The 2019 ‘Make a Roman Gladius’ course finished last week with some great results.
The course is always a good one but very intense as I teach students of mixed ability to make a real sword in four days which includes customisation of the hilt and casting bronze and sometimes silver components.
This year the guys did very well. In recent years there seems to be a trend to morph from a gladius into another style and where possible we try and accommodate that so this year there were six Gladii and Alex and Ewan, made two Viking style swords. Whilst most seemed to opt for a Mainz (waisterd) style, Paul made a very nice Fulham (straight edge) style blade.
This year’s decoration was as ornate as ever with most opting to cast bronze hilt guards and pommel components. Diccon used some very unusual spalted beech for a pommel and some inset bone to improve his guard (and repair a fault). Steve and Ed’s bronze casts were particularly good and will definitely add Roman bling. Garrett made a great blade and Phil was challenged on time and did well to finish his in two days. My support team of Wez, as ever and this year including Nathan on forging, Graham on finishing and Francis, in the background providing wood and bone, did a brilliant job and without whom the course would not be as successful.
Next year’s ‘Sword Making’ course will probably develop a bit. Whilst new students will start on a Gladius, alumni from previous courses will have the opportunity to come back and make another sword in a different style and I am thinking of adding some extra modules so that people can make elements for their swords ahead of time.
Roll on 2020.