~Reposse' Face in Steel~
May 2003

2012 - 2013 UPDATE: For years this was a project that I would take out and hammer on once in a while when I was in the shop and wanted to work on something armor-like but needed a break from other projects. Plans to do something with it have come and gone. Several times in college sculpture classes it almost made it's way into projects for class... but now it's time has come. Last summer it's purpose was realized and it was somewhat drastically reworked. The future of this sculpted chunk of steel shall be recorded further in one of my armouring pages.

I'd always wanted to try making something like this. There is a 16th century armet (a kind of helmet) that was a gift to Henry VIII from Emperor Maximilian and had a reposse' face as a face plate. Some Roman cavalry helmets also had reposse face plates in the shape of faces.

So the other night I was sort of between projects and decided to try hammering a face out of 16 gauge steel (which came out of the bottom of an old computer keyboard). This was not as difficult as I had always thought it would be... though I did cheat a little, which I'll explain later. I cut out some steel, dished it; then sunk in the area around the nose, eyes, cheeks, and lower face. I raised the nose over several different sized stakes. Work was done from the inside and outside with several shapes of hammers and punches, mostly done while the steel was cold. I annealed it several to make things easier and keep the metal from cracking. Despite this, the tip of the nose did crack (and I was not really happy with it's shape anyways) so I ground off the broken nose and welded a new one back on... sounds a bit like cheating, but that's what welders are for, and I have to look real hard to find the welds (even the ones on the inside).

I plan on using this as part of a larger project someday, though at the moment I'm not entirely sure what that project will be.