So the purpose of this blog was to give a platform for the royals at the time ( Ele and Vitus) a place to show off the Kingdom's arts and crafts talent among other things. Ideally it is open to anyone in the kingdom of Drachenwald who wishes to contribute ( you just need to let me know and give me an email address to send you an invite with). It's also a blog roll, a place to try and put all the blogs from the kingdom's artists, artisans and crafts people in one place, allowing people to see what the blogs get updates. If you have a blog you think would be suitable then send me the link or leave it in the comment area. I'm happy to have people use the blog but am well aware that most people have their own and would much rather just share that. Also be aware that if you are posting on behalf of other people and you share pictures those images must be credited and permission must have been granted from the owner for its use here. Bear also in mind that when posting images not everyone has massive amounts of bandwidth so keep the images to a medium / small size.
The blog does not represent anything official for the SCA inc or the Kingdom of Drachenwald it is a personal blog space which I provide for other people to show off their cool stuff.

Mistress Bridget OL.


What's Up Wednesday, Edition 9

July was a busy month, with many people preparing for Pennsic, Raglan, and other big events. Due to the timing of these events, my call for entries came while many people were gone or just about to go, but there are a few people remaining at home who thus have plenty of time for A&S, and to tell me about it.

It wouldn't be a proper WUW without some pictures, so many thanks to Herrin Ellina dicta Vintdenwürvel of Isengau for sending some of her recent, very prolific, spinning. The first is yellow merino, and the second is Coburger Fuchsschaf, a German breed:

Recently, the entire Shire of Vielburgen has been working, sometimes multiple weekends a month!, on repairing the shire's loaner armour kit. Jakob vom Rhein and Lars Magnus have taken this to the next level, forming an armourer's guild in the shire. Also doing metalwork in the Vielburgen is Master Gwylym Penbras, who reports that he's aiming to complete two seaxes by the middle of the month. Good luck to him!

Earlier in the month Marika and Countess Aryanhwy merch Catmael of Vielburgen decided to satisfy their desire to cook and eat medieval food by hosting a cooking weekend at Aryanhwy's, into which Herr Joel Zinngieser was (not unwillingly!) roped along. The two of them chose 10 recipes, mostly from the 14th C Catalan Book of Sent Sovi, to prepare over the course of two days, and then serve to ~30 people (SCAdians and non). The head chefs were joined by sous-chefs Rio, Herr Michael der Grosse von Bergen, Angharad Hir (who also came away from the weekend sporting this lovely new name), Alaire, Jan, and Julie, who came from all over Knights Crossing. You can find the original recipes and redactions here.

On the topic of food, three cheers for Mistress Eva Gresldottir and (the newly minted) Mistress Joutsenjärven Sahra of Aarnimetsä, whose cookbook is now available in English!

Lady Alyna Morgan of Vielburgen continues to work on her 16th C Spanish dress, and sent along a few pictures of the cutwork decorating the shirt. I could never have the patience!

Displaying her many talents, after reporting last month on some lovely sewing projects, this month Vrouwe Aleydis van Vilvoorden of Gotvik takes up a new skill, trying illumination for the first time. She's working on a piece from a 9th century manuscript:

It's always satisfying to go from in-process one month to finished the next, and thus I'll shamelessly abuse my position as author of these posts to close with a picture of the one thing I completed before Raglan:

Always good to end on a high note.


What's Up Wednesday, Edition 8

The theme for this month is sewing! And because I've been waiting awhile for this to be finished, I'm going to share it first, even though everything else in the post will pale in comparison. Lady Alyna Morgan of Vielburgen has finished The Shirt (and yes, it deserves those capitals), a shirt which everyone who attended coronation can all agree is fit for a King:

It is "a 16th century shirt similar to one seen in the Bath Fashion Museum. It took me 3 years and has close to 1500 yards on silk thread. All hand sewn. Linen and silk thread." And if that wasn't enough, she's moved on to a new outfit, designed for a woman of lower nobility in 1560s Castille. The first accent has just been finished, an amazing external "pocket", made of silk fabric with silk thread in stem stitch with couched vintage gold wire wrapped thread around a silk core, interlined in wool and lined in green silk. Wow:

Early in June, Vrouwe Aleydis van Vilvoorden of Gotvik writes:

I finished my husband's silk tunic, which I started ten years ago, yesterday. It's hand sewn from silk twill, tied with a silk fingerloop braid and decorated with a silk tablet woven band, freshwater pearls and glass beads, silk lucet cord and brass bezants.

The result is quite amazing:

With that project finished, she's dived straight into the next, a Viking outfit, with a hand-sewn shift from blue and white striped linen, and an apron dress is now half finished.

Sewing for the family is a full-time job, and Margaret of Vielburgen has been busy. In recent months she's completed a man's Viking kirtle and pants in linen, three linen kirtles (two Eastern Viking/Rus, one continental), three smokkers (one heavily smocked, one lightly, and one fitted), and a front smocked smokker and a lower Danube style kirtle. What a fashionable turn-out they'll make at their next event!

Even I couldn't help but be inspired. I finally washed fabric that I'd bought in April and spent a weekend cutting out a dress for me and a matching one for Gwen (at her insistence):

Fortuitously, the next week I had a conference to attend, which meant plenty of time for hand-sewing!

But there's more to garb than sewing -- lacemakers, listen up! Those of you who are Facebook, there is now a new group for Drachenwald Lacemakers, started up by Lady Rachel Edwards of Trivium.

Not everyone spends their time with needle and thread. At coronation, we had access to the forge at Bolton Castle, and I spent a pleasant while pumping the bellows for Lord Alexander of Darlington, of Pont Alarch, and Lord Eldgrimr Jonsson of Flintheath forged silverware and fire pokers. You can see why blacksmiths are so burly, watching the skill and power required to manipulate hammer and bellows!

It wouldn't be right of me to not spend a moment or two making you all really, really hungry. If you've never dreamed of becoming a Laurel before now, maybe this will make you change your mind: You get to attend Laurel lunches cooked for by Baroness Magdelena Grace Vane of Turmstadt! She writes:

At Double Wars I cooked a lunch for the Laurels and after brought the food up to the Prize display. The food seemed to be a hit with both the people and the Laurels. Nothing but good compliments. I used The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi from 1570. The food stuffs included were a Breseaola, a beef roll filled with ground meat and spices, cooked on the grill. Half of them were completed on the grill and the other finished in a sauce of broth, vinegar and grape must (reduced grape juice). Roast chicken wasdone in the manner Scappi described as a treatment for turkey, that is to say, larded and pierced with cloves. Medieval chicken nuggets were on the menu as well. Simple chicken fritters with cheese and spiced with sugar and cinnamon. Finally there was a compote of dried fruit in which I used figs boiled in wine with sugar and spice, served with a dense bread. I did not make the bread ;) Everything was done over a fire with period pots.

Recipes can be found in her blog (linked in the blog roll), and I can attest to the ease and tastiness of the "chicken nuggets", since we made them a few weeks ago at home. Yum!

It's a tremendous pleasure to welcome Herrin Elysande Walters back to Knights Crossing and Drachenwald: We've missed her very much during her sojourn in Atlantia! And now that she's back, she's already contributing to the kingdom, picking up paints and pens to produce beautiful scroll blanks:

Some lucky new member of the Orden des Lindquistringes is going to get an amazing scroll!

I've reported previously on Baron Matthew Baker's project to make medieval style books. He provides an update:

I have just finished a medievally-bound copy of John Gerard's The Herball or The Generale Historie of Plantes with the 1597 text, - to go along with a Coptic-bound A Doctor's Book. And today I finished sewing-up the book blocks for both the English and French copies of the other book I'm working on, and hope to have both late-15th C.-style bindings completed, so we can show all 4 books during the A & S show at Raglan.

Not only did he make the books, he made the tools to make the books too:

I made the Piercing Frame, the Piercing Awl, and the Sewing Frame just for this project. No "wasted motion" when these books are done - since I do intend to create more medieval-style books for "handling collections for use in-camp". I might even be persuaded to create some other Titles to Special Order on a "labour-hours plus O. & P. basis".

I don't know about you, but I'm sure tempted!


the alternate gilding size...

At DW there was a wee class on the use of a simple gold size recipe using brown sugar, gum arabic and distilled water. The recipe itself comes from Kathleen P Whitley's book The Gilded Page. It's a fast easy alternative to gesso sottile or modern sizes which don't seem to work as well as they should for many people and my experience with the one I have left me a little frustrated as the gold on it couldn't be burnished. I will eventually do my own write up on the topic but for those who missed the class which 3was more like a small studio session Lady Ailitha  did a very nice easy to follow blog post about it all in 2007. You can find it here.

I'm not saying that this particular size in the B-all or end-all, especially since the preferred method in period times was actually the gesso sottile but it is faster and very reliable and it has worked for me with almost no fails for ten or so years. I've tried many different methods for laying down gold on paper, parchment and so on and this one is consistently the best.

Mistress Bridget OL.


What's Up Wednesday, Edition 7

The hot topic amongst scribes last month was gilding! Mistress Bridget Greywolf, of Aventiure, held an impromptu class on gilding and gesso at Double Wars, which by all reports was quite a success. Everyone loves gold, as Mistress Kerttu Katariinantytär Roisko, of Aarnimetsä, demonstrated when gilded initial she did won the Queen's Choice prize in the blank scroll competition at the event. Elsewhere, Herrin Margaretha von Rückingen, of Meadowmarsh, looking for advice on her gilding, which was proving temperamental, put her heads together with Countess Aryanhwy merch Catmael, of Vielburgen, and the two of them spent a gold-filled evening, while Marika and Allaire, also of Vielburgen, embroidered and sewed, while Herr Joel Zinngießer finished a mould and then cast a beautiful pewter broach.

Speaking of Herr Joel's pewter work, I promised pictures a few installments back. He made custom maker's marks for Lady Catherine Weaver of Thamesreach, incorporating a tablet card and the fess wavy from her arms. Shiny!

Special mention this month goes to Countess Anna vom Urwald, of Frostheim, who put pen and brush to paper to produce a long-overdue backlog scroll from her reign. Once the outline of the design was drawn, she did all the rest herself! (The king's signature will go on the other side of the shield.) Not bad for a beginning scribe:

In a conspiracy to make me really really hungrythis rmoning, Lord Christian Trenchard of Deptford of Dependene-under-Wychwood sends a picture of pressed gingerbread, and Baroness Magdelena Grace Vane of Turmstadt reports on medieval chicken nuggets. Guess I know what I'll be making for supper on Sunday!

Of course, no report on What's (been) Up would be complete without mentioning Double Wars -- a veritable treasure trove of A&S! There's no way I could cover everything that went on there, so I'll settle for a few of my highlights. The first is the continued growth of the Nordmark Arms project, shepherded by Lady Isabetta del Verde and Viscount William of Richwood of Holmrike. Regularly in the lounge people could be found painting up new additions to it. I spent a few very pleasant hours there Sunday afternoon, joining the painting while others sat and sewed, basking in the silence of artists concentrating, punctuated only when someone stabbed themself with a needle. Another very pleasant period in the lounge was the UFO-breakers meeting organized by Mistress Lia de Thornegge of Aros, where many old and new sewing projects (and one armor repair project!) were tackled amidst a comfortable circle. My only regret there is I'd left my UFO at home.

I did not regret, however, joining the weaver's tea organized by Fru Þóra Sumarliðardóttir. Though I am no weaver myself, I'd watched with awe earlier in the week as Madame Nicole d'Anjou of Juneborg whipped up a new pair of garters before my very eyes, and the excuse to learn more about that AND drink tea and eat cookies couldn't be resisted. Weavers of all backgrounds, skill levels, and interests gathered and shared how they came to weaving, what their weaving goals are, what sort of looms they have and wish to have. Anyone who would like to get more involved with weaving in the kingdom is welcome to join the Drachenwald Weavers FB Group or contact Þóra, who is soliciting information on the best open (i.e., non-FB) platform to continue with going forward, so that no one in the kingdom is excluded.

Though it is raining outside my window right now, summer is just around the corner. I'm looking forward to seeing what projects the new season brings!

All photos are used with permission and the rights to them belong to the people who took them. Please do not use the photos without permission.


What's Up Wednesday, Edition 6

A quiet month this month, but that's because I didn't quite finish things up before heading out for a week in Scotland. This just means next month will be extra full.

At Arts in April in Turmstadt, Sayidda Amal binti Hamid al-Chania of Aarnimetsä taught a crowded class room how to make vegetarian soap: Lye, water, and olive oil, plus the maker's choice of fresh rosemary, ground cinnamon, and lemon oil for scents. I took home two cupfuls of still slightly sloshy greenish liquid, and was amazed to peek in a few days later to see this!:

(On the left, rosemary; on the right, cinnamon). They still need to cure for a month, but I'm looking forward to using them! And all of us were inspired by how easy the recipe was: I know I'm not the only one considering how easy it would be to make soap for the next Drachenwald gift basket.

Baron Matthewe Baker of Westdragoningshire continues to ply his amazing woodworking skills to the making of accessories for his and Madame Alys Vitel de Ploubazlanec's campsite, recently constructing this beautiful mirror and washbasin case, of which he says: "I collected pictures of nearly 20 surviving period examples to familiarise myself with decoration and construction details, before distilling that research into constructing this version."

All photos used with permission; please do not redistribute the photos without permission.


Arts in April scrolls part 1

Scribes are often the unsung heroes of the society, creating extraordinary works of art in the quiet of their own work spaces. The pieces of art we call scrolls are usually only seen once, briefly, in court then forever hidden unless there is an online gallery somewhere to share them.

This weekend at Arts in April these two scrolls were among those given out and it is here on the page that highlights our Kingdom's Treasures they shall be showcased. So the first person is Mistress Oriane d'Avallon.

and the write up:

Purple Panache

I was researching the Stockholm Codex Aureus for another project and had a look at a facsimile of the manuscript. As famous as the Codex Aureus is, you only find pictures of the paintings online.  The calligraphy was a big surprise, as was the fact that this manuscript has alternating white and purple parchment pages! The script is a lovely Artificial Uncial, and I love the detail and playfulness of the calligraphed pages. 
A few days later I went paper shopping and came across a lovely purple paper. I loved the colour, marbling, and how worn the edges looked. When I got the Panache assignment, I knew immediately what I wanted to do - hey, it is the A&S award, it will be ok if it is a little 'extravagant'.

This scroll was a big learning experience.  The gorgeous marbled paper has a fairly soft and fibery surface, so quills catch easily on the fibres. Ironing did improve the paper surface, but the marbling is due to wax in the paper. Heat and wax is a no-no, the marble is gone after ironing. The wax content had detrimental effects on ink coverage as well, so the surface needed a wash with diluted gum arabic. The paper took that quite well, no warbeling worth mentioning.
White ink:  Diluted white gouache with a little extra gum arabic and some ox gall gave the best results.  I tried lead white as well as titanium white and zinc white, no visible differences.  The cut of the quill had a much bigger influence.

When I started learning the Artificial Uncial I switched to a goose quill after the first line of text.  The quill needs to be cut obliquely for this hand, and metal nibs were to scratchy for the delicate surface of the paper. Normally I don't cut a slit into the tip of the quill, I just make a groove or two on the paper side.  With the white ink, this was causing a lot of frustration, because the ink just wouldn't flow evenly.  I groaned & moaned my way through 3/4th of the calligraphy, being not satisfied with the result.  Then I had to re-cut the quill and ended up make a slit - guess what, now the ink was flowing much better and the coverage was much more even.

King & Queen's name are emphasised in gold (24 carat gold ink), the recipient's name and the award in (zinnober) red, closely following the original document, fol. 26v. The dots were done with a paintbrush, and the 'Oriane me scripsit' in the margin is done in silver ink.
The ruling was done with a blunt needle, and I folded and pricked the left edge of the page to simulate the binding traces of a single folio in a manuscript.
While there are many details I now know how to improve on, I was quite happy with the overall lacy look of the calligraphy.


pictures and write up courtesy and used by permission of Mistress Oriane d'Avallon



The Pelican scroll for Mistress Margaret de Mey

Margaret de Mey is one of Drachenwald's treasures. This past weekend she was elevated to the Order of the pelican. this was the scroll. If you wish to see a WHOLE lot more pictures and read up about the making of then hop on over to my other blog and check it out but be warned it's super image intensive.

Mistress Bridget Greywolf OL


What's Up Wednesday, Edition 5

Some very cool and unusual projects going on this month!

First up, this amazing piece of beaded embroidery by Fru Silwa af Swaneholm of Gotvik:

This is part of a Swabian-style dress inspired by the portrait of Ursula Greckin by an unknown Ulm Master, c.1500. The embroidery is silk, gold, and silver on velvet, with glass beads, and a special type of spun metal thread, which you can find here. I can't wait for the entire dress to be finished, hopefully we can feature it in an upcoming edition of What's Up Wednesday when it is!

Up in the cold frozen northern wastes, where there is nothing but cod, Fru Þora Sumarliðadóttir has been busy writing articles on medieval Norway, including her first onomastic article: "Middle Norwegian Names from Diplomatarium Norvegicum Diplom 217 (July 25, 1335)".

Baron Matthewe Baker of Westdragoningshire writes:

I've decided our encampment needs some period-looking books for display as "handling accessories" - just to add more atmosphere. - never having done anything like this before, I'm teaching myself a new Craft - I'm creating three "faux-incunabula" - which I hope to have finished for showing at Raglan Ffair. I've worked through the R & D prep. as far as printing and folding the pages for the first two codexes, and am just about to begin making in my workshop the equipment to enable me to sew and bind the book-blocks, - sewing frame, - the 2 presses, - and maybe a plough - and making the cover-boards. I have already researched a source for book-cover fittings, but I can't order them from Buchbinderei Muller until I can calculate the thickness of the finished books so that I can choose appropriate clasps.

For those who won't be able to attend Raglan Ffair, I'll do my best to take some pictures of this very neat sounding books! Look for them in a future edition of What's UP Wednesday!

When Duchess Siobhán inghean uí Liatháin of Nordmark sent me the link to her album tracking the progress of her recreation of a Finnish Iron Age Spiral pattern from the 11th Century for Queen Cecilia's stepping down garb, I was then faced with the difficulty of not simply posting ALL the pictures, because they are so very neat! You'll have to be satisfied with my favorite few:

Showing off the new, smaller spirals this apron is using (l); Beginning the pattern (r)

Half-way done!

Newcomer of Marika of Vielburgen created her very first piece of garb -- a Dublin hood, fully reversible with red on one side and purple on the other. Look for her sporting this stylish fashion piece at Crown Tourney!

And to end with a splash of color and a bit of sunshine, Herrin Ellina dicta Vintdenwürvel of Isengau sent this photo of her current spinning project, a beautiful golden merino:

All photos are used with permission and should not be reproduced without permission. The photos of Duchess Siobhan's apron are by Diane Hedström; the photos of Ellina's spinning by Christine Fiebig.


Gulf Wars Gift Basket

From the bottom of my heart – thank you to everyone that gave of their time, materials and skills to make items for this gift basket!

The gift basket is part of the representation of our Kingdom when our Royalty travels to lands far far away. The items show the skills and talent of the Kingdoms artisans and help Their Majesties in their efforts to represent us to the best of their ability. Drachenwald has a very good reputation and our gift baskets are sought for.

We are a small Kingdom – but we make up for it with our pure awesomeness! But since we are a small Kingdom the gift baskets also take a lot of effort to put together. I hope that everyone who does some arts or crafts consider to donate something for the largesse, since Their Majesties also need small tokens to give as appreciation to people who help them or who do wonderful things for others within the boarders of our Kingdom. So I urge you all to volunteer of your time and skills at some point! You don't have to wait until we know what Kingdom we are exchanging gifts with – not everything in a gift basket has to be of the Kingdom colors!

Again – a HUGE thank you to all who gave this time and I hope that lots of others take the chance to make our Kingdom shine in the future!

Love Meisterinnen Katheryn Hebenstreitz Gift basket coordinator for Their Majesties Prothal and Cecilia


And now for the pictures:

A linen apron with an embroidered waistband donated by Lady Kaarina Eerikintytär

Blackwork embroidered needle case donated by Lady Gunhild von Brunswiek

Blank illuminated scrolls donated by Countess Aryanhwy merch Catmael

Chain mail bracelet donated by Sarah of Eplaheimr

Embroidered bag with rosary donated by Lady Magdalen Yrjäntytär

Embroidery silk donated by Baroness Mechthild Quattermart

Embroidery silks donated by Lady Ameline de Leeuwe

Enamelled belt kit donated by Master Guntram von Wolkenstein

Illuminated bookmarks donated by Mistress Genevieve la flechiere

Jewellery donated by Master Guntram von Wolkenstein

Medieval bookmarks donated by Lady Åsa Vävare

Naalebound hat donated by Mistress Katheryn Hebenstreitz

Naalebound socks donated by Lady Beata Sigridsdotter

Necklace and earrings donated by Lady Alyna Morgan

Pewter Laurel Wreath tokens donated by Master Robert de Canterbury

Pilgrim's bag donated by Mistress Bridget Greywolf

Small ceramic bottles donated by Lady Ida Juhanantytar

Songbook donated by Lady Kaarina Eerikintytär

Tablet weaving book donated by Rouva Joutsenjärven Sahra

Tablet woven band donated by Mistress Katheryn Hebenstreitz

Two fighter's coifs donated by Lady Mariah Harsick

All pictures used by Kind Permission of Marie Ålberg