Just finished peening the pommel onto the tang of the Geibig 6 11th century sword. In my opinion, setting and peening the pommel is the most stressful moment for me. If it goes badly, countless hours of work are ruined, and you now have an opportunity to redo the work again. When it goes well, you end up with an invisible (or nearly invisible) peen that when shaped, conforms to the geometry of the pommel.
I haven’t documented many pommels like this one, so I admit I combined details from a number of period pommels that were designed by Peter Johnsson for Albion Swords. Because of my work with Peter in bringing these swords to market, it is inevitable that my custom work will consciously or subconsciously be influenced by these design. It used to bother me. I had this notion that I wanted my art to be grounded in originality, but the truth is that as artists, we are all influenced by something or someone. As the old saying goes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” In the end, I count it a privilege to be influenced by Peter.
I spent a lot of time forging this pommel. It looks deceptively simple. I was surprised by how complicated it really was to forge. It has subtle changes in geometry that can be lost with careless forging. After the pommel is forged, I do the initial grinding on the piece. I, then, like to spend time filing the piece to shape. Filing gives it a handmade, period look. Filing also allows for me to leave a few small forge pits that add character and a period look to the piece. I finished the pommel by hand sanding to 600 grit, then followed with a scotch-brite pad to draw it back to a smooth satin finish.
The photos show how the peen can be blended to look invisible, and also a close-up that shows the boundary of the peen.