A high-quality shield is a reliable defense in battle. When you nominate your favorite craftsmen for our award, you have often mentioned the manufacturers of precision shields. Realizing how important this part of a fighter’s HMB armament is, we are happy to tell you about another applicant of the Artisans and Craftsmen People’s Choice Award competition for the HMBIA quality mark. Today we will talk about the Patterson Shieldcraft workshop and its owner and only master Joe Patterson from Aberdeen, Scotland.
“I’ve been making shields since late 2017 but officially launched Patterson Shieldcraft and most of my updated methods in 2020. Any little thing is important for me here! I have to be sure the customer gets what they ordered. In saying that, I pride myself in trying to exceed their expectations with the customisation options and the quality of materials I offer.
One major thing I will say is encouraging evolution/advancements in the construction of shields for sporting use. Armour and weapons since the beginning of the HMB movement have improved vastly, however I would say less so for shields. A simple example is in all my punch shields, a metal cap in titanium or steel is always added to the striking edge”, said Joe.
According to him, quite often his clients jokingly ask to paint exuberant, over-the-top anime and cartoon designs on my shields! Of course, this is an unusual design for a HMB shield, but the client is always right. Joe proudly mentioned that there is one thing that is remarkable in some way for his work. It is the durability of the wood ply he uses. He told us that three of his very first prototype punch shields that he made in late 2017 are still alive today after years of fighting and training use. Not bad!
The master even agreed to tell our correspondent how he makes his products, so here is a detailed and very interesting story:
“Speaking of my curved premium punch shields, I have a specially made press where I place glued ply laminates together and leave in the press to dry. Once dry, I can cut any shape out of the curved wood blank. Most importantly the striking edge should always have a cap reinforcement that folds from the top face, over the edge to the back of the shield. This part of the shield gets a lot of punishment from punching helmets or armour and catching weapon strikes.
Continuing on with metal reinforcement, much of my shield orders have face-plates which take up the full length of the shield and a considerable width.
Linen canvas is glued on both sides of the shield which provides durability and a surface to add paint too.
Thick rope is then added underneath the full leather edge of the shield which is essential in preventing strikes damaging the wood. When it comes to strapping the shield, I rivet premium hole punched leather straps on with an additional hand strap for in case one of them fails (which is unlikely!). The straps are fastened with hardened steel buckles and belt loops for the best adjustable fit”.
Every detail of the shield is worked out and made of high quality materials designed to protect the health of its owner.
Of course, the drawing on the shield is a separate topic. A good master should be able to bring to life any idea of the client, and for this you need to be able to draw!
“I use high quality professional paints and varnish. I am continuously improving my painting skills through the beautiful designs my clients request and I take pride in creating hand crafted, high quality products for this exceptional sport. I don’t have anyone else in my workshop and the whole craft process for my products is done by myself”.
In addition to the workshop and full-time profession as a PT/coach, Joe is also a HMB fighter of the Three Towers team. He has little combat experience, but he loves HMB sports and knows all the needs of fighters, that’s why he has every product as for himself. He has several shields at once for different needs, made by his own hands.
“In one of my pictures, I’m holding my titanium VT1 faceplate to a striking edge reinforced buckler in my family/brand heraldry. Next to me is my duel shield and a cap reinforced punch shield in my team heraldry. I’ve got plenty more shields to come all for different purposes!”
According to Mr. Patterson, he is looking forward to the opportunity to return to the list of HMB tournaments again, as well as new interesting orders for the manufacture of shields for our sport.
We thank Joe for the interview and wish him success in his difficult and important work!
You can see more works of the Patterson Shieldcraft manufacture via its social medias:
Instagram @patterson_shieldcraft and @joe_patterson_sc
Facebook page is Patterson Shieldcraft.
HMBIA News would like to remind you that very soon we will announce the start of voting for the best masters.
In addition, you can read about the work of other masters, which we wrote about earlier: