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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Oct, 2004 7:57 pm    Post subject: Albion's Swordfest '04         Reply with quote

Work has kept me busy since returning from New Glarus but I finally found time to sit down and give everyone the low-down on this years Swordfest.

The event went off well and everyone had a great time.

My flight to and from was on time and uneventful, which is the best case scenario with those things. Paul Hanson kindly braved Madison traffic to pick me up at the airport at noon on friday. After I arrived at Albion I spent the afternoon saying hello to friends old and new. I was introduced to the new faces in the shop, Stephen Wittsell, Brett Stark, and John Gage. I was touched by their warm welcome and impressed by their enthusiasm for the craft. There's a very positive energy going on in the Albion shop and it's nice to see. Since my visit last year Albion has continued to streamline and improve the production process. Before too long things should be humming along nicely. The new guys all have a great sense of humor and really seem to love what they're doing.

I then took the opportunity to examine some of the newest Next Gens. Well, they were hanging on a rack and no one was looking Wink The Castellan is a very nice sword. This one should really appeal to the sword and buckler crowd, as well as Fiore practitioners. I've never cared for later thrusting oriented sword designs. Now I've come to realize this is because I've never handled accurate recreations, until now. The Sovereign is a nasty pit bull of a sword, one that I really wanted to cut with but couldn't. More on that later. I didn't get a chance to examine an assembled Viceroy, but the components that I did see were nicely detailed and the blade is a beautiful piece of work.

As nice as the swords were they wound up taking a back seat to what I saw on the workbench of Kevin Iseli. Kevin's scabbard work is great and the hand made fittings he makes for them are jaw dropping. I probably spent as much time standing at Kevin's work bench drooling over buckles, swivels, and chaps as I did anywhere else. I hope Kevin didn't mind me staring over his shoulder saying "Neat!" every five seconds. I had expected to find a sword that I couldn't live without. I wound up placing an order for a scabbard for my Regent instead. That's saying something folks.

At six-o'clock we all walked down to the Sportsmans Bar and Grill for some libation. I will undoubtedly be the envy of Conan fans everywhere because I got drunk with Jody Sampson. Actually, a more accurate description would probably be that Jody watched me get drunk, since I'm not capable of keeping up in that particular competition. Eventually I wound up sitting in a corner with Peter Johnsson, Harlan Hastings, and Howard Wadell. Later we all agreed that we had a very profound discussion in which all of Albion's, and the world in general's problems were solved. We also agreed that it was a shame that none of us could remember what was said! Next year a tape recorder at Sportsman's is a must have. Sometime during the evening I decided to call my wife and say hi Eek! Of course everyone else said hi, all at once Exclamation I knew I'd pay for that and I have.

I woke up the next morning at the McHugh home, and while I was negotiating the stairs I reminded myself why I don't do that during the other 364 days of the year. We opened up the saturday seminars at Howy and Amy's lovely new home with a lecture by Peter Johnsson. Peter's presentation was well done and dispelled quite a few of the myths and misconceptions associated with the european sword. It's always a pleasure to listen to Peter talk about the sword. I also had the opportunity to meet Nathan Bell for the first time saturday morning. Nathan's main interest concerns Celtic weapons, and his knowledge of the subject is quite impressive. He also brought along much of his reference library that was something to see. I wish I could speak french! I was fascinated by Nathan's knowledge and enjoyed speaking with him very much, even though the spectre of friday night was still floating over my head. Nathan brought along his Patrick Barta Celtic sword. This was my first hands-on experience with a PB piece and I was duely impressed. I also got acquainted with Dennis, the owner of Albion's contract foundry. Dennis has a keen business sense and vision for his own company. He's also a great guy to hang around with.

After Peter's presentation, and lunch, we went back to the shop for a lecture by Bob Charron, the owner and operator of St. Marten's Academy of Martial Arts. Thus ensued the second jaw dropping experience of the weekend. Bob gave us an hour long lecture on the Medieval longsword system of Fiore de Liberi. Bob is an articulate and well read instructor who possesses a humble attitude and great sense of humor. I was fascinated by Bob demonstration since many of the sword's design features became immediately apparent once it was put into use. I found myself continually nodding my head and thinking "Of course!" I probably learned more about the use of the longsword in that one hour than I have in the last ten years. Bob's lecture was worth the admission price all by itself. Once Bob concluded his talk the test cutting began. Everyone who participated had a lot of fun, and it was nice to see the new Albion designs in action. The top cutter of the afternoon was the Jarl, in the hands of Brett Stark. That thing went through those goza like a knife through butter. Brett also showed us that a helmet standing off to the side works quite well as a blade-stop Laughing Out Loud I wanted to do a bit of cutting with the Sovereign, but given my "rough" condition I felt that it would be too embarrassing for me, and too life threatening for the rest of the group.

after we concluded at Albion we again adjourned to Sportsman's for a much more subdued dinner. It was then that I learned of Eric McHugh's abject hatred for country music.

Sunday I attended the nearby Harvest Festival with the Albion folks, where I saw the King's Champions in action for the first time. All I can say is big brass ones Lloyd!

I spent monday morning poking around the shop and making a general nuisance of myself. I then caught a ride to the airport with Harlan Hastings and his daughter Whitney for an uneventful trip home. I love getting home, but I hate leaving New Glarus when I'm there. The folks at Albion have always made me feel like part of the family and it's great being around people who have such enthusiasm for their craft. I'd also like to thank Eric's wife Sue for putting up with me in the Mchugh household, and a special thanks for their son Nathan Patrick (I think that should be the other way around) for lending me his bed. Even though my feet did hang over the end. Big Grin

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Thu 14 Oct, 2004 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Patrick,

I thought that was you on Sunday, but I was pretty busy and unfortunately didn't get the chance to talk to everyone from Swordfest that came out.

I am glad that you enjoyed the jousting. We pride ourselves on providing not a show, but a demonstration on how real jousting was "back in the day". I hope that you can come up and see us again next year.

I am really looking forward to working with Albion researching the use and practicalities of the sword from horseback and will make sure that all of you are kept informed on our findings.

Have a great weekend all!

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Lloyd,

I really enjoyed your demonstration. I thought of introducing myself but you did seem pretty busy. Besides, I felt like the low man on the totem pole for most of the weekend. I was hanging around with sword makers and martial artists. So when someone one asked me how I fit into the group I felt a bit inadequate when I had to tell them I helped run a website. I felt like I needed a pair of coke bottle glasses and a pocket protector Laughing Out Loud

I was sitting over at the Albion booth when I heard a big crash. It turned out to be you getting familiar with mother earth. Ouch!

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patric;

Your modesty is commendable, and I might have felt the same way, but JUST running "a web site" is very much appreciated, the resulting community keeps all of this stuff going and I am sure that the Designers, Makers and Martial artists all derive valuable benefits of this Forum.

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



Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 21 Sep 2003

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agreed. I know that I have benefitted from both you and this site on several occasions. And, as always, it was a pleasure to have you in the shop again (the 5 min. intervals of "Neat!" were very encouraging!) Laughing Out Loud

Thank you also for your kind words.

Best,

--Kevin Iseli
Elvenarts scabbard shop
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kevin and Jean, thanks for the kind words.

BTW Kevin, I mailed off those illustrations yesterday. Hopefully they'll provide you with some inspiration. There's a lot of, well, "neat" stuff there. Big Grin

Oh, and Kevin does a mean scottish accent. I tried to keep up but I think I came off as Yoda doing a Sean Connery impersonation.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Thu 14 Oct, 2004 8:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Eric Bergeron




Location: New Hampshire
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Thu 14 Oct, 2004 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing Patrick, sounds like you had a great time wish I was able to attend maybe next year. Did anyone take any pics?
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Nathan Bell





Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Fri 15 Oct, 2004 3:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Bergeron wrote:
Thanks for sharing Patrick, sounds like you had a great time wish I was able to attend maybe next year. Did anyone take any pics?


I was hoping someone had pics, too. I couldn't take any, since the Better Half claimed camera rights.

As Patrick said, this was a really good time, with lots of very talented and brainy people all around. Wish I could have seen the tilting on Sunday, and had more time to talk to Albion shopfolk.

Actually, I wish I had more time to talk to Patrick, Peter, Eric, Brett...everyone. These gatherings are so informative and so many very interesting insights it produces sort of an Attention Deficit disorder effect---you want to look at everything at once and listen to evryone's stories all at once.

Hope I can make it next year.
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Jonathon Janusz





Joined: 20 Nov 2003

Posts: 467

PostPosted: Fri 15 Oct, 2004 5:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick,

I hear you, man! I kinda felt similarly until about 10:01 on Saturday and I entered "salesman mode". Sometime (I don't want to hijack the thread) I'll have to explain how I somehow fit in the middle of Albion, The King's Champions, and everything Wink
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Fri 15 Oct, 2004 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Bergeron wrote:
Thanks for sharing Patrick, sounds like you had a great time wish I was able to attend maybe next year. Did anyone take any pics?


I had thought about grabbing a disposable camera and taking some pics, but completely forgot about it. I don't know if anyone did. If any were taken I'm sure that Albion will put them up on their website.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Geoff Freeman




Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Fri 15 Oct, 2004 6:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a great time also. It was nice to finally meet some of the people on the forums that I've heard about but never actually met.

And, of course, it was very enlightening to meet Peter and have some lengthy discussions, at the Sportsman's Pub, the workshop, and the Festival.

As always, it was great to talk with the Albion folks as well.

I also wish I had thought to bring a camera, but I forgot. I look forward with all eagerness to next year!

Geoffrey C. Freeman
Durendal Fencing Club
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Nathan Bell





Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Sat 16 Oct, 2004 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's Swordfest '04         Reply with quote

With weekend free time here I can add a few more random thoughts.

This event was really great for me, to meet some folks I have "known" over the net for years. I have been frequenting the various "sword" fora for around 6 years or so and Patrick Kelly was one of the 'regulars' on the boards back then...it was great to finally get a chnace to talk to him in person, even if he was haunted by the ghosts of grape and barley Laughing Out Loud I have also known about the Albion folks since the Maryland days, remember Eric McHugh since back before he was "the Bishop" and before---remember some of Eric' first garage cutlering projects from when they were home experiments on the very early Gus Trim models. Peter Johnsson answered one of my first innane questions on SFI, about the thickened edges on period skeggox, many years ago. He has been answering many of my questions on period swords and weapons indeirectly and directly ever since....

So it was really great to meet some of these folks face to face after several years of only "knowing" them through their online posts. In many ways, it sort of feels like an old family reunion, if that metaphor isn't too sappy for ya. Wink

Now about some of the swords Big Grin

I have had an opportunity to handle a wide range of the next gens, via attending and hosting Albion round tables....I already had a growing liking for the Gaddjhalt, and the Prince as well. The Regent is a sword I LOVE, and the Sovereign is one I am growing to love. I just haven't mastered the harnessed brutality of the Sovereign yet.

It was my first time to see the Castellan however. This is one of very few production sowrds that I have handled that gets the flattened diamond cross-section "right". The centerline is very crisp, and the thickness of the blademetal is quite concentrated around it. Seems to me this gives it both the stiffness it should have, and also that very "centered" feel. It tracks well this way, and one has a very good idea just through "feel" where the edges are in relation to the rest oft he sword, and how the point is going to move. A very understated sword, with a nice feel. Almost feels better as a slightly heavy 1-hander.

The Svante---what can I say? I was handling one only about 85% finished, and I was still mightily impressed. This thing is a brute. I love the heavy hollow-ground cross section, and the wicked balance. with the long hilt, it feels almost like a short polearm or hafted weapon. Shifting leverage on this beast lets one imagine a thousand harsh possibilities for use. Incidentally, it was also a nice comparison of variations in hollow-ground cross section. The character between this sword and the Regent are vastly different in cross section, throughout the length of each blade. It was an education just seeing these difference, between two blades which are both "simple" hollow-ground diamond cross-sections.

The Jarl---. I literally could *not* put this sword down. Harlan can attest to this directly. It was imply eautiful in every way. I currently have 5 custom projects going, which was the only thing which prevented this beauty from coming home with me. I didn't care if this one was a "shop sword" or had already been cut with, it was a real beauty that it really hurt me to leave it there. Simply gorgeous in its 3-D execvution, and felt marvelous, and I'm not even a solidly "viking" kind of guy. Some day, one of these *needs* to come home to live with me. Perhaps with a red grip, though Wink

Of course, the most, er um "enlightening" thing I saw was Eric McHugh doing a rendition of what was that---the "Boot Scoot Boogie" ? while the rest of us were writhing in agony over the very bad country music. One has to wonder where a guy who hates country music learned that dance, and why, oh why?

*g*
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Eric McHugh
Industry Professional



Location: Crown Point, IN
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2004 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Albion's Swordfest '04         Reply with quote

Nathan Bell wrote:

Of course, the most, er um "enlightening" thing I saw was Eric McHugh doing a rendition of what was that---the "Boot Scoot Boogie" ? while the rest of us were writhing in agony over the very bad country music. One has to wonder where a guy who hates country music learned that dance, and why, oh why?

*g*


LOL...well perhaps people were thinking that I protest too much in regards to country, but I really do have a deep abiding dislike of it. I'm not really sure what happened because I am not a dancer and I certainly do not know that dance. I suspect that during the rituals to Dionysus in which we all participated, I was blessed with a special one time gift from the god. Or, perhaps you had too much wine to know that I was not dancing that well...you take your pick.... Laughing Out Loud

Seriously, it was nice meeting you too Nathan. You need to come back so that I can talk with you too. Peter was telling me about the great discussion you guys had. I feel bad that I missed it.

Find me on Facebook, or check out my blog. Contact me at eric@crownforge.net or ericmycue374@comcast.net if you want to talk about a commission or discuss an available piece.
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Nathan Bell





Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2004 6:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's Swordfest '04         Reply with quote

Eric McHugh wrote:
Nathan Bell wrote:

Of course, the most, er um "enlightening" thing I saw was Eric McHugh doing a rendition of what was that---the "Boot Scoot Boogie" ? while the rest of us were writhing in agony over the very bad country music. One has to wonder where a guy who hates country music learned that dance, and why, oh why?

*g*


LOL...well perhaps people were thinking that I protest too much in regards to country, but I really do have a deep abiding dislike of it. I'm not really sure what happened because I am not a dancer and I certainly do not know that dance. I suspect that during the rituals to Dionysus in which we all participated, I was blessed with a special one time gift from the god. Or, perhaps you had too much wine to know that I was not dancing that well...you take your pick.... Laughing Out Loud

Seriously, it was nice meeting you too Nathan. You need to come back so that I can talk with you too. Peter was telling me about the great discussion you guys had. I feel bad that I missed it.


I was just funnin' ya, Laughing Out Loud

It really was sort of a caught between hammer and anvil night, with polka music outside, and something from the K-Tel Redneck classics inside....good thing the company was good because the music was pretty painful Worried

I do hope to be able to spend more time up there next time, maybe even on a weekend where I can take the Monday off on the other end. Besides I hadn't even graduated to single-malt yet, and had to leave a beer on the table! Bad manners, that.
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Amy Christensen-Waddell
Industry Professional



Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 7:44 am    Post subject: Dance card         Reply with quote

Oh Nathan, had you only been able to get the heck out of court and join us Friday night. Eric and Mike are legendary for their Macarena dance. Eric did a few moves for us Friday night - as always, so memorable. Then Eric and Kevin were doing a few Jay and Silent Bob dances over by the pool table. Sadly, only those of us near them got to laugh ourselves into oblivion over that. Others were far too engrossed in conversation to even notice the hilarity going on so close by... We'll have to get you over to Sportsman's earlier next year!
Amy Waddell
President/CEO
Albion Swords Limited, LLC

I wrote to the FBI to see if they had a file on me. They wrote back, "we do now..."
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Matt G. Meekma




Location: Horicon, Wi
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 4:28 pm    Post subject: Thanks         Reply with quote

While I didn't get the Chance to attend SwordFest due to my participation at the Return to Camelot Harvest Fest, I would love to thank Paul, Jason and Peter at Albion for taking the time to give Jon and I a little taste of what we missed when we went to pick up Jon's new sword this past saturday.

So Thank you Paul for hanging out and Giving us a tour and Behind the scenes look on your day off.

Thank you Jason for taking a break from your work on your Japanese blades to Talk and teach.

And Thank you Peter for ALL the info you shared and all of the Questions you answered, not to mention the swords you most likely have sold to me Just by showing me the Full scale Drawings of them and explaining your (and by your, I mean Albion collectively) visions and expectations of the final blades.

THANK YOU all.

Everything was VERY informative and Fun.... Man I love holding new and different swords.

Beer is God's way of saying He wants Us to be Happy. - Ben Franklin
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Amy Christensen-Waddell
Industry Professional



Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct, 2004 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathon Janusz wrote:
Patrick,

I hear you, man! I kinda felt similarly until about 10:01 on Saturday and I entered "salesman mode". Sometime (I don't want to hijack the thread) I'll have to explain how I somehow fit in the middle of Albion, The King's Champions, and everything Wink


Well I can't speak for the King's Champions, but I can say that Jon is the man I've invited to become the second Albion Customer Service Regent if he should ever so choose. I have no idea when we'll be hiring a second, but he's the man we want when we do. So many good things about how Jon handled things at Harvest Fest, and he was wonderfully helpful at Lanzefest. Jon is one of those folks you just know upon meeting is "Good People." Happy

Amy Waddell
President/CEO
Albion Swords Limited, LLC

I wrote to the FBI to see if they had a file on me. They wrote back, "we do now..."
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Jonathon Janusz





Joined: 20 Nov 2003

Posts: 467

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct, 2004 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Amy,

[if there was a smiley for the deepest blush possible, please insert here.]

I'll keep it simple and say again, thanks and just call.
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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct, 2004 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Amy, then we are going to have to share him Wink

Jon is a member of our little family for as long as he wishes, in whatever capacity that he wants to be (it is nice having someone that knows sound equipment, and swords, and armour, and has the patience and ability to put up with my ranting...).

I was extremely happy that most of you could come out to "our" (and that includes all of you) little faire and hope that we can continue to build upon what we have begun. The ability to provide entertaining education has been a goal of mine since I began to study swordplay and jousting - I finally have the ability to not only emulate what I think the knights did and were able to do, but actually experiment and prove it. For an Independent Scholar, that is a dream come true.

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Nathan Bell





Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Sat 30 Oct, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: Pictures are up!         Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

I noticed that there are some pictures up over at Albion....I'm not sure how long they have been up there but I have neglected to check for a while.

http://www.albion-swords.com/images/swordfest04/index.htm

You can see Peter explaining the principles of the Golden section, and some general milling around after the cutting session.

I know there was also video during the Fiore demonstartion, and the cutting session. Maybe we will see that pretty soon.

A side note: Looking at the pics, I was reminded again of how I literally could not put the Jarl down Big Grin I think that little number needs to join my collection.
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