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Old 26th September 2018, 08:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 47
Default Secrets of the Shining Knight

Hello All,

Last night I was able to watch the NOVA special titled "Secrets of the Shining Knight."

While not of specific interest to me from a collecting or research standpoint, I found it extremely interesting. Great historical insights as well as showcasing the impressive skills of some modern day craftsmen.

Since I haven't seen it mentioned on the forum, I wanted to be sure that everyone knew about it.

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Old 26th September 2018, 09:27 PM   #2
Bob A
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 292

I saw our own member Richard Furrer making steel on a recent NOVA.

While these shows are graphic- or picture-heavy, actual verbal content dribbles out slowly. Usually all the important info could be summarised in about 10 minutes; the rest is mostly visual filler.

I do admire Richard's beard; surprised the forge fires haven't already done for it.
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Old 27th September 2018, 01:53 AM   #3
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Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,605

I liked the show. And yes, the verbiage is for the general public, not experts like us.
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Old 30th September 2018, 09:15 PM   #4
Richard Furrer
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Posts: 161
Default Happy to have it seen

That was my second project with NOVA and also the second time with the same production company (headed by Peter Yost of Pangloss Films). The project had a benefactor/angel in Chicago and the armor will be in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and be used for public interaction.
The current Curator at AIofC is Jonathan Tavares and last year he guided the gallery display of the arms collection of the museum which had been in storage for many many years. It is now a wonderful display of the collection.
Via a contact I had at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art sharing my name with Tavares I was asked to work on the steel for the armor. It was far from a lone effort as I had the great help of Michael Pikula who did almost all of the bloomery material and forged one of the breast plates. I also had the help of four other smiths for the actual filming as that is a timed event in many respects.
It was about six months of my labor to get the materials and sheet to a point where the very talented/genius armorer Jeff Wasson was able to work into the beautiful armor you saw on the show.
I tried my hand at the mercury gilding for a few days at a university lab in Chicago, but I was not up to the task so the specialist in Germany, Dirk Meyer, did the gilding.
I would be much more efficient at it now than then, but I think it a very acceptable effort. I am so concerned with the final hour count of human effort that I never tried to gather an actual was in the thousands of hours.
The completed reinforcing breast plate, which began as dirt just a few months earlier, was able to shed the bullet of a period styled rifle. It is quite a thing to have participated in.

Yours, Ric
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