How is armour made?
In some plays at the Globe, actors need to wear real armour.
The armourer first sketches and cuts out a paper template of the piece of armour he is
making, a breast plate. A breast plate covers and guards a person’s
chest. This paper template is then used to cut out
the same shape in a piece of metal. Using three different types of hammer, the
flat piece of metal that has been cut out is then beaten into the rounded shape of a
person’s chest. Armour is made of metal; I bet wearing a lot
must be very heavy for the actors. The armourer then uses a special device called
a swaging machine, to engrave lines around the sides of the breast plate. These engraved lines allow the armourer to beat back the sides of the plate, giving it
smooth edges. This makes it comfortable for the actor to wear. Using the swaging machine again, the armourer now engraves decorative lines around the sides of the breast plate. Holes are then drilled around the sides, and
screws and bolts are hammered in. The armourer makes it look easy,
but I bet it is very hard. Next, the armourer uses small tools to carefully
engrave other details in the breast plate, such as the name of the Globe. What play could this be for? Finally, to make the breast plate look old
and battered from lots of battles, the armourer coats it in brown paint and heats it under
a very strong flame. A quick polish and the breast plate is finished.