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Fabrice Cognot
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2011 5:44 am    Post subject: A Warhammer         Reply with quote

Hi all

Here's a piece I finished very recently, which was presented at the Pontoise History Market last week - and didn't find an owner.


Three main inspirational examples behind it, one being kept in the storage rooms of the Royal Armouries in Leeds (for the head shape and overall construction of the hammer, dated early XVIth century even though I do believe such types are earlier), the other being on display at the Chicago Art Institute (for the decorations and inlays, especially on the head - George F. Harding Collection, 1982.2122, dated first third of XVIth century), and a very nice and elegant piece kept in Rothenburg (for the shape of the cuts in the steel bands, dated late XVth century).


The head itself was made using old, pre-Bessemer iron (ie at least 150 years old). Carbon steel (1075) was forge-welded in the cut-open beak to provide a hard point, exactly like what was done "back then" (you can see the faint weld lines on the pictures) : the idea is as always to keep hard but expensive steel where it's needed the most, and use cheaper and softer iron elsewhere.


Brass was inlaid in recesses filed in the "corners" of the waisted sections between beak, hammer end and central part following the example set by the Chicago hammer.


The oak core is surrounded on all sides by mild steel bands tapering towards the head (the taper was forged in) : the mild steel plate at its end is kept in place by the bands themselves, hammered in dovetailed grooves. On the left and right side of the haft, the bands fit in grooves cut in the wood.


The side bands bear decorative cuts showing polished brass plating underneath, shaped in a delicate "Gothic window" form similar to the Rothenburg hammer. The brass inlays on the grip echo those found on the Chicago hammer - note than on the right side of it, the plates were brought forward as the band warped during the assembly of the hammer, and I had to find a solution (that wouldn't have been unused 'back then') to have them stay in place (especially the bottom plate) ; I believe such "imperfections" add character to the piece, as they're far from unknown on original examples.


The clip is hand-shaped (hammer and file) mild steel made after the Chicago hammer, as I found it far more elegant than the Leeds example.


The overall dimensons are 52.3 cm (length), 13.4 cm (head) and about 925 grams (weight) - wich makes it lighter than the Chicago hammer.



If you're interested in it, please PM me...



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PhD in medieval archeology.
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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing. I like it a lot. I am working on a longer poled version right now myself. Nice pierce work.
Matthew Stagmer
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a beautiful piece.

Fabrice, you seem to regularly choose items that are often crafted in today's market as simple pieces and make versions that are exquisite examples. I love the choices you make and the combined elements that you bring into them are inspired.

Great work

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Julien M




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Fabrice,

That's a very plain post title (almost missed it) that does not do justice to your work Happy

Again, a very fine piece, with a distinct period look to it.

Have you got a website yet?

Hope to see you at Owen's gathering next year, should you make it there.

Cheers,

J

edit: I find particularly impressive that you go the extra mile to do things as they were done "back then". Many would have taken a shortcut and use plain carbon steel to shape the entire head (I plan to do a bec de corbin one of these days, and that's certainly what I'll do!). So congrats again for that.


Last edited by Julien M on Wed 23 Nov, 2011 12:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I handled this hammer last week at the show and I absolutely loved it. It is just a fantastically well made piece and pictures cannot do this justice.

Well done Fabrice - I told you at the time, but this really is a special piece

Tod

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William P




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2011 11:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

is the clip from hanging from your belt? wierd...
and as everyone has said... absolutely stunning... it took a moment to realise the wooden handle was almost completely encased in steel. which is amazing this whole hammer is completely unlike anything i have seen before
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Julian Reynolds




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 1:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P - Belt hooks were common on this type of weapon (they were frequently carried by mounted men as a backup weapon, particularly as the centuries progressed to the 16th/early 17thC). Many got snapped off over time.

Another beautiful piece, Fabrice.

Julian
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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 2:06 am    Post subject: War Hammer         Reply with quote

Hi Fabrice

Although not my main period of interest, I can appreciate accomplished and beautiful craftsmenship in other areas and this has moved me to express my admiration. A work of art and I especially like the decorative gothic embellishments. The heavens only know why this did not sell!!

best wishes
Dave

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Fabrice Cognot
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for the very kind words. I had much pleasure (well, with moemnts of pain too) working on this piece, and it is indeed very special to me.

Nathan :
Quote:
Fabrice, you seem to regularly choose items that are often crafted in today's market as simple pieces and make versions that are exquisite examples.


Perhaps I think these simple pieces deserve more attention that what they usually get - perhpas they're just not that "simple" when you look at them from close.
Warhammers are a fine example of that : they were *not* the average fighter's weapons. They were made for, and used (or maybe simply carried) by the fighting and social elite of their time. And it shows when you look at them. The amount of work put in making even the simplest hammer is way underrated - not that it's a difficult task. It's quite the technical job, and definitely marks them as not being the crude implement they might seem. Seeing examples like the Chicago or Rothenburg hammers vouches for their high social status - maybe not always worth Kings or Princes, but definitely made for leaders or elite fighters.
And don't get me started on maces Wink...

I'm just trying to reach this exquisiteness I see in period examples, even from afar. I know there'll always be something amiss, or that I'd have to take shortcuts sometimes. But striving towards that goal is what makes the journey interesting. And thanks Happy.


Julien :
Now website yet, working on it, too little time and too many much things to do Wink But I'll definitely try to be at Owen's next time (in the meantime, you can find me on infamous social networks). Doing things 'like back then' is sometimes not a matter of choice to me, as I lack most modern equipment - and trust me, sometimes it's a pain in the shadowy parts. But I also think that the forms these items can take are also related to the tools that were made to create them : this curve happening naturally due to the hammer blows, that groove being that wide because the grinding stone made it so, and the like...Sometimes, using modern tools to simulate period aspects is a waste of time and energy as said aspects and details happen 'naturally' if you use the proper tools, materials and/or methods...

Tod :
Thanks again. It was jolly good seeing you there, and talking (and drinking) with you.


Best Regards

Fab

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Herbert Schmidt




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great work, Fab!

This one is really one of your outstanding pieces!
Excellent work!

Herbert

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Phillip Oliver




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice! Hammers are one of my favorite things to look at. They are such a multi-tasking weapon. Yours looks very well fitted, and the metalwork that went into it is undeniable. Well done.
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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

very ,very nice work.
forging soul into steel .

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Tomas B




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simply stunning!!!

Cheers,

Tomas
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fabrice Cognot wrote:
Doing things 'like back then' is sometimes not a matter of choice to me, as I lack most modern equipment - and trust me, sometimes it's a pain in the shadowy parts. But I also think that the forms these items can take are also related to the tools that were made to create them : this curve happening naturally due to the hammer blows, that groove being that wide because the grinding stone made it so, and the like...Sometimes, using modern tools to simulate period aspects is a waste of time and energy as said aspects and details happen 'naturally' if you use the proper tools, materials and/or methods...


NOTE: Bold text in quotes, emphasis by me.

Yes I do notice this with forged blades that one can make crossections that are more complex than defined by the radiuses of the grinding wheels used in making fullers or hollow grinds and one can end up with flat bottomed fullers, central ridges and fuller profiles that can vary in depth and geometry over the length of the same blade.

Some of this may be due to design subtleties, aesthetic choices or like you wrote due to the nature of the tools defining some of the geometry by their very nature.

One can simulate this by just grinding away but it ends up being much more difficult to do if one is using modern tools that must be forced into giving the geometry that the period tools or methods would produce naturally.

Oh, and fine work by the way. Big Grin Cool

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 26 Nov, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really, really nice work and a darn neat creation.
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Fabrice Cognot
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Nov, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks gentlemen Happy
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Bryson Cadle




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Jan, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Wow         Reply with quote

Absolutely beautiful. I hope this inspires more people to try such interesting pieces.
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