Wednesday, July 10, 2013

handcraft old and new

The green stag tunic embroidery was completed Friday at AnTir/West War... I stitched like a madwoman all the way from Portland to Gold Beach, and then betweentimes for the next day as well. The stencil painted stags are outlined in couching, and then filled in with herringbone stitch. I am quite grateful to Seb Barnett for her help in setting up my campsite on Thursday, and it was a real pleasure to create her new tunic, and to see her again after all these years! It was also rather a challenge to create a garment at a distance, with only four measurements...

Back in my early days in the SCA (I am guessing maybe back around AS 29 - AS 32 or so...) I donated at least a dozen enameled Mano d'Oro* medallions to the Kingdom of AnTir... back before digital cameras were common, back when gold was around 300USD/oz... so this is a picture of a historical artifact.
These were quite a challenge to make, as I cut shapes from specially milled 24K, and fused the pieces over purple transparent enamel and then layered clear flux over all. There will never likely be any more like these made in my lifetime**, so I was quite grateful to Countess Laurellen de Brandevin for allowing me the chance to photograph a bit of my early work.

*the Mano d'Oro is an award "given on the advice of the Minister of Arts and Sciences, for excellence in and service to the arts and sciences of An Tir"

**current spot price for gold is close to 1300USD/oz, and while the amount of gold actually used in a medallion like this is still very very minimal, it does require actually purchasing enough gold to have it custom milled. The gold used here is about the thickness of barbeque foil. Gold leaf, which is used for other decorative applications, is only a few atoms thick and will be torn to shreds by the Brownian motion in the enamel when it is melted/liquid, and I believe it is also 23K rather than 24K gold.

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