Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wire Draw Bench

The latest weekend project, a draw bench similar to the one pictured on the lower right on the top of this page.  I am making it so that it comes completely apart so it will be 'easier' to transport to Pennisc this year.

I think I will make some more draw plates before I go, maybe for different shaped wires (square, triangular)? Have to see how much time I have left before I go.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beaded Wire

A couple of people have been asking me to make some pieces similar to those from the Staffordshire Hoard, so I decided while I had nothing to do at work for a while (rare occurrence!!) that I would try and make a simple beading file as described by Theophilus.  After a few attempts I was able to make consistent .5 mm  beads.  Making the tool larger and with a handle(s) would make the work a lot easier on the fingers!  This was done by rolling the wire on a hardwood surface and forming each bead individually.  I found that it was best to do this in 2 or 3 stages, annealing the wire in between.  Trying to go to far in one go just would cut the wire.  I used sterling wire for this, I imagine fine silver and high karat gold would be easier to do this with. The beads ended up with a distinctive line around the center of each one as described by some experimental archaeologists who tried to replicate the techniques of creating similar pieces, I think they were trying to differentiate beaded wires made by this technique and those made using an organarium.(....I have the articles somewhere, or links to them if anyone wants me search of them)
Maybe this weekend I will make some better tools and try to get the beads down to around .2 mm like some of the stuff I have been looking at :)  Still have to make a better organarium someday.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ringlemere/Rillaton Cup

I started a new project a while ago, a cup in the style of the Ringlemere gold cup.  It started as a simple raising demonstration at Pennsic last year during the metalworking day in the A+S area, just a simple copper cup.  Never finished it, threw it in a box and forgot about it for a couple of months.  When I pulled it out later  the shape reminded me of the Ringlemere cup that I had just been looking at online.  So I thought it would be fun.
I created a new page for the Ringlemere Cup where I will post some pictures of my progress.

A computer generated image of what the cup would like like un-crushed, from the British Museum's web site.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Precision and Splendor: Clocks and Watches at The Frick Collection

Just found out about this exhibit that I will try and make it to if at all possible!

An exhibition of clocks and watches from 1500 to 1830!

Thanks to the Linkspages at for this info!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings

A show on the history of illuminated manuscripts on you tube.
This has nothing to do really with what I am doing, but I just finished watching it and it was very entertaining/informative/educational etc.
I was entertained and informed.
(looks like a great winter project when its too cold at the barn!!!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pennsic 41

My clock made it through Pennsic! Through rain, hail, lightning, wind, dust, rust, mud etc!  It was a big hit! So much fun bringing something not many people have seen or even knew about before! Now I feel like I have to out-do myself for next ideas....

**Edit 8-26-12 Thanks to Cateline la broderesse of the East Kingdom for another pic at the A+S display

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mutton and Mead

Had a lot of fun at the Mutton and Mead Ren Fair last weekend, got to talk with lots of people about my clock and do some demos of repousse, file cutting, and raising!