Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lorum Ispsum Brain: Secondus

The second of my series of Research Dumps. This issue includes Medieval Metal accessories, BEADS!, a report on a fascinating find, Irish book satchels, Mongolian clothing, and others.


This paper presents a non-destructive analytical study of selected archaeological artefacts from the Old Town in Wrocław, SW P...oland, by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The analysed specimens included dress accessories that decorated both womens
and mens clothes in the Middle Ages. Several various metallic artefacts were selected for detailed studies: jewellery (e.g. finger rings) to more utilitarian utensil (functional) items (e.g. knives). All of them were made of tin-lead alloys or were tinned. This research was
focused on determining the chemical composition of the artefacts, the identification of similarities and differences between alloys as well as technological aspects of the production.
The obtained results suggest that there are many objects with the same chemical composition. It helps to distinguish groups of artefacts (e.g. rings made with the same alloys) or find the
parts of one object. The next interesting result is the possibility of determining the presence of tin-plating that was in varied states of preservation (especially for badly damaged artefacts).

Included are some photographs of the pieces being studied.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Re-enactment Craft Groups on Facebook.

For you textile geeks and sewers out there who regularly use Facebook, I want to share this listing of groups dedicated to recreating various crafts (mostly clothing focused).  I am quite sure there are a number of groups out there that I have missed.  Links do not open in a new window.

UPDATED: 4-14-15
UPDATED: 5-24-16

~~~Clothing groups, Specific Cultures.

Warning: A Ramble on Perfection in craftsmanship.

Going to ramble a bit…and it is a ramble, just so you are warned.

Something I ran across today (not sure where) is this article (have you read it? you can continue the paragraphs below.  Read this one too, if you haven't before.), which talks about the difference between the real idea of handmade (where every possible detail is attended to with the utmost discipline) and the modern (and this article was written in ’59) idea of handmade (which is that it is full of flaws).  The keyword here is discipline—not settling for anything less than perfection in every step, starting with the base product for the craft; in the fit of the product to that exact customer.  Thinking about this, I believe it started with Beau Brummel, and his beginnings of focusing on the exacting details of his clothing.  When the gentleman shows his quality by the extremely finicky details of his possessions, and not settling for less, it rolls down to the craftsman (who has to figure out how to obtain the results), and the levels of apprentices; and thus, with every generation, the knowledge base of the details grows.  This is even still happening, with the finest bespoke tailors, who have a tradition of perfection; I believe that the majority of the knowledge has not been lost.  It is just inaccessible to everybody unable to take a traditional seven year apprenticeship, probably in foreign countries.