Fresh out of the kiln!

Here are the 2 sets of plates/cups/bowls for the Feast Gear Fundraiser. One set, which has 2 cups, 2 plates, and 2 each of 2 types of bowls, is redware decorated with a white slip. The other, which has 3 cups, 3 bowls, and 3 plates, has a white body which will be decorated in the style of proto-majolica. So, remember to bring lots of money so you can have lots of chances to win!

ALL pieces will be finished with a FOOD-SAFE glaze.



We are hoping to have at least 2 sets of feast gear. On set is based on proto-majolica ceramics from southern Italy. Here are some examples.

Iproto-fish proto-horse proto-fight2 proto-fight


Hocktide 2014 fundraiser

The original idea for this year’s project was simple: hand embroider sets of table linens (table cloths, napkins, and chalice covers). The idea grew. We had a volunteer to forge some simple flatware. Then we had a volunteer to make wooden boxes to put everything in. Now it looked like we would have a complete feast gear package.

But what about dishes? Should we “fancify” some goodwill dishes? Buy dishes? Find a potter to donate dishes?


Then Someone mentioned that Lady Taran just happened to have a potter’s wheel and a kiln. Hmmmm. Ahhh. Popular belief is that Lady Sadb then suggested we make all the pottery ourselves (although she does not remember being the one to birth the idea).


Equestrian Traveler Competition

We have made a couple of changes to the Traveler (trail) course and have written a story to go with it. :)

Timing STARTS when the rider crosses the ground marker. Each obstacle must be completed at the walk, but travel between can be any gait. All obstacles must be attempted for 10 seconds.  At the 10 second point, the marshal will indicate it is time to move on to the next obstacle.  (Please do not school your horses during the competition. There will be plenty of time later to work with your horse if they refuse an obstacle.)

Traveler Story

Your favorite brother’s horse has returned without his rider. He has disappeared on his way home from the annual Jousting tournament. You must find his body to bring peace to your family.   After traveling some distance on your faithful steed, you come to the end of your family property.  Just outside of the gate you see a gruesome sight.  There lie the bodies of your brother’s traveling companions and their horses.  Unfortunately, this is a very narrow canyon and you must walk over the bodies to get beyond to the bridge.  You don’t find your brother among the dead so you continue on.  After crossing the bridge you see a trail heading under the waterfall.  You follow this trail and cross over the mountain. Below you see brambles that go on for miles.  You must cross through these and over the fallen logs in the ancient forest.  As you get closer to the lake, you notice your brother’s sword at the water’s edge. You enter the water diligently searching for more signs.  There across the lake you see him! He is struggling in the quick sand next to the water.  You throw your rope to him and drag him into a dark grove where he can be safe until you can bring back help. You immediately go to the nearby Abbey and ring the bell to gain entrance.  They go to retrieve your brother and you choose a more direct path home to give your family the good news.  The shortcut requires some precise riding and you quickly make your way back to the narrow canyon and the gate to your family estate.

  1. Open and close gate
  2. Bottle crossing
  3. Over the bridge
  4. Waterfall
  5. Over the hill (does not have to be walked)
  6. Fingers of death
  7. Cavaletties
  8. Across water
  9. Body drag
  10. In-Ring bell-back out (between ground poles)
  11. Around the log bank and side pass over ground pole.
  12. Step up onto pedestal with both front feet.
  13. Narrow walk-thru
  14. Bottles
  15. Gate (open and close)
  16. End time at the close of the gate.

Oooooooh. Pretty……

We’re almost to the point that makes all the work worthwhile. Lady Taran Nic Tarl’a’s Celtic themed panel is very colorful and shiny. Not much longer until it is finished.


Sadb Hálsdóttir’s Egyptian themed panel is also coming along.


The fun part begins!


Finally, we get to the fun part: making the decorative panels pretty. Milisandia filia Willelmi is working on a Byzantine-inspired piece. She is starting with some stunning appliques.


Amazing what a little embellishment to a fabric applique can do.

The real work begins….

With pattern and lovely dyed fabric, we quickly constructed all 6 chair covers.


Now, we can take a basic, modern camping chair and transform it into… a less-obtrusive object for sitting.

20130417_143735 20130417_143615

The Pattern

We have the idea. We have the fabric. Now what?

Our shire is blessed to have a brilliant pattern designer, Taran mac Tarl’a. (I’m continually amazed by the talent of so many kinds in our shire, the Summits, An Tir, and the rest of the Known World.) We took measurements and more measurements. It was amazing to watch Taran take these numbers and understand how to translate them into a pattern on paper. After a mock up and adjustments, we had our pattern.

Then came the fun part: dying the fabric. I’ll tell ya, stirring several pounds of fabric continually in a die vat for at least 30 minutes… feels like much longer.

First, we had to pre-wet the fabric.


Then mixing the dye. Black is not an easy color to get.


The hard part: stirring and stirring and stirring our brew…


And the finished dye project, drying in the back yard.


Awesome Fabric Finds


We were sitting around at a fighter practice/arts & science night and talking about the project. We needed at least an estimate of what our expenses would be. Milisandia filia Willelmi, Taran Nic Tarl’a, and Sabd Halsdottir sat huddled around a laptop. On a whim, Lady Milisandia says “google silk velvet.” We thought, right, we’ll be able to afford silk velvet.

To our amazement the search returned silk velvet, via Amazon, for $5.90 a yard! So we ordered a variety of colors to use for the embellishment panelsright then and there.


Our second miracle happened within days. Lady Taran had the idea of using big, cotton drop cloths for the main part of the covers: Sturdy, 100% cotton, and super affordable. To make it even better, Harbor Freight had them on sale for $5 each .



The Inception

When we began planning this year’s Hocktide fundraiser project, we knew that we wanted something that anyone and everyone would use. We wanted it to be beautiful, practical, and durable.  We wanted it to be something that one could proudly “show off” at events. Hmmmm.

Then the idea gelled:  camp chair covers. Yes, camp chair covers. Think about it. How many panoramas of fighting fields, pavilions, banners, thrones, and gorgeous garb do you see that are marred by those awful, so very modern camp chairs? Many folks don’t have the time, money, skills or what not to travel with a period appropriate chair. So, why not cover up that eye-sore with a lovely, period-inspired, hand made chair cover.

We eventually decided to create 3 pairs of embellished camp chair covers; each pair will be a separate prize for the event’s fundraiser. They are made of heavy, washable, 100% cotton canvas. We are adding removable panels embellished with a variety of materials, such as beads, “raw” and felted wool, appliqués, trim, etc.

One pair will be in a Celtic style. One chair will display a mounted archer, and the other chair will display the hunted boar.

One pair will have an Egyptian theme, based on chairs with gold inlay designs recovered from various tombs. The chairs will be complimentary in design..

One pair will display Byzantine inspired designs taking inspiration from thrones, and furniture of noble families.