"A replica is an exact copy or reproduction of something original, keeping shapes, materials, usefulness, weight, characteristics and functionality."
My name is Osvaldo Gatto and when I have to define who I am and what I do, I like to say that I am a craftsman, and also a History teacher, that since ever has been in love with the antique weaponry, and within this field, mostly with the muzzle-loading pistols. It is a fact that the weapons of every age have been the main axis when it comes to understand the domination imposed by a nation over another, the technological developement reached by or the characteristic cultural concept that was revealed at a certain studied period of time. In this, the invention of the powder came to establish a "firemark", defining the leadership or the obedience of the different nations according to the band in which they were in. Therefore, the black powder, which origin is pretty uncertain, was the propeller for the firearms, were they long or short, artillery, navy or fortress guns, until lately XIX century, when the implementation of the nitrocelulosic powder put everything that had been developed before in the "ancient" shelf.
They always called my attention, with an unexplainable seduction from the vast showcases, that jewels from the past, were they militar or civilians, large or small, flintlock or percussion system, with engravins or "nude", sober or refined, grooved or plain barrels; resting asleep as if they were volcanoes. For an even more unexplainable reason, I always felt the strong impulse of reproducing them, like if genetically in my blood some kind of artificer woke up from an ancient time, impelling me to the sometimes hard task of transforming a piece of rough steel in a barrel, a slice of wood in a stock, a pole in a spring or any other material dull in appearence that could became part of a final piece of weapon that, although new made, keeps the essentials of an original. Something alike, ludicrous distances apart, to the science that intends to clone dinosaurs or another extinguished animals.
I tried to do everything at my hand to get in touch with original pieces in order to study them. Some of them I bought, others I borrowed, always trying to clasify them by model, age, firing system, etc., and reproducing them under the real and efective disclaimer that my intention and final objective was never try to make appear a replica as an original from the past. As though as my replicas have never intended to be something else, they all carry personal engraved marks. As a result of patient work, every pistol can take between 45 and 60 days to get conceived. Due to this I am forced to make an obvius clearing for sure: it is impossible to think of an available stock of pieces, since all my work is most of the time pre-ordered. Although, that what seems to be an odd can become an advantage, becouse the inexistence of a serial production allows me to reproduce at my taste models that are maybe unique. Also interesting are other kind of works that I do in the field of restoring original pieces, constructing scale models or some sharp weapons models, mostly from the Renaissance, that are completely hand made from rough material.
¿Would you join me to find out what all this is about?
Some long weapons
I think... then I insist
Iron and noble woods
The two fundamental ingredients of this recipe.
Shelves of my weapons room
Autor: Osvaldo Gatto
Publicado el 12/08/2004 a las 1:38