Ugo Serrano: armorer

Daniel sez, "Ugo Serrano is the greatest living armorer, really. A man who camps at the Pennsic war in a 15th Century Italian villa (hat he built/designed that also flat-packs for storage and transportation). The props he makes for the movie/television industry are a who's who of geekdom from Firefly to Riddick to the Haunted Mansion through Zorro. A man whose art helped begin the entire steampunk movement, yet he's almost unknown outside of the SCA, where his themed parties are as legendary as his tent. If you catch him at the right time, he'll give you a pilgrimage badge that he cast in pewter by hand, just for taking the tour.

Ugo Serrano

Update: In the comments, Chris Gilman sez, "I would like to correct the above artical. Ugo is a talented guy and love him dearly, but I built and own the Italian house and if you catch me at the right time, I will give you a pilgrimage badge, made by Robert MacPherson, who in my opinion is the greatest living armourer."


  1. With respect, Cory and Daniel – Ugo is a great armorer and fantastic at Repousse in particular, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say “The greatest living armorer…”  Between the SCA, Battle of the Nations and about five other high-end tournament reenactment societies, there are a LOT of stunning armorers out there, some only widely known in Eastern Europe.  At some point quality assessments of top notch craftsmanship becomes rather subjective, at least among connoisseurs.

    1. …I wouldn’t go so far as to say “The greatest living armorer…”

      Uh-oh—I think somebody is askin’ for an axe-in’.

    2. I think the key here is armourer in repousse using steel.  I asked him about others who also create using the form.  He could only think of one other who makes repousse armour.

      There are other incredible armourers alive in the US, Europe and Australia.  It is an art form that is thankfully very much alive.

    1. Someone should make him a pewter badge of Jackhammer Jill.
      I am wracking my brain trying to remember if I’ve seen any of his work up close.

      1. There’s much more recent work on his DeviantArt pages than on that professional site:
        The gorgon helm and shovel greaves he made for Ajax are to die for.

        1. Wait until you see what is coming out of the workshop next.  Holy hannah, it would make Negroli do a double take if he were alive.

          1. Well, not really. I don’t think any of the Negroli family would take much notice. But in today’s world he is very talented at this.

    1. I would like to mention that Vrin is Ugo’s apprentice.  There are a number of pieces on this link which are collaborations between the two of them.

  2. I used to be in the SCA Middle Kingdom in college. One of my biggest regrets was never making it to Pennsic. Always a money issue.  Maybe it is time to rethink that even though the trip would be much farther as I am in Oregon now.  If any of you have a chance to go, I recommend it! It is one of those super unique experiences out there. 

    1.  Feeling ancient to say this but I was at Pennsic 16 (the most recent was Pennsic 40 I think). There were about 8000 people camped out for 2 weeks, there were about 800-1000 people a side in the field battles and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I would love to go again and see the even larger event now. Well worth the experience and expense, although you need to be prepared for whats happening there, its not a tourist attraction, its an event you go to with your own equipment, costume, etc, and if you want to fight you need to be equipped, trained etc.

  3. Come on, you can’t just casually mention “a 15th Century Italian villa (hat he
    built/designed that also flat-packs for storage and transportation)” and not link to pictures of it!

  4. Cory is like the guy who’s presently standing ankle deep in a body of water that he can’t see the other side of and thinks of it as an ocean when it’s really just a large pond.  Once he starts tromping around some more he’ll see just how big and deep things can get.  Happy exploring!!!

    1. Or he’s a blogger who blogs about many interesting things even though he doesn’t have time to explore every nook and cranny of every single one.

      1.  I think we all know that so there’s no need to get testy about it! *grin* But here’s hoping he’ll find the time to investigate further because it’s a whole hell of a lot of fun with lots to see!  Some of the people are absolutely awe-inspiring in what they produce and can accomplish!

        Take care!!!

        1. Using a phrase like “the best armourer that I’ve ever met” would perhaps give more specificity to the claim. Over-use of hyperbole seems to be a thing with Cory recently

          1. Exactly!  I’m not knocking him for what he believes as he knows it, but I am grinning with a sparkle in my eyes as I say “Keep on looking around and just you hold on ’cause you ain’t seen nothing yet!!!”

            He can term it Maker – version 613 to 1613 A.D.


  5. I’m sure it takes many years to hone the skills needed to create such detailed pieces of work, I do find his anatomic expression rather comic book like.
    But I’m sure many people will disagree.

  6. Yikes! Being familiar with both Ugo Serrano and Chris Gilman and their fine work, I implore you to take this down and start from scratch! The misinformation is casting a negative haze over the great work of both of these amazing artists, and they both deserve their own posts, with correct attribution.

    1. Thank you Rachel,
      I have to say (well, type really) that I was amazed at how Daniel could get the story so wrong. I have been close friends with Ugo for many years and admire (and jealous) of his talent. But to attribute the things he does to Ugo, I can’t begin to understand. Ugo joked that next thing will be, Ugo has cured cancer.
      I have been studying arms & Armour for 30+ years and Robert MacPherson is likely at the top of the food chain when it comes to modern armourers. I would say that there are 4 to 5 people right on his heels. Ugo is at the top in repose’ in steel. He also has that special “spark” that makes him a “star”. I on the other hand, am more like a black hole, no one wants to get too close. ;)

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