sometimes have delays, but I always try to recompense the waiting with some gifts or some extra option for free (decoration or something). Also, I think, there is rather good contact with me (besides the language Razz), as my wife is a great manager and responds e-mails, when I am working. She is better in English than me and she also have great knowledge, so she helps a lot with customers. Actually, this is our joint business, as she also makes lots of researching and the web site is her merit in big part. So, I am not alone. Wink

[quoted]
I've had great luck with most makers myself and have a few suppliers who give AAAAA quality service but I think all of us have been burned at least once by very bad service. ( Again, nothing aimed at you: Just a very general comment aimed at the industry as a whole ).[/quote]

Yes, I understand. I am also reenactor - me and my wife reconstruct Vikings, wealthy people from Birka. But the same about burning could say every armourer or craftsman, me either, unfortunately. So, I was cheated as a customer of other craftsman and as a producer, either. But I never have cheated anyone. Wink

Also hope that soon some of my customers will write some opinion, here, as talking about yourself isn't anything objective. Razz

Quote:
The skill and artistry of your work is truly extraordinary. Cool


Thanks again. Big Grin

NEW ONLINE SHOP : www.thorkilshop.com

NEW ADDRESS of my web site: www.thorkil.pl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorkil-Grzegor...7530780383
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, delays are nice to avoid but when the communication is good I have no problem with delays and " talking " is a very good idea. Cool

I find that with my own custom projects I at times know exactly what I want and want the maker to stay close to my design but at other times the best is to give general requirements and let the maker suggest ideas and use his own creativity instead of mine: When I make a design it may be a great design that I want but I'm rarely surprised, but when I let the maker decide or just buy something he has already made I get something I would never have imagined, and being " surprised " by some beautiful object is also very good.

Different makers have different approaches and different collectors different needs, talking is the best way to make sure that the " marriage/partnership " of " maker/collector " is going to be a happy one. Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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