Monday, 23 July 2012

Pictures - Completed Rapier Sheath

Last week I finally finished my work on Lady Thora's rapier sheath and presented it to her this weekend. She had originally "commissioned" me to do it but instead, I gave it to her as a going away present before she heads to An Tir. SURPRISE! I thought about doing it as court schtick but I don't think there are any local events before she moves.

Anyway, when last I posted pictures I had finished the carving and dying of the main piece (see my blog post here). Once that was done, I punched the holes along each edge of the leather so that they would match once folded around the core tube. I then took a PVC tube and put it along the inside lof the eather. The leather had been specifically measured so that it would fit around the PVC tube I had bought, which in turn needs to be measured so that it fits around the rapier blade and rubber blunt. The diameter of the PVC tubing will depend on the sword and blunt being used.

Once I had the tube placed correctly, I put a roll of scrap leather into the tip to re-enforce it a bit (the first one I did caved in when a certain Baronial Champion used it to lean on). :) I then applied some rubber cement to the inside of the leather and the PVC to help keep it wrapped around the tube. This was something I did because I've started using leather lace to stitch up the side, and I don't want it carrying all of the pressure from the leather trying to force itself flat. When I was using artificial sinew I didn't worry about it as much but the leather lace is not nearly as strong, so I did this as a precaution.

At that point I used some small clamps to hold the sheath closed and started the lacing process. And boy, is that process more painful than using the sinew. It looks good, but the lacing kept snapping from trying to pull it through the holes. The hardest part was near the top, where I attached an extra layer of leather dyed white to re-enforce the top where the sword hilt will rest. Going through four layers was a bit of a pain, so hopefully it won't come undone.

After the lacing was done, it was just a matter of doing a few touch ups around the holes, and putting my makers mark in it.

I'm actually really proud of the end result. This is the first time I've used my newly learned leather carving skills on a real project. When I compare this to the first one I did or the Baronial Champion's sheath I made, it's far more advanced skill-wise. It might even fool people into thinking I have some artistic ability. :) Not bad for someone who only started making leather pouches about 4 years ago after a Practicum class.

Lady Thora's completed rapier sheath - full view

Lady Thora's completed rapier sheath - Close up on the lacing

Lady Thora's completed rapier sheath - The front view


Lady Thora's completed rapier sheath - Close up on the populace badge

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Latest on Thora's Rapier Sheath

Over the course of the weekend, while I was resting my injured foot, I was able to finish off all of the dying on Thora's rapier sheath and punch all of the lacing holes. It looks pretty good and is now ready for assembly.

Unfortunately, after getting back from trip out to Zeli's on Saturday (we were in the neighbourhood and I wanted to ask about some materials I'll need for future projects) I realized that I don't have the right colour lacing to finish the project. I do have lacing that can be dyed, but given how much I'll need I don't think that's a viable option in this case. It would take too long, and I'd be concerned that the dye I have would flake off during the lacing process given that its primarily a surface dye.

That means that I need to make an emergency trip back to Zeli's at lunch today to get the right lacing. Once I have it, its just a matter of stitching everything up. It may even be done before we leave for Pennsic.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Pennsic Planning - Leatherworking Classes

With less than a month to Pennsic, I'm trying to pull together a tentative list of the various activities I want to do. This year we have decided to try to go for a bit more balance, instead of spending all of our time on the battlefields. We always make these big long lists of classes and get to only one or two. Since Pennsic is one of the only places where you can learn some of these things hands-on, we want to try to focus a bit more on knowledge and skill development this year.

With that in mind, I've gone through the Pennsic University list and there are a number of leatherworking classes I hope to take. A few of them are must-do's and then there are some other nice-to-have's.

Here's my list so far, with * marking the priority classes:

* Making a 16th Century Stick Purse
* Leather Tooling - The History and Application
Anglo-Saxon Ring Pouch
German Pouches: 1500-1540
* Cuirboulli: Water Hardened Leather Armor
Glovemaking - Elizabethan

Also, the Artisan's Row has two leatherworking days planned where you can pop by, hang out with experienced leatherworkers and ask questions/try things out. The first day is the Thursday we arrive, so that may not work. The second day is the Wednesday of war week, so I may be able to fit it in since there are no battles that day.

I also have a bunch of other courses on other topics (arrow-making, cooking, thrown weapons etc) so I think its going to be another busy Pennsic, even without the war point battles.

I plan to take notes at my classes and will post here after we get back (or from Mystic Mail if I have time on-site).

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Project Update and Pictures - Thora's Rapier Sheath

Over the past few days, I've been working on making progress on Thora's rapier sheath that she's asked me for. I had run the design idea by her a few weeks ago but hadn't really had time to get started on crafting it.

She's looking for a rapier sheath that will have either an Ealdormere or Skrael symbol on it for when she moves out west in the fall.Given my previous work on the Ealdormere populace badge, I suggested that would make a good rapier sheath.

So over the past few days I cut out the leather piece, marked out the divisions for the design and carved the badge. I then started the process of colouring it. Now that it's all dyed, it will just be a matter of assembly, which shouldn't take too long.

Here's the process so far:

Swivel knife work cutting out the pattern
Backgrounding filled in around the pattern
Pattern bevelled and stamped
Dyeing of the pattern done

Dyeing and carving complete. Some assembly required.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

New project - Baronial and Kingdom badges

For those who have been reading my blog regularly, I have an confession. I keep adding new projects to my list. It's true, I guess I just keep getting these "bright" ideas and want to work on them. At least I don't have to worry about running out of things to do. :)

When I was taking my leather carving class, I developed a carving pattern of the Ealdormere populace badge (pictures are posted on an earlier blog post). This got me to thinking, if I want to keep working on my leather carving skills, I should really keep practicing. If I'm going to practice, wouldn't it make sense to practice with designs that I might actually use in an SCA context, rather than the typical flower designs and such in the pattern books?

So with that in mind, I'm going to start trying to figure out carving patterns for the various awards in Ealdormere and Skraeling Althing. Ultimately, I'll be able to use them to decorate various projects in the future if I'm making things as a gift. Some, like the Maiden's Heart, will be fairly easy. Some of the others are more complicated (I'm not really looking forward to figuring out how to carve the wolves on the Scarlet Banner).

Pictures of the badges at the Kingdom level are found here:

At the Baronial level I've sent a note to our Baronial Persuivant to see if there are images available. I know it was being worked on a few years ago but not sure if it ever got finished.

I suspect this will be one of those ongoing projects that just pops up occasionally. I'll post pictures as I work on it and will tag the posts with "badges" so people can look for updates.