Great helm,English, 14th century
14g blued mild steel.
This helmet was influenced by the helm of Edward, The Black Prince but with some changes to personalize it a bit for the customer. This helm is a bit more detailed than previous versions I have made in that the upper edge of the ocularium is flared, both sides of the visor are pierced and the nasal has some added filework.
The black colour of the helmet was achieved by heating the helm in a coal fire for about 5 hours then quenching it with a thin oil. Normally, I send items out to be blued to a professional shop for "Black oxide" which is a very dangerous process. Black oxide yields much better results as the finish is darker and is a better rust preventative than I have been able to achieve with heat bluing. It appears that there are no longer any shops in California offering black oxide due to environmental restrictions. If anyone knows of a shop still offering this service in California I would surely appreciate their information passed along.
I had some trouble getting the overall heat just right with a natural fire as can be seen in the last picture. Some spots over heated causing those areas to be of a lighter shade of blue or to chip. The customer had told me that he wanted a bit of an antiqued finish
I just hope this meets with his satisfaction :) The iridescent looking blue green areas are due to oil diffusing the light and are not variations in the surface colour.