Our June continues with the introduction of the Artisans and Craftsmen People’s Choice Award competition nominees, and today we want to introduce the nominee from France. The Knight Art Workshop and its owner Arno Fau, also known as Arnold Fou, was nominated by many HMB representatives from different countries and we are happy to tell you about him and his workshop.
Arno is a leather artisan and produces every kind of reenactment leather items like belts, purses, sheaths, scabbards, book covers, armor straps … everything that needs leather. Also he makes some scale armor parts, aventail and sabatons made of tempered steel or titanium and, according to Arno, he is the only craftman for now who makes scales parts like these, with a shape taken from different art exemple from the XIV and XV century.
“I`m trying to do the best historical items, with French local production, for example French leather hide, beeswax, linen thread, grease, and a lot more things. My workshop was opened in November 2020, but I was in charge of leather craftsmanship for an French Association for several years, as I started reenactment and HMB sports training 7 years ago”.
Being a fighter, he knows perfectly well what HMB athletes need, and being a master, he knows how to do it right!
“The most important things in my opinion are the historical process and a correct historical visual, depending on what is needed for the customer. For now, every item made in my workshop is unusual and unique. For example, every belt is based on museum exhibits and finds. Also, another cool thing is that every item is made with gilded bronze (gold plated).
First of all, I do a lot of research about historical sources, effigies, art, existent exemples, and of course, books. If I can use an historical way to craft something, I will use it. For example, I use linen threads waxed with beeswax. But, some things cannot be made today with the historical way, for example dyes. Of course, we can make it in a true historical way, but there were a lot of toxic products in that period. Leather crafters never want to use them today compared to the oil/alcohol dye”.
By the way, attention to detail, skill level and ingenuity helped the master to fulfill his dream. Before the creation of the workshop, Arno was contacted by Brian R Price Ph.D., professor of History at the University of North Texas, historical (medieval) swordsmanship trainer (USA), and that’s when Arno’s dream started to come true:
“He wanted an aventail, I wanted his book “Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction” for a long time, so we made a deal about this and some other cool and expensive books. This was a very cool experience”, said Arno.
In spite of his young age, only 27 years old, he makes really beautiful things. We are sure that his workshop will be stable and successful among the representatives of the HMB community. Indeed, thanks to the quality of products and the approach to work, you nominated the master to receive the HMBIA quality mark.
You can get to know more about creativity on the pages of his workshop on Facebook and Instagram.
We thank Arno for the interview and wish him success in our competition and in business.
In the meantime, while we are preparing new material, we invite you to familiarize yourself with the works of those about whom we have already written.
Henrikas Viteika workshop from the UK
Workshop of Anna Muzalevskaya from Russia
Historicum workshop from Poland
Past Time Pedlar workshop from the UK
Ivan Lukic, craftsman from Serbia
Patterson Shieldcraft from the UK
Racaire’s Workshop from the USA