Capital District Blacksmiths' Association
Having Fun, Meeting People & Promoting the Art of Blacksmithing

July 27 Special Event

This month's meeting surpassed our already high expectations!

Jul 27, 2014

James Arlen Gillaspie ( demonstrated today the shaping of an early helm (helmet) using two strikers (Noah and Abe) while he gave direction for each of their hammer blows, as historical master armourers did. James also gave us a wealth of historical information on how and why certain techniques were used during various historical periods. James, essentially, conducted a class in the history of armour production. It was fascinating and incredibly informative. Although he did not bring any original period historical pieces, as he did during the last two monthly CDBA meetings, he did bring a couple of incredibly beautiful pieces that he made which are part of a full suite of armour he made a few years ago. One of the fascinating aspects of his talk was how the old masters (and James!) understood human anatomy and how the fit, articulation and comfort of every piece of armour was masterfully designed and created.

Thom and Deb Breitenback, generously hosted this month's meeting at Castle Breitenback ( The grounds of which are extraordinary beautiful and the castle itself is a wonder to behold. Thom and Deb at the end of the meeting generously opened their home to the members for them to also enjoy. Check out Thom's website to see the Castle and to view the many talents of this Renaissance man and CDBA member..

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