Sunday, 16 March 2014

Gulf Wars Gift Basket Contribution (With Pictures)

This post was written in advance but now that everyone is headed back from Gulf Wars I expect it should be safe to post without revealing any surprises.

At the major SCA wars, it's tradition that the various royals exchange gift baskets. Often these baskets are made up of various items made by the populace of the giving kingdom. We know in advance which kingdom's royals will be receiving the basket, so we often keep that kingdom's heraldry and colours in mind when donating the items.

This year for Gulf Wars, the recipient of Our Majesties' gift basket is Trimaris. Over the past couple of months, Her Majesty had placed a call out to the populace to for items for this gift basket.

Avelyn had the idea of donating a starter set of silk banner supplies, so we pulled together a quick collection of various colours of silk dye, along with some gutta.

I wanted to do something a bit more personal, so my contribution was of course a leather item. After some discussion, I came up with the brilliant (note: some sarcasm implied) idea of doing one of my rapier sheaths for the gift basket. Now, this isn't itself such a bad idea. The problem was that it took me so long to decide what to contribute that I'd left myself very little time to make the sheath. I basically only had a couple of weeks between when I made the decision on the sheath and Practicum (which was the last event I would see Her Majesty before she left for Gulf Wars).

For those that haven't seen one of my rapier sheaths, they are fairly time and resource heavy to make. The core of the sheath is a plastic plumbing tube that will help protect the sword from bending in transport. I then cover it with leather, which is tooled and dyed as appropriate.

There are now only five of them in existence (I have my original prototype, I gave one to the Barony when I stepped down as rapier champion, Lady Thora received a special one as a going away present and there's one in Dragon Dormant with the winner of the Border Spat tourney I ran two years ago). In all, they take probably anywhere from 10-20 hours of labour to make (actual work time, not including drying time etc.), depending on the complexity of the leather tooling and whether I have to develop a carving pattern or its something I've made before. They also require a particularly long piece of leather since you need a single piece that covers the length of the sheath - in this case about 3 1/2 feet long).

I wanted to tailor the sheath for Trimaris, so I also developed a carving pattern for their populace badge (thankfully their badge is an easy design - Thank You! to whoever designed it) and custom mixed a blue dye that would be the appropriate colour for their heraldry.

All in all I think it turned out pretty well. I hope Their Majesties of Trimaris like it, and that it will work for whoever ends up with it. I attached a little card with my contact information so who knows, they may even be reading this post some day (if so, Hi!!! Hope you like it).

And now, to the pictures:

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