I have recently learned that, medievally speaking, linden was the adjective used to describe things made from limewood in the same way that wooden describes items made from wood generally. I have absolutely no idea why that fascinates me, but it does. I have always liked lime trees, though as a child I was disappointed to find that the trees we called limes here were not the fruit bearing kind. Through my dad I have been aware of lime wood being good to carve, in the same way I picked up the names of plants from my mother – some weird knowledge osmosis. Lime (or Linden) wood is a very sparsely grained, easy to work, pale timber that takes very crisp detail and smooths beautifully. The timber is good for food use and the tree itself is known for its pleasantly drinkable flowers and young leaves.
Two of our number in the Shire of Eplaheimr married each other during the summer this year and Mistress Rogned came up with the genius idea of a dowry box for Lady Patrice to be presented to the happy couple by their Highnesses Pól and Caitriona at Raglan. There were all manner of lovely things added to the box and I decided to try making two little tasting cups from limewood as my contribution. (The idea being that the happy couple could expect that many would wish to join with them to drink to their good health and if they drank a full measure every time that health might not hold out, so great a number there would be) In the SCA I’ve noticed that it’s very handy to keep little cups on your person to taste all the delicious meads, fruit elixirs and spiced wines that tend to circulate.
I wasn’t working to medieval examplars in this instance, and they’re not perfectly matched but I was really pleased with them.