Winter Tree Crafts LLC is a full-time one-man shop located in the forested West River Valley in southeastern Vermont. WTC opened in 2005 and got its start hand-making high quality leather belts and accessories and now well-known SCA gorgets.
WTC is now a full-time armoury serving the WMA and SCA communities with semi-custom spring steel armour. Semi-custom means that I will generally only perform limited customizations besides sizing on my established lines of armour. This allows me to keep the quality of armour high while keeping the price reasonable. I generally will not accept comissions for fully custom work. My work and pricing is what I like to call middle-market. It is of higher quality, fit (and price) than munitions grade armour, but still has a long way to go (and is much cheaper) than the handful of very talented armourers out there who make some of the world's best reproduction armour and who do fully-custom harnesses.
That said, I pride myself on doing good work for a fair price and have built a reputation as a very honest and reliable merchant to work with. I'm not just looking to make a quick buck off of you, I am looking to become your armourer. I care about my work and it is important to me that my customers feel completely satisfied with their armour.
Winter Tree Crafts is realization of my dream of making my living using my hands with sweat on my brow combined with my love of history. For that, I thank you for your patronage and for the opportunity to continue the work of my ancestors in this unique and fullfilling way.
Erik Schmitt moved to Vermont in 2001 and was immediately hooked with the landscape, culture, and the nature of rural living. Always an avid student of history, he graduted from Marlboro College in 2006 with a degree in Medieval European History and Visual Arts.
As his namesake suggests, making things is in his blood so it wasn't long before he turned from the acedemic world (given a firm nudge by troubles with dyslexia and ADHD) to artisanship.
In addition to studying armour and armour-making, Erik dabbles in carpentry, woodworking and a variety of martial arts. He began his martial training in 2001 and currently holds rank in Shorin-Ryu Karate, Aiki Jujitsu and Kobudo. He has also studied Iaido, Jian-fa, Italian Rapier and German Longsword and is an active instructor in the Western Martial Art (HEMA) community where he is known primarily for his emphasis on martial principle and body mechanics.