The Bounty of Information You Can Learn from Period Letters

Love, business, plague – parts of the every day lives of the middle ages experienced by both commoner and king. And captured in the letters they sent. Reading medieval letters unveils so much incredible information about day-to-day lives and the people who wrote them. This article samples quotes from a variety of topics to show you how rich these letters are in sharing information about the people of the Middle Ages.

Image of medieval beekeepers

No Bees in My Business

As a beekeeper, I have been thinking about making a period bee suit for quite a while. This page describes the start of this journey, beginning with (and inspired by) a surprisingly atypical illustration of beekeepers, and how I began looking into the details of that image, through the current point of creating two appropriate undergarments – a (man’s) camicia and a (woman’s) pair of calzoni femminili.

Mobilier Medieval: From Tree to Chest

As my interest in vernacular furniture has grown, so has my curiosity about the processes which went into making household items. What tools were used to shape and join them? What were the materials and how were those materials prepared? What methods of production did cabinetmakers practice? Inspired by the late Jennie Alexander, author of “Make a Chair from a Tree”, and the continuation of her work done in partnership with famed joiner Peter Follansbee, I have been exploring the entire furniture-making process from harvesting trees through the finished piece.

Sonnets

Is it Possible to understand someone and continue their works as if they were doing it? In writing, this is called duplicating one’s Ideolect. In thought process, and even criminal behavior, this is called “Profiling”, in the Arts, it is either called “Forgery” or, if signed by the actual creator, “Replication” 😉

A woman wearing a yellow, blue, and red mantle and white veil. Background is orange fabric with yellow brocade stripes.

12th Century Adventures in Silk Taffeta

I didn’t make any medieval clothing for most of 2020 since there were no in-person events to wear it to. But that all changed in February 2021, when I spotted an orange silk taffeta with gold brocade stripes in one of my favourite online fabric stores. Herein I tell the tale of the mantle and bliaut that I made from some very colorful silk taffeta.

Photo of Opus Anglicanum piece. Five biblical scenes under five arches.

Exploring Architectural Elements in Opus Anglicanum

Is there iconographic significance in the architectural elements of Opus Anglicanum?

This question intrigued me and led me down a path that included studying Opus Anglicanum images and learning about the iconography of medieval architecture.

While I didn’t find the answer I was looking for (yay science!), I found a treasure trove of potential paths for my research – especially around three Opus Anglicanum pieces featuring unique architectural elements.