The deer skulls were gathering cobwebs and cluttering a German lounge room. Via eBay they arrived at the Glenlyon studio of artist Sam Bloomfield, who bestows dark beauty and mythic glory on departed creatures.

In his workshop Sam brings fantasy to life, adorning relics like boar and deer with handmade armoury and detailed metalwork. Inspired by Norse mythology, he conjures up nobility through beautiful aesthetics of spiky steel.

After sketches and paper patterning, Sam dresses the animal in the steel and copper he forges, embellished by brass and antique finishes. The challenge for the artist is knowing when finished is ‘finished’. Even his tools possess decorative flourishes that display a perpetual quest for splendour. 

Sam went to art school in New Zealand but got his real education when apprenticed to Stu Johnson, who made armoury costumes for the Lord of the Rings films.

It is the Tolkienesque and Viking worlds from which Sam draws his ideas. Swords and armoury feature and commissioned pieces like Thor’s hammer have been so alluring as to be stolen by patrons at Mjølner’s dining hall.

Sam also makes re-enactment armoury but prefers crafting his own art than replicating past artisans. His distinctive restoration of animals is his legacy and as long as his work remains, something of him will live on.  His work asks us to consider that whatever his curious creatures might be, they too prevail; strong, empowered and enduring. 

Sam relishes winter in this region; the mists soften the edges, and he’s romanced by the unknown that rolls in. It’s this sense of ominous possibility that permeates his art. 

One day Sam Bloomfield will “march the creations into battle” at his own exhibition. In the meantime, you can be introduced to his skills or legally get your hands on a piece at The Lost Trades Artisan Store.

Instagram @lordbloomfield