Sunday, 12 August 2012

Wrap-up: Pennsic 2012 Leather Classes

Well, we have returned from Pennsic with all digits intact and are now working through the pile of laundry. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to as many classes as I had planned. The mixed bag of weather, plus the fact that the buses were even less reliable this year than previously, meant I spent a lot more time in camp than usual.

However, I did make it to my two top priority classes, which were both on our first full day on site.


Given my interest in this piece and my plan to make one for an upcoming Kingdom A&S, this class was my top priority. It got a surprisingly large turn-out given how strange and obscure the stick-purse is. I suspect at least a handful of people really didn't know what the class was about until they got there and were just attending based on their interest in leatherworking or pouches.

The class itself was interesting because we go into discussions around materials. There were people with woodworking and metalworking experience attending, so we discussed the nails that would work best for this project.

I also got to see Mistress Elizabeth's completed purse up close, It's very cool. She's used a mixture of tan and dark brown leather.

It was also very cool that Mistress Elizabeth referenced this blog and suggested people check it out for additional resources. If anyone from the class is reading this -- Hello! :)

Overall I think it was a really great class and it was nice to meet Mistress Elizabeth. I hope she enjoyed teaching the class.

I'll do a separate post about my next steps for the project, based on this class and the other class I attended.

Period Leather Tooling

Immediately following the stick-purse class I scooted over to a tent in the next row for my second priority class, period leather tooling. The teacher was a professional leatherworker from the Midrealm named Lord AEric Orvender.

I mainly wanted to take this course to find out if the techniques I learned from the class at Zeli's are historically correct. The good news is they are. YAY! Essentially the techniques I learned all date back to period - it would just be the patterns being carved that would have been different based on the time period and culture. There's apparently a section in my Knives & Scabbard's book that talks about period stamping tools. I'll have to check it out.

We also talked about proper leather casing, which apparently is not what they showed us at the Zeli's course. And we talked about leather dyes, including the fact that period dyes were probably made form the same materials as illumination inks. This has lead to a bit of a eureka moment and Lyda and I are now all keen do do some experimenting which will eventually tie in to my stick-purse project.

All in all I got exactly what I was hoping for out of this class and everyone was able to ask a lot of questions. Since I was there mostly for knowledge rather than learning hands-on technique it was perfect for me. It was also funny that there were a number of Skraels in the class. I counted at least six of us.

Artists Row

Artists Row this year held two leatherworking days. The first day was on the day we were setting up camp, so I wasn't able to make it. The second day was Wednesday of war week so I wandered by with Avelyn as we were running some errands but didn't stay as I didn't have any projects to work on at the time.  Next year I'll have to remember to bring something to work on at war.

Other Leather Bits

Avelyn says that the draw-string pouch I made for her worked out well and was a good size, but the draw string is a bit stiff. I didn't quite gauge the amount of space needed for the two leather laces in the draw-string so I'm not surprised its hard to pull. I may redo it when I have a chance.

I was also asked to work on a new project for Lady Eluned. Her twin girls are getting to the age where they are interested in SCA activities, not just coming to events and playing with their friends. One of the girls has taken up archery, but Eluned can't find a set of finger tabs or glove that will fit. She's asked if I could make a small archery glove for her. I think I have a pattern for one, so it should be easy enough to down-size it.

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