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Stefan's Florilegium


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crafthints-msg - 5/5/94

Various useful comments on different crafts.

NOTE: See also the files: ivory-bib, leather-bib, enameling-msg, lucet-cord-msg,
glues-msg, horn-msg, pigments-msg, metals-msg, tools-msg, woodworking-msg.


This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that
I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some
messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with
seperate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes
extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were
removed to save space and remove clutter.

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I
make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the
individual authors.

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these
messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this
time. If information is published from these messages, please give
credit to the orignator(s).

Thank you,
Mark S. Harris AKA: Lord Stefan li Rous
mark.s.harris@motorola.com stefan@florilegium.org

From: klw30@duts.ccc.amdahl.com (Karen Williams)
Date: 17 May 91 21:28:29 GMT
Organization: Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale CA

JCASE@pearl.tufts.EDU ("John H. Case") writes:
>The gryphons were too hard to draw.

The arms for our war unit, Gryphonsguard, include two gryphons combatant. Master
Sir Eric Foxworthy drew a template on heavy cardboard with little dots cut
through it every couple of inches on the lines, so that we just have to put the
template over the shield, draw the dots on the shield, take of the template, and
connect the dots.
All of our shields look the same, and we only had to draw it once.

Yours in favor of simple art tricks,
Branwen ferch Emrys
The Mists, the West
Karen Williams

From: sapalmer@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Sharon A Palmer)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Tips Wanted (scribes)
Date: 19 Nov 1993 13:06:52 GMT
Organization: The Ohio State University

Monica_Cellio@transarc.com writes:
>Caitrin says:
>> For repeating borders, such as knotwork, you can save time and increase
>> precision by drawing one section of the border and using a light table
>> or a window to trace subsequent sections of the border (this isn't
>> cheating -- you drew it once!).
>If you're working on heavy enough paper, you might find it difficult to
>use a light table. However, you can accomplish the same thing in that
>case by drawing the pattern once, rubbing the back of the "pattern" piece
>with pencil (a carpenter's pencil works well because it has a broad tip,
>and it only costs 50 cents or so), and using the pattern like carbon

I am not a scribe, but you might try a period technique for coping
embroidery patterns. Prick the lines of your 'pattern' closely with
a pin, place it where it is to be copied and 'pounce' or dust chalk
or lampblack over the holes. This would be most useful if the pattern
needed to be copied a number of times.

Ranvaig (Sharon Palmer)

From: dmb@inls1.ucsd.edu (Doug Brownell)
Date: 14 Jun 91 20:44:13 GMT
Organization: Institute for Nonlinear Science

Greetings unto the Rialto, and expecially Pagane,
from Lord Thomas Brownwell in Calafia.

Pagane asked about the preparation of Rose Beads, and I happened to
know of a friend who makes them with some regularity, so I asked for
her 'recipe'. The following is Lady Melandra of the Woods recipe:

Chop the petals fine (quarters?, probably ninths) and place them in
an IRON POT (which is what gives the beads their black color).

Barely cover the petals with water then simmer them for just *one
hour*, and DO NOT BOIL them. Let them sit for a day. Stir them
occasionally throughout the day.

Repeat the boiling/sitting for about 3-7 days, until the petals are
indistinguishable from the mush. Then, while wearing plastic
gloves, squeeze out the excess water (if there is any) from the large
lump of goo you have made until the stuff is basically a clay-like
consistency. The gloves are to protect your hands from staining,
because this stuff is *not* colorfast, if you know what I mean.

Then form beads, remembering that they will shrink 1/3 to 1/2, so
account for their final size as you form them. It is best at this
time to string the beads while they are still wet, though some people
wait until the next day. It is easier to do while they are wet,
*but* there is a price. You have to move them around on the string
to prevent them from 1) molding inside at the string and 2)
preventing them from sticking irrevocably to the string itself. The
drying process is very slow, and may take as long as 7 days,
depending upon the humidity. When they are hard and dry, remove them
from the string.

The beads are intrinsically weakened if they dry out too much, so now
you should lightly coat them with Rose Oil, if you can find one which
you like the scent of (be discerning. No rose oil is preferable to a
poor one). If not, the good old Olive Oil will do just fine [I asked
to make sure they didn't interfere with the beads' natural scent. It
apparently doesn't.]. Lacquering (or whatever) can also be used, but
then the whole idea of rose-scented beads goes down the drain.
Every six months or so, you may 'refresh' the beads with another coat
of rose oil.

When wearing the beads, beware of water. The beads are hardy and
won't fall apart, but they will stain anything you are wearing a
very unpleasant black (it does wash out, well, mostly out, because
the iron dye is water soluble).

If you find that you have way too much to deal with all at once, you
can refrigerate the mess for up too a week (depending upon the mold
growth; maybe even longer), until you have a chance to get to it

When you wear the beads, remember that warmth helps release the
scent. Hang a string of beads from your car's rearview mirror and
the warmth of the sun shining on it will make your car smell wonderful.

Final Note: The beads *are* going to have mold on them. There's
nothing you can do about it, but you can keep it to a minimum.
Scoop out the mold from the surface of the pot if it forms there
while you are doing the daily cooking. Mold on the beads is difficult
to remove, so don't be disappointed at failure. Just smooth it into
the surface (it will leave a light colored mark, but that's ok).

Have fun.

All of this wisdom was given to me by Lady Melandra, a fair
practitioner in the arts of carding, spinning, weaving, dyeing (using
natural coloring agents), and herbs.

Yours, Lord Thomas Brownwell, in fair Calafia.

Douglas M. Brownell | Thomas Brownwell
Institute for Nonlinear Science, R-002 | Barony of Calafia
University of California, San Diego | Kingdom of Caid
La Jolla, CA 92093 |
| Anachronist (noun):
Internet: dmb@inls1.ucsd.edu | Out of time;
dbrownell@ucsd.edu | Gotta go!

From: dmb@jacobi.ucsd.edu (Doug Brownell)
Date: 18 Oct 91 18:47:21 GMT
Organization: Intstitute for Nonlinear Science, UCSD

Greetings, monsieur Rugi, from Thomas Brownwell

The Celts didn't use too much in the way of modern forks, but
we (my lady and I) make something called a twisted wire fork,
and I'll try to draw it here:

__ / \
/ \ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ / `--------
( X X X X X X X X
\__/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \ ,--------

I can't believe I did it. Can you envision it? It's a single
piece of 8 guage copper wire, twisted together along the center
with a circular end on the left from the dowel used to hold
it, and on the right the two tines hammered flat so that they
are about 1/4 inch wide (most convenient for eating rice) and
sharpened to a point for spearing your meat. Examples of
this fork have been found in archeological digs.

Au revoir.


Douglas M. Brownell | Thomas Brownwell
Physics Grad Student | College of St Artemis &
Institute for Nonlinear Science, R-002 | Canton of Summergate
University of California, San Diego | Barony of Calafia
La Jolla, CA 92093 | Kingdom of Caid
Internet: dmb@jacobi.ucsd.edu | Or, a Fountain, and a
dbrownell@ucsd.edu | Chief Rayonny Gules

From: tip@lead.tmc.edu (Tom Perigrin)
Date: 27 Nov 91 18:42:47 GMT
Organization: A.I. Chem Lab, University of Arizona

My Dear Lord Graydon,

Thou hast inquired about how one might proceed to make a barrelled
shaft for an arrow... although my knowledge is not directly related to
arrowmaking, I would like to present an idea or two for thy examination.

The way a barrel stave is tapered is as such; First the stave is split
from a bulk by a froe, and split such that the square of it is as the greatest
part of thy stave. Then the workman rouch hews it with a
bradeax until it approaches the shape desired. He then takes his stave unto
his plane, which is a cunning device indeed. It is often over 5' in length,
and rests with one end upon the ground, and has two legs to support the
other end. Thus, the edge is uppermost, and the shavings can cascade
through the throat and downwards. He places his feet astride this plane,
and holding the stave at the right angle taught unto him by experience,
he quickly runs it along the plan efrom wide to narrow, which is as he
must, for the other direction would catch the grain and tear it.

But I fear me that this method is not correct for thy wishes.
The shaft of an arrow is too small and whippy, and I have fears for thy
fingers as thou woulds't whip it by thy razor sharp plane blade.

I know that in the main smaller work such as tines and prods for
spindles and chair rungs, are shaped upon the horse. The horse has a bench,
of one foot and one span in width, and equal in lenth to a mans hieght.
The plank has four goodly legs to support it. Upon this plank, thereis
another plank which arises from the end, and comes towards the center some
2 or 3 feet, and rises a foot or more. This is called the table. The
bench and the table are bother peirced by a mortase, through which a
another timber doth pass. This timber is pivoted unpon the bench, and
has upon it's lower end a place to push with ones feet... the upper end
has a tooth, or a pin through it, or any number of arrangements to catch
the work. This part is named the head or the dumbhead.

The way the horse is used is this; one sits upon the bench facing
the table. Because of thy height, thou canst peer the length of the
table, and it points at thy chest. Thou laiest thy work upon the table,
next to the dumbhead, and then by pressing the pedal away with thy feet,
the head pivots forward and captures the work to the table. Thou art now able
to take a draw knife or a shave, and to plane thy work towards thyself.
To turn thy work is but the work of a trice... thou dost but barely
move thy feet, spin thy work, and press to again.

The horse is quick and simple, and can easily work such small things
as an arrow shaft. However, when 'er I teach a prentice how to use the horse,
I always insist that they wear a wooden bib... and the reason is this:
I keep my drawknives as sharp as I can make them, and when the prentice
sits upon the bench and pulls the knive towards him, he is pulling a foot
wide peice of razor sharp steel towards his breasts, with nothing but
grace to stop it. My bib is precisely that... a square of wood about
8 inches upon the side, with two holes for a cord to go around ones neck,
and a small depression the center so that one may capture wok theirein in
work closely unto it. The number of nicks and cuts impress the wisdom
of using it upon the prentices... and they are most faithful in using it.

If My Lord hast never used a draw knife, I woulds't be happy to
scribe a missive about that as well. I have now used them for over 10 years,
and built many shafts and spokes and spindles, and have learned some of the
tricks therein. It may seem a clumsy tool, but ifaith, it is a cunning tool
when used to all extent! But it yeilds it secrets slowly... I carved
more than 20 spokes of good white oak before I learned but the simplest
differences between the 5 major cuts, and I would happily pass this onto

I am in your Lordship's service, and remain,

Thy Obedient Servant
Thomas Ignatius Perigrinus

From: tip@lead.tmc.edu (Tom Perigrin)
Date: 27 Nov 91 19:21:26 GMT
Organization: A.I. Chem Lab, University of Arizona

Unto the Rialto doth Thomas Ignatius Perigrinus send his Pollonic Greetings...

Some time ago, a gentle requested information about brooms. I am
doubly abashed that I have taken so long to respond, and that I have also
forgotten their name. I hope they forgive me on both accounts.

For pictures of brooms thou may find the following of interest;

(16'th century mode off)

In the book, Durer, by Knappe, Wellfleet Press, Secauscus NJ ISBN
1 55521 260 3, I found;

p 298, St. Jerome in his Cell, 1511. On the back wall there are hanging a
bill, a broom, and shears. The bill and shears are interesting since they
are probably used in broom making. When I spent time learning how to thatch
in East Anglia we used identical bills and shears on the thatching straw!

p 302, The Mass of St. Gregory, 1511. There is a broom hanging from a beam
behind St. Gregory, but unfortunately, it is somewhat hidden behind a

p 385, The Emblum of the Printer Joducus Badius, 1520, there is a small
brush or a broom hanging ont he wall.

In the book, Bruegel, by Brown, Phaedon Press, St. Ebbes, Oxford, ISBN
0 7148 1663 9;

p11, The Netherlandisch Proverbs, 1559, in the upper left hand corner there
is a 'twig' broom sticking out of the window.

p27, Temperantia (1558?), a 'twig' brush stuck in the belt of the teacher.

p55, The Ass at School, no date, A teacher has a 'twig' brush tucked into
the band of his hat (!), and a second broom is lodged in a pot in the lower
left. This engraving has very good detail on the bindings!

p63, Fides, no date, there are two brroms in the lower left corner.

Note I am making a distinction between a 'twig' brush and broom, and one
made from broom corn or other grain plants. The twig broom is made from
small (1.0 to 1.5 mm) twigs, and is much stiffer and less "dense"
than a corn broom.

An EXCELLENT picture of a corn-broom can be found in a hard to obtain
book; The Medieval Woman, Sally Fox, Collins, 8 Grafton St, London,
W1, 1985. There is a lovely illustration of a woman sweeping with
a long corn broom. The details of the bindings are clearly seen, and
some of the construction details can be seen or inferred. The original
comes from Barthelemy d'Anglais, Livre des Proprietes des Choses,
MS FR 9140, f107, Bibliotech Nationale, Paris. There are also
two more sweeping illustrations, and other fascinating illustrations
of women performing non-traditional roles such as blacksmithing, etc...

I havn't found any books on broom making in my library, yet. But, I did
find the following books on straw work (apart from thatching);

Straw Plait, Jean Davis, Shire Album 78, Shire Pub, Crmwell House,
Church St., Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Bucks, ISBN 085263 580 X

Craft of Straw Decoration, Alec Coker, Dryad Press, Woodridge NJ 07075
ISBN 085 219 0786

And as someone mentioned before; Skapa Med Halm, M{rta Kashammar,
Bokf|rlaget, Spektra, Halmstad, 1983, ISBN, 91 7136 346 7.

But if you can't read Swedish, denna bok {r into s} bra!

I have ideas about broom making, having seen brooms in the City of London
Museum, and having worked with straw while learning to thatch. I have made
some rude brooms and can tell you what worked and what didn't. If you want
me to send you some ideas, please feel free to ask.

(back to C 16)

It is my deepest desire that this information may be of some small service
to thee, and I remain,

thy humble servant
Thomas Ignatius Perigrinus

<the end>

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