Welcome to the 4th edition of What's Up Wednesday!
Today's banner item could be a complete entry in itself. Madame Lyonet de Covenham of Thamesreach has been working on the construction of Golden Vanity, a harp that might have come from the same shop as the Wartburg Harp, a late 14th or early 15th Century harp kept at the Wartburg, a castle at Eisenach in Germany:
On the left is the original Wartburg Harp. It is assessed to have been made in the Tyrol out of three pieces of local maple. It has iron tuning pegs, which carried 26 gut strings with each note labelled on the neck. The sound box is oval in cross-section and was carved out of a block rather than built up out of planks as modern harps are. On the right is Golden Vanity, based on the Wartburg but with five strings dropped out of the middle of the harp turning the curve at the top from a section of an ellipse into a section of a circle.
Golden Vanity plays beautifully. It will be a few weeks before her sound fully develops, and she currently needs to be tuned twice daily as her strings stretch; but for her size she is loud and clear, and with the bray pins set she sounds unearthly.
(She sent me another two pages worth of notes about the materials and construction, anyone who is interested in reading them need merely ask!)
Jahanara-banu of Flintheath has been weaving damasks. She says:
I am using a Myrhead Drawloom attachment on my Glimakra Standard Loom. The drawloom attachment allows me to accomplish drawloom weaving without a helper sitting on top of the loom! There has been some debate on whether drawlooms were first developed in Iran, namely the Sasanid Dynasty (3rd-6th C AD) or Han China. The drawloom allows weavers to mechanically create a variety of patterns in the weaving. A drawloom is a double harness loom, meaning it has 2 independent sets of shafts, one which controls the weave structure and one that controls the pattern. The drawloom allows the weaver to easily weave a wide variety of cloths, using Taquete and Samitum, which can be woven on a single harness loom, to Damask. My samples are Damask cloth, using 4 end broken twill/false damask and 10/2 cotton. The cloth is set at 24 epi and the designs vary from my own patterns, the "drops", to a pattern from Lillemor Johansson's Damask and Ophamta, and a leaf damask published in Complex Weavers Medieval Textile Study Group Samples 2003.
This weekend at Feast of Fools saw a feast of artistry in addition to foolishness. Throughout the day Lord Silvein Morgan of Vielburgen could be seen tooling an amazingly complex design on leather, all the while modeling a recently completed silk and embroidered Viking coat by his lady, Lady Alyna Morgan. The event was also host to an installment of the Knight's Crossing baronial A&S competition which featured many wonderful entries -- Corelia del Castello of Turmstadt entered a beautiful back-log scroll with delicate shading, Stefanulf von Horn presented four different berry liquers, Baroness Maggie shared a pot of mustard (and her redacted for it can be found here), and Master Gwylym Penbras displayed a dagger with a turned walnut handle, among other entries. But the most impressive entry, in my opinion, though, was this embroidered and beaded Elizabethan style purse made entirely by Edith of London, of Turmstadt:
The seamstress is eight.
A number more finished projects in the inaugural Drachenwald A&S Exchange have been posted to the exchange blog: a Viking apron by Lady Mylla, a partlet with two sets of sleeves by Lady Victoria Alcon de Castile of Polderslot, an embroidered coif by Lady Tamara Samuilova of Thamesreach, of Saint John of Rila, and an embroidered pin cushion by Fru Eyja Einarsdotter of Gyllengran.
The family that sews together, stays together. Lady Mylla O'Reilly of Gyllengran has been making tassels:
while her lord, Lord Are Faggeson, has been adapting medieval manuscripts into embroidery patterns:
Finally, a few editions ago, I commented on the pewter work of Herr Joel Zinngieser of Vielburgen, and promised pictures when he finished his current piece. I'm pleased to be able to make good on that promise now:
This is a belt strap end commissioned by Lady Tamara Samuilova, with her arms on it.
Photo of Edith's purse by Elsa Hahma. Photos of Mylla's and Are's tassles and embroidery by Jessica & Daniel Granath. Photos of Jahanara's weaving by Erica Jones. Photo of Lyonet's harp are by Lynette Nusbacher; the origin of the Wartburg harp photo is unknown. Photo of the strap end by Joel Uckelman.
All photos used with permission. Do not replicate without permission.