Adelheid Zimmerman is a freelance designer, artist, maker, fencer, gamer, and more, residing in Madison, Wisconsin. We first encountered her work last year when she ran a project for the restoration of sixteenth-century German longsword illustrations — a project that also caught the eye of 239 backers. She returned this year with a companion project, a restoration of Marozzo's side sword illustrations from 1536, which is currently live. We asked Zimmerman to talk to us about what exactly goes into restoration of this sort.
I have taken on a project to restore and reproduce the illustrations from Achille Marozzo’s Opera Nova. There are two reasons that I find this project fascinating. I love that I am putting into the hands of historical European martial artists the images that the masters taught from in the form that they were intended. On a more personal level, I enjoy the artistic investigation of the restoration and visceral pleasure of producing that art in a historical manner.
When Marozzo needed illustrations for his fencing manual, he would have gone to an artist for sketches. When a final draft was approved, it was transferred to wood and carved by a highly skilled tradesman who would then remove the negative space from a specially prepared block of hardwood. These engravings and a manuscript of the text were taken to the printer who laid out the lead type and woodblocks, which were then printed onto pages that could be folded into signatures.Read more