Almost every year for almost the last twenty, our plucky heroine goes to the Egil Skallagrimson Memorial Tournament...
Our household, Caer Lutris, has this lovely spot next to a big pond...(Frogsong yay, hungry mosquitoes boo!) In addition to the pleasure of a long weekend spent with friends, I was fortunate to take a workshop on a beautiful esoteric metalworking skill, had the pleasure of teaching an introductory leatherworking class that had all ten spots filled and a waiting list, and was surprised not once but twice in court: on Saturday with a "Friend of The Summits" award*, and on Sunday with an Adiantum "Baronial Brownie" (for service to the Barony of Adiantum) The event was fun, exhausting, too warm, and thoroughly worthwhile; I missed eventing so much last year, as my injured knee last year precluded such activity.
I was fortunate to be one of the six people taking the three hour workshop on Damasquinado de Oro (applying precious metal foil to steel, to create decorative motifs) at Egils this last weekend, taught by Jarl Sir Styrkarr. . Here he is showing us how to use the scalpel knife to texture the steel ground used in the technique
A closer view of how to hold the knife and showing the beginning of applying parallel cuts to the steel surface
This curious object is "the cannonball", a very clever vise used to hold the pitch block that holds the steel substrate. The combination of the sphere and the base allows moving the block in any direction or angle, and the holdfast bolt makes a good handle
After applying the gold to the surface with a wooden tool, the edges of the design are cut to match the motif. I am quite concentrating here, as Ursel watches...
Ursel and I worked our pieces on the same pitch block, taking turns... here she is tamping her gold foil in place, while my piece has had the design tamped, edges cut, and is waiting to have the matt tool used, to crimp the gold foil down permanently
The result of my efforts in the three hour workshop, with chased line details added by Styrkarr. This small piece of decorated steel, about 1 1/2" across, will probably become a pendant...
I wish I had managed to get pictures of all six of the pieces made in in the class... the lefthand one was made by Angelique, and the righthand one by Brizio...
Even in my rudimentary garden, everything is running about a month or so ahead of normal this year. The night before leaving for the event, noticed that all the garlic has well formed garlic scapes (blossom stalks) which usually show up in mid June. They need cut off, so the plants put all their energy into forming garlic cloves, not making flowers and seeds.
So, I did a June task in late May, and harvested about 10 ounces of scapes. They are good cooked, and even better pickled. Texture a bit like asparagus, and taste mildly garlicky. When I asked Cathy about her recipe for pickled garlic scapes, she said she uses the recipe in Joy of Cooking for dilly beans... but my edition of Joy is missing that recipe (and has very few preserving recipes at all). Kindly she sent me the recipe, and while I hate to heat up the kitchen in the middle of this heat wave, a few jars of pickled garlic scapes will be worth it!
* "Given to those who reside outside the borders of the Principality of the Summits and who make great and note-worthy contributions in support of the Principality. Recipients are entitled to wear the Symbol of the Award, an Argent grail on an Azure field."