“It’s much easier than the old-fashioned way, I’ll tell you what,” jokes Dez Armstrong after shaping a steel elbow cap on his Baileigh planishing hammer. As the owner and founder of Azure Armoury and armorer of the Texas Renaissance Festival, Armstrong crafts exquisite period-correct recreations of plate armor.
He regularly shapes steel by hand with chisels, hammers, and “the same tools and techniques utilized in the 15th century.” However, Baileigh metalworking equipment, like the bead roller below, has enabled Armstrong to save time and meet demand for custom pieces while maintaining his high quality standards.
Armstrong’s Instagram is a behind-the-scenes education on the traditional craft of making armor, from gauntlets to greaves, alongside modern metal shaping demonstrations. Check out that smooth planishing technique on display below.
We’re proud that the #BaileighArmy network of connections has helped bring more exposure to Azure Armoury. Armstrong got to show off his skills and talk about his lifelong passion for armor on local morning television show Great Day Houston. Ruben Dominguez of Fox 26 Houston visited Armstrong’s shop where he tried on several of Armstrong’s one-of-a-kind pieces. Watch the segment below.
TEXAS RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: Ren Fest kicks off next week; Ruben Dominguez FOX 26 with preview 😊
Posted by FOX 26 Houston on Monday, September 17, 2018
In response to Armstong’s many Instagram videos of old-school hammering and more, his audience sometimes can’t resist asking why he doesn’t use more modern tools. As one fan commented, “Wouldn’t [it] be easier and quicker to use a slip roller?”