Yesterday we announced The Artisans and Craftsmen People Choice Award competition for favorite sport suppliers among the HMB community who can later fight for the title of the most beloved HMB community maker and get the special recognition mark. We’d like to highlight the work of one of the competitors. Henrikas Viteika was nominated by the number of his satisfied clients and friends to get our special recognition mark as a shield craftsman.
So, it doesn’t matter if you leave after a fight with a shield or on a shield, it is important that the shield is of high quality.
Henrikas Viteika was already the hero of HMBIA News material in 2016. That year he was the winner of Battle of the Nations in the Best Men’s Authentic Costume category. In addition, Henrikas himself took part in the HMB tournaments for many years as a fighter and now he is a member of the HMBIA Authenticity Committee.
Fighters of many countries are protected by his shields – you can find the work of the master at the Battle of the Nations as well. However, for Henrikas, this is not a business, but something more:
“I make sport optimised and historical shields for all types of HMB fighting categories. I started actively producing shields around 5 and a half years ago but I made my first shield 19 years ago. Most important thing in this process is that this is my hobby. I don’t treat it as business simply because I enjoy producing shields much more than making money out of it. Every shield I produce is completely custom and handmade. Every shield I have made has been produced to a very high personal standard I set for myself, full stop. The shield doesn’t leave my workshop until I’m one hundred percent happy with it”, said Henrikas.
He told us that for now he does not have any special signs or marks yet but is actively working on them right now. His main mark is the White Company style shields. You can see quite a lot of them in the lists and you can easily recognise them.
According to master, there are 3 main steps of shield making:
“Probably the most time consuming part is painting the shields. I do receive a lot of very interesting painting requests and I paint them all by hands. When painting time comes, both I and my workshop look like a crazy artist covered in paint and all types of bits I use for it”.
According to Henrikas, it takes around 3 weeks to make one shield from the very beginning to the end, and the result is more than worthy!
Having been engaged in manufacturing for many years, Henrikas has repeatedly ordered a variety of shields. He even had a romantic order! He agreed to tell us a few stories related to his work:
“There’s always this one odd order going around my workshop. Very often HEMA fighters place orders for unusual and interesting shields. Sometimes HMB fighters want me to make them weird shape shields and to make sure they are strong enough for buhurts.
Usually funny stories happen when I try to deliver shields to fighters and end up having to travel to different counties to make sure they arrive on time for the tournaments. There were cases when fighters didn’t recognise me and didn’t accept shields until I’ve explained them the situation.
Once I worked on a Valentine’s day present for a couple who is fighting together. It was two red shields”.
For several years now he has not entered the lists, he does not have his own shield, but, according to him, every shield he makes he treats them as his own.
This is not advertising material, but a story about a master who loves our sport and loves what he does. And this is the most important thing for us.
We thank Henrikas for the interview and wish him many years of inspiration in his work!