I am, alas, one of Nature’s procrastinators. Even knowing that there is an event coming up is not enough to make me actually crack down to it and *actually* make garb. What I would love would be someone to come along and cut out the parts of dresses exactly to my size requirements and just leave them in matched sets in a box beside my couch so that I could just get on with sewing them while I watch Stargate on Netflix.
I finally persuaded myself that I would get nowhere with the illumination side of things just by looking at stuff and pinning things I like on pinterest, that what I needed was to sit down with materials and actually work on one.
So this is my work in progress to the point where I have realised I need finer brushes:
Things learned from this one:
1) finer brushes FTW
2) remember to read the labels on pots of things that look alike or once again try to use varnish as size and that never ends well
3) I need to try physically staining perg with next batch of oak gall ink.
4) The smell of liquid gilding fluid gets right into the very tiny hairs in your nose and lasts for hours..
I love workshops because they make me actually knuckle down to complete something, and, bonus, I get to do so with lovely company and the assistance of people who know what they’re doing. Last weekend Dun in Mara organised a leather working weekend and I went with the express intention of making a quiver. A quiver is a wonderful thing because it stops me having to try and stick my arrows in too dry ground, having them all tumble over and waste everyone’s time before a shoot. With a pattern and lots of excellent and patient instruction from Master Pól (the Younger) I have to say I’m really pleased with how it went.
Using the pattern I cut out the main body and soaked a patch in a suitable patch so that I could stamp a circular arrangement of leaves using a very attractive leaf stamp made available to us at the workshop. That done, I dyed all but the circle with modern leather dye. I have submitted my preferred device (fingers crossed that it passes) and my colours are green, black and silver, so I went with black as the predominant colour. I’ve been doing some research on period dye colours and while black wasn’t anything like as common as brown in period (brown being the colour the tanning process creates anyway), it was a simple enough thing to dye leather black with pretty much the same recipe as oak gall ink. The leather needs work to soften it after this treatment but I love that the leather dyed in this tends to be properly, truly black, all the way through. I’ve found several recipes for green dye and quite a few for red, purple and one, so far, for blue. More on this later though..
The weather outside was glorious, so it was very pleasant being able to apply the dye outside with the little fluffy headed daubers. I wasn’t at all convinced about it at first as the effect looked extremely streaky, but with three coats and some treatment it evened out pretty decently and I was able to start work on the stamped leaves with green acrylic.
The quiver consists of three cut out pieces; the main body, the circular bottom and a strip to create an angled belt loop. These last two had to be dyed to match as well. The sunshine made very quick work on drying everything off and I was ready to sew. Best invention ever is the little stitch marking wheel.
Stitching the bottom on was the trickiest, there may have been a lot of cajoling and swearing for that part.
I have the belt loop secured in place and plan to finish stitching it tomorrow, then the next bit of the plan is to silver gild the tree that I’ve sketched.