Trenchart; as explained by Trenchart-bri…

“ Trench art is any decorative item made by soldiers, prisoners of war, or civilians where the manufacture is directly linked to armed conflict or its consequences. It offers an insight not only to their feelings and emotions about the war, but also their surroundings and the materials they had available to them.”

Trenchart – the above explanation describes what it is, I first got interested by items I saw on ebay, so with a bit of research I thought I will have a go at this. But not to tread on those brave souls making the items in the trench during the wars I call mine trenchart style

The creative items that were made, and the tools they had to make them with, puts my efforts to shame, as my own pieces come nowhere near to there pieces of art, I make mine for fun and not out of boredom or financial gain, as most of the originals that were made was traded for goods such as tobacco, chocolate etc… whilst mine are given away as presents or I tend to barter with the items, or if somebody gives me something metal detecting related I like to give

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Shown Above; are the four coins showing ” tails side” some showing the dates

something back, I.E. my own piece of trenchart that I have made…

Moving on with the times, the limited & basic tools available to those original artists have now been upgraded to the modern equivalent, with the use of tools, that make todays “Trenchart Style” relatively easy, but it is something that still requires an amount of time, effort and a whole lot of patients, with a good foresight as to what you are wanting to achieve…So the modern tool list starts with a several small drill bit, a piercing saw,

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Shown Above is the cutting out saw [piercing saw]
various sizes of needle files, wet and dry fine grit paper, a quality metal polish and a whole load of elbow grease, mixed with a helping of patience…

To make things easy to understand, first you get your coin, I prefer old pre-decimal penny’s, not only are they nice and big to handle, but as a metal detectorist they can be still be found in good condition, or purchased if I need a particular date…

For this exercise we will be cutting out a head from a penny of a 1915 date, which will be sent to Muddy Heritage in exchange for a pair of Spare Battery Boxes, later when I am better prepared I will photograph the procedure as we go along, but for now I will just show the finished results, now when you have the coin your going to use, the first thing

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Shown above; is the “heads side” of the coin given to Muddy Heritage, note the hole in the top of the coin !

to do, is drill some small holes in the penny, for this piece the holes were drilled around the head and the edge of the coin, once that is done, you then thread the tiny blades of the piercing saw through the holes you have just drilled, you then start sawing, be warned these blades are mega thin, mine are numbered 1 to 6, which you can get on ebay and cost £ 4.00p for about 144 blades, I do tend to break about 10 on each coin , so although there is a cost it is quite small, anyway now you have sawn out the section you want to remove, this next step requires the use of your needle files, to achieve an even & smooth cut out requires a lot of filing, with the different size of needle files, these files again are graded from fine to course, and to achieve quite a smooth area around the cut, you start with the course needle files before moving onto the finer needle files, once your happy with your filing you then move onto the polishing stage, which can bring the whole coin up to a good shine without losing the all important features…

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Shown Above; The “Tails” side of the coin of Muddy Heritage quite clearly showing the date of 1915…

Although I can make a coin in about 6 hours, I have an old age syndrome creeping up on me, as I get cramp in my fingers, which slows me down, & I have to give up after a few hours, the good thing with doing this sort of creative art, you can put it down and even after a few days, you can still pick it up and start where you left off, without losing your thread or have to try and remember where you got up to… later on I will show some more of my work, none of it is perfect by a longshot, but I consider that with each one I make, I will improve…

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Shown Above; is the head side of just four coins ive made, note the hole drilled in the top to act as a Key Fob, or to hang on a chain…

Shown on this page are a few of the busts I have cut out of old penny’s, with more info to follow;

 

 

Thanks for looking Trenchart-Bri

 

 

 

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The Finished Coin as given to muddy heritage, now with a spring clip and a fob attachment…
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The Key Fob in shown in use on the Detecting Backpack…

 

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This is where the “Trenchart” now resides, safely tucked away ready to be used in the backpack…