Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Final Stick-Purse - From Kingdom A&S

It was May 2012 that I first posted on this blog about starting to do some research into the stick-purse. Almost three years later it's finally done.

The pictures below are the final project as entered at Kingdom Arts & Sciences on April 11. The dimensions are exactly the same as the original pouch at the Fries Museum (handle length, bag hight and bag diameter are all the same). The bags are made from 3-4 oz milled veg tan, which is a bit too thick for the design but I couldn't find the right kind of garment-weight chamois leather, so this was the closest I could get. The handle cover and draw strings are made from 2-3 oz veg tan goat and the base of the pouches are made from 4-5 oz veg tan cow.

The colours on the handle and the draw strings are my period leather dyes that I worked out based on period dye manuals (red, green, yellow and black).

The conversation at A&S was really good. I got a few suggestions for some tweaks to make my purse even closer to the original (changing the way I did the top of the handle, some ideas on getting the thinner chamois to work, restringing the draw strings on the pouchlets reversed to how I have them) but overall it was a really great conversation. The big thing I would change is the leather itself, as a thinner leather would allow the draw strings to close better on the pouchlets.

Next step is that I hope to test out the purse at an actual SCA event to see if it would replace the cash box at gate. I bet it would work.

There's not much more I can do on the research front unless I can get more pictures from the museum on how the bottom and backs of the pouches are constructed. I may have to see if someone can stop in at the museum and see what it looks like. Otherwise, I think the design is pretty darn close to the original.

Original artefact at the Fries Museum

My Kingdom A&S Project

Monday, 20 April 2015

Wrap-up From Practicum

Yes, I know. Practicum was in February so I'm late. What can I say, I was getting ready for Kingdom A&S.

Anyway, before I do my wrap-up for A&S I thought I should catch up on missed posts.

This year at Practicum I taught a class on period leather dyes for the first time. It was based on the dye research from the past few years and was really just intended to be an introduction for people to:
  1. Show that coloured leather was indeed available in the period the SCA covers
  2. Share recipes available for many period leather dye recipes
  3. Pass on some of the lessons I've learned from my experiments if they would like to try some of the recipes themselves.
Overall I'd say the class, which was more of a discussion session, went pretty well. I had about 6-7 people in the class and people seemed keen to learn about the subject.

The rest of the day I spent learning bookbinding with Mistress Tarian. It was hard because I kept having to bounce in and out of the class (we had a Baronial Council meeting at the end of the day as well, which took a chunk out of the time). I didn't get to covering the book with my leather but the rest pretty much got done thanks to Tarian helping to keep me caught up while I was out of the room.

Sadly, I mixed up the order of my pages so the book is all scrambled. Guess I'll have to do it again. :)

Here's a pic of the setup early on in the day: