Looking for engraver for medieval breastplate

Billyg

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Hi Everyone,

I registered several years ago and checked forum often, but never posted before, so I'm kinda new, please to meet you all.

I'm special case here, since I like engraved...medieval breastplates. I have been a armor collector since a long time ago, having a small collection of breastplates myself. I guess being born very near Toledo (Europe, Spain) has something to do with my hobby :)

Let's go with the businness: For a while now I have been very much in love with the breastplate worn by King Joffrey in Game of thrones (mainly featured in episode 9 season 2) and I would like to have a similar one crafted for my personal collection. I'm not referring to the whole breastplate itself, but rather to the engravement pieces: lions, swans and the rest of heraldic symbols. Once I got those pieces I would attach them myself to the breastplate.

I do not necessarily need a 100% identical copy to the show's engravement, I'm open to other animals, symbols and sizes, however the quality should be, at least, as much as the one of the tv series. I'm open to pretty much to the use of any metal for this purpose (except maybe aluminum, since it's more delicate).

That said I would appreciate if you could suggest me crafters/engravers/artists who would be able to craft these lions, swans and heraldic symbols. Or if you read this and are interested yourself, feel free to let me know.

Please find below some pictures of the armor, so you can an idea of what I'm looking for:
 

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monk

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are you sure that it is engraving that you seek? none of this you show is engraving. these pieces look as though the design was done from †he back using various punches †o create the raised designs in the front. engraving is done from the front of the piece and is composed of rather shallow cut lines (comparatively) to create the designs. the work would be rather void of any real depth other than the contour of the piece.
 

Billyg

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I have been examining more closely the pictures and it does look they used the technique you mentioned. I was hoping though that were would be in the community someone who also employs that technique. However I perfectly this might not be the best place to post this.
 

farmer57

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Billyg,
Those are cast embellishments - not much to do with engraving really. In the 'old' days - those were first sculpted in wax and moulds were made, afterward casts are done with whatever metal is suitable. Such things are now often done with the aid of computers and programs to achieve the artwork and even to 3D print-sculpt the moulds. Casting process is still similar though. If they have to make many pieces, dies are manufactured and metal is pressed/stamped and cut out - it has to be worth the investment - nobody will go to the expense of having such large die cut for just one piece (unless money is no object...).
Jewelers still work with wax and all the other common techniques but it has been quite updated with the aid of computers and new materials such casting compounds, silicone etc.
 

Billyg

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Thank you for the detailed insight! I'm a collector of beautiful armor but not really an engraver myself so I was quite ignorant about this issue.

How can you make the difference between a repousse and a cast embelishment? Which one of the two techniques requires more effort?
 

monk

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I agree with farmer57, above, those figures on the armor are applique rather than engraving or repousse.
would the base be done first? or the applique? i would think one would have to have been made to "fit" the other.
 

farmer57

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I would think more than likely, the leather or the under-plate work (or whatever they used) would be made and embellishments custom designed to fit. For production props they had to get things wearable by the talent - so it needed to be at least somewhat functional - not just for looks.
 

Roger Bleile

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Thank you for the detailed insight! I'm a collector of beautiful armor but not really an engraver myself so I was quite ignorant about this issue.

How can you make the difference between a repousse and a cast embelishment? Which one of the two techniques requires more effort?
If you were only going to make only one, either repousse or applique would be about equal work though each would require different skills. If multiples were to be made for a prop house, then the applique method would be most efficient. The appliques would be designed, wax models made, then multiples could be cast. Alternatively, for a Hollywood prop, the appliques could be 3D printed in resin or plastic, painted, then applied.
 

Goldjockey

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My first thought was tooled leather applique, dyed or painted to match, and applied with a durable adhesive over the metal breast plate. As the appliqués are purely decorative, it seems there would be a number of ways to achieve the effect. Tooled leather over metal seems to be a natural and potentially cost effective solution for a project like this.

My other thought is engraving and inlaying the armor in real 24K gold, fine silver, copper, etc. I am not among them, but there are many engravers on this forum who are fully capable of designing and sculpting absolutely amazing work on a suit of armor. If cost is not a primary consideration, assuming they'd be willing to take your project on, some the finest engravers in the world hang out right here.

Thinking outside of the box you may also want to look at some of the incredible engraving being done on items like motorcycle parts, and custom cars by hispanic engravers in New Mexico, California, and Texas. Honestly, with regard to detailed larger format work, some of these guys and gals absolutely rock!
 
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Dave London

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There is a guy in Seattle who does this kind of work, but his name escapes me Might try Internet search
Maybe Chastine Charles SP?he also makes armor for movies
 
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Billyg

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If you were only going to make only one, either repousse or applique would be about equal work though each would require different skills. If multiples were to be made for a prop house, then the applique method would be most efficient. The appliques would be designed, wax models made, then multiples could be cast. Alternatively, for a Hollywood prop, the appliques could be 3D printed in resin or plastic, painted, then applied.
Thank you for your answer. It's kind to take the time to explain it. I have seen you mentioned "applique" a few times, does this mean you suspect the lions and other symbols could be made out of fabrics? In European Spanish (my mohter tongue), applique is a term only used for fabric designs. It makes sense that they could have used "golden" thread to create the cuirass decoration. However, the result looks very "metalic", isn't it?
would the base be done first? or the applique? i would think one would have to have been made to "fit" the other.
I have this problem right now. The armorer who usually crafts the breastplates for me is very busy right now and cannot start working on my cuirass in a year time. However I want to start the project now and I might take the risk to get the embelishments before the armor. The armorer told me it's usually no problem to attach the repousses/casts to the armor, however calculating the right size might be a problem. He suggested getting the armor first.
My first thought was tooled leather applique, dyed or painted to match, and applied with a durable adhesive over the metal breast plate. As the appliqués are purely decorative, it seems there would be a number of ways to achieve the effect. Tooled leather over metal seems to be a natural and potentially cost effective solution for a project like this.

My other thought is engraving and inlaying the armor in real 24K gold, fine silver, copper, etc. I am not among them, but there are many engravers on this forum who are fully capable of designing and sculpting absolutely amazing work on a suit of armor. If cost is not a primary consideration, assuming they'd be willing to take your project on, some the finest engravers in the world hang out right here.

Thinking outside of the box you may also want to look at some of the incredible engraving being done on items like motorcycle parts, and custom cars by hispanic engravers in New Mexico, California, and Texas. Honestly, with regard to detailed larger format work, some of these guys and gals absolutely rock!
Leather could also be a possibility and definitely more cost effective. I have seen incredible leather works out there who do a good job on imitating metal for tv shows, however we are usually able to tell the difference if we take a closer look. Unfortunately I'm not very fond of this possibility. Thanks a lot for the suggestions, never thought of the sector of motorcycle parts, that's a very good idea.
There is a guy in Seattle who does this kind of work, but his name escapes me Might try Internet search
Maybe Chastine Charles SP?he also makes armor for movies
I have quickly looked on google, couldn't find him...yet. I will make a deeper research tomorrow, shouldn't be difficult to find his works. Thanks a lot for the suggestion
 

Roger Bleile

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"applique" is a word that is used in the way you understand as applied to the fabric industry, however, in decorative arts, applique simply means a form of decoration that has been applied to an underlying item or structure. For instance, if a flower design was carved into a door post, the flower would be "integral" with the door post. If the flower were carved or cast, then attached to the door post it would be an applique.
 

Chujybear

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Reppousse is the “easier” route if you are doing a one off.
casting, at least casting done well, takes all the work of carving the original work.. then going through the process of casting it.
then you wind up chasing and tee grabbing the surface anyways. This will save all kinds of time in the long run if you are doing multiples, but not really at all if you are just doing a one off.
besides reppousse is likely to be thinner and lighter.
your issue is fitting parts.
but when final fit arrives, you could probably do a little back and forth.
 

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