• Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

Johannes is retiring and I just can’t

In case you missed the announcement on the Windrose Armoury Facebook page:


“It has been a long time since I posted anything here, and thought I would break my silence with an announcement.

I will be retiring from armoring this year to find out what I am going to be when I grow up. What this means for Windrose Armoury and Mandrake Armory, their products and facilities is still to be determined, but I will be finishing every single item left on my order list. I should be able to wrap that up completely by the end of spring. There are also a huge assortment of partially finished stock projects on shelves here in the shop that may get finished, and posted online for sale.

The web site will continue to function, and some operations, like custom shields, will continue unchanged until we have a better idea what the future holds.

I made my first piece of armor in 1985, sold my first piece in 1989, and have managed to eke out a 30+ year career doing a thing that was as much a passion as it was hard to explain to anyone not involved in our hobbies. Having seen many other armorers get behind and flame out, it was a point of emphasis not to be one of them, to remain professional and accountable to our customers no matter what might be going on in our lives. Until the last few years I had managed that extremely well, and I take great pride in that. But the loss of our daughter in 2020, some physical and mental health issues of my own and a substantial injury to my essential partner Anita has put me behind in a way I never have been. Years of abuse have produced nerve and impact damage that has gotten severe in my arms, hands and neck, making each work day difficult. All these factors have become a road block to continuing that I just can’t summon the will to climb over.

They say the first thing to do when you’re in a hole is to stop digging. So I’m going to finish my order book, click my heels together and leave the company I founded in 1993. Over these decades my job has enabled me to be a knight, a teacher, a friend, a competitor, a counselor and a giant pain in the ass, and I have few regrets about any of those roles. I hope I will leave behind a reputation for honest hard work, professional and personal integrity, and an attention to details. I know I’m leaving behind a substantial body of work that has graced fields across many groups and activities.

It has been an honor to serve our customers for all these years, and the faith and trust shown to us over that time never ceases to warm me. We truly have had the greatest customers you could ask for, and I will miss that part of this job the most.”



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