Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The Armourer of Ramona

Jeffrey Hedgecock turned his armouring hobby into a full-time job. He is the only armourer on the West Coast.
Jeffrey Hedgecock turned his armouring hobby into a full-time job. He is the only armourer on the West Coast.

Jeffrey Hedgecock, 43, of Ramona, makes armour. Think knights, Middle Ages, helmets, sallets, breastplates, gauntlets, faulds, greaves, poleyns, spaundlers, the whole deal, tip to toe. Making Medieval armour puts you in an exceedingly select guild. How select? Hedgecock tells me, “I’m the only one on the West Coast. I have two colleagues on the East Coast.”

If you’re world-class anything, you speak a dialect few normal humans understand. For example, this is what he told an Association for Renaissance Martial Arts interviewer when asked to name the work he was proudest of. Hedgecock said, “...a Bascinet based primarily on the Churburg #13. I raised the skull from flat, and raised the visor from a cone shape on which I forge welded the seam. I believe this could be a medieval technique.”

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hedgecock has lived in San Diego County since 1975. He attended UC San Diego, graduated in ’85 with a degree in filmmaking, took a company job making computer graphics, didn’t like it, and since he’d already been making armour as a hobby, decided to rechristen hobby as full-time job.

We talked last week. I asked him to describe his armoury shop. “It’s about 1100 square feet. I have a couple hundred hammers. There are partially made pieces of armour on one of my benches and a couple other completed pieces. I usually keep my own armour here because it requires constant maintenance. I have a couple of saddles and a couple plastic suits of armour I made for a movie 20 years ago. I have a whole bunch of lances along the ceiling in racks. There’s a rack of swords on one wall, a few pieces I’ve made, most of the pieces I haven’t, but we use them in tournaments and at arms practice. On one side of my shop is a leather-working room, which is rather small, but it does the job. There is an industrial sewing machine. I do all my grinding in an adjacent room. It’s got plastic flaps on the door to keep the dust in and a dust-collection system so I don’t have to breathe that stuff. There are some plaster casts of people’s lower legs, which I use to fit and shape the armour. And [there is] a wood stove in the middle.”

I ask, “How many orders do you have at any given time?”

“I usually have between two and four commissions going. I’ll have a couple small pieces, like a helmet or a set of limbs, and then I’ll have one to two full armours on my books at any given moment. Full armours are usually fitted. Helmets, depends on the style; some need to be fit, some don’t.”

“I’ve read that some of your work is in a museum.”

Hedgecock says, “I’ve got two armours in the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. And several of my pieces have been used by jousters at the Royal Armouries in England. Most of my work, for the past 10 or 15 years, has been full armours.”

“How long does it take to make a suit of armour?”

“If I would do nothing else but work on a full armour, I could probably get it done in three months, working 40-hour weeks. It depends on how intricate a particular armour is. Some are simple, some are fancy. The [full set of] gear can run anywhere from $10,000 on up. Typically, good armour is going to run you $20,000 to $30,000.”

What is a hand-tooled suit of armour for unless one jousts in it? Hedgecock is a jouster, too. In fact, he is a very good jouster and also produces jousting tournaments. His tournament, the Tournament of the Phoenix, is regarded as the preeminent competitive jousting tournament in the United States. Said tournament will be presented at the Poway Rodeo Grounds October 26 through 28.

“How do people react the first time they see competitive jousting?”

“They’ve usually heard about it,” Hedgecock says. “Word of mouth is our primary advertising. Some come expecting a Renaissance fair. Generally speaking, they are really, really excited to see competitive jousting. When people see the first couple of hits, they are dumbstruck. They’ve never seen anything like that. They may have seen jousting at a Renaissance fair. They might have seen it in a movie, but when they see it up close and personal, 40 feet away, some people scream, some cheer, some suck in a big breath of air. It’s remarkable, the reaction, because it’s totally unexpected, even if they think they know jousting. When they see it, it takes their breath away.”

Next week: Part 2, The Jouster

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dennis Caco's Mission Valley missing Midori

Max Boost creator finds car near Sweetwater Road
Next Article

Morgan Freeman as an extraterrestrial diplomat

You know the aliens have seen The Shawshank Redemption
Jeffrey Hedgecock turned his armouring hobby into a full-time job. He is the only armourer on the West Coast.
Jeffrey Hedgecock turned his armouring hobby into a full-time job. He is the only armourer on the West Coast.

Jeffrey Hedgecock, 43, of Ramona, makes armour. Think knights, Middle Ages, helmets, sallets, breastplates, gauntlets, faulds, greaves, poleyns, spaundlers, the whole deal, tip to toe. Making Medieval armour puts you in an exceedingly select guild. How select? Hedgecock tells me, “I’m the only one on the West Coast. I have two colleagues on the East Coast.”

If you’re world-class anything, you speak a dialect few normal humans understand. For example, this is what he told an Association for Renaissance Martial Arts interviewer when asked to name the work he was proudest of. Hedgecock said, “...a Bascinet based primarily on the Churburg #13. I raised the skull from flat, and raised the visor from a cone shape on which I forge welded the seam. I believe this could be a medieval technique.”

Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hedgecock has lived in San Diego County since 1975. He attended UC San Diego, graduated in ’85 with a degree in filmmaking, took a company job making computer graphics, didn’t like it, and since he’d already been making armour as a hobby, decided to rechristen hobby as full-time job.

We talked last week. I asked him to describe his armoury shop. “It’s about 1100 square feet. I have a couple hundred hammers. There are partially made pieces of armour on one of my benches and a couple other completed pieces. I usually keep my own armour here because it requires constant maintenance. I have a couple of saddles and a couple plastic suits of armour I made for a movie 20 years ago. I have a whole bunch of lances along the ceiling in racks. There’s a rack of swords on one wall, a few pieces I’ve made, most of the pieces I haven’t, but we use them in tournaments and at arms practice. On one side of my shop is a leather-working room, which is rather small, but it does the job. There is an industrial sewing machine. I do all my grinding in an adjacent room. It’s got plastic flaps on the door to keep the dust in and a dust-collection system so I don’t have to breathe that stuff. There are some plaster casts of people’s lower legs, which I use to fit and shape the armour. And [there is] a wood stove in the middle.”

I ask, “How many orders do you have at any given time?”

“I usually have between two and four commissions going. I’ll have a couple small pieces, like a helmet or a set of limbs, and then I’ll have one to two full armours on my books at any given moment. Full armours are usually fitted. Helmets, depends on the style; some need to be fit, some don’t.”

“I’ve read that some of your work is in a museum.”

Hedgecock says, “I’ve got two armours in the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. And several of my pieces have been used by jousters at the Royal Armouries in England. Most of my work, for the past 10 or 15 years, has been full armours.”

“How long does it take to make a suit of armour?”

“If I would do nothing else but work on a full armour, I could probably get it done in three months, working 40-hour weeks. It depends on how intricate a particular armour is. Some are simple, some are fancy. The [full set of] gear can run anywhere from $10,000 on up. Typically, good armour is going to run you $20,000 to $30,000.”

What is a hand-tooled suit of armour for unless one jousts in it? Hedgecock is a jouster, too. In fact, he is a very good jouster and also produces jousting tournaments. His tournament, the Tournament of the Phoenix, is regarded as the preeminent competitive jousting tournament in the United States. Said tournament will be presented at the Poway Rodeo Grounds October 26 through 28.

“How do people react the first time they see competitive jousting?”

“They’ve usually heard about it,” Hedgecock says. “Word of mouth is our primary advertising. Some come expecting a Renaissance fair. Generally speaking, they are really, really excited to see competitive jousting. When people see the first couple of hits, they are dumbstruck. They’ve never seen anything like that. They may have seen jousting at a Renaissance fair. They might have seen it in a movie, but when they see it up close and personal, 40 feet away, some people scream, some cheer, some suck in a big breath of air. It’s remarkable, the reaction, because it’s totally unexpected, even if they think they know jousting. When they see it, it takes their breath away.”

Next week: Part 2, The Jouster

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Pepper covers Sublime for The House That Bradley Built comp

Hirie, G. Love, the Expanders, Common Kings, the Skints, Long Beach Dub Allstars, and Trevor Young also contribute
Next Article

Don't forget Escondido

We're still spaying cats in San Diego
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close