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Making Medieval Furniture

It may have been wicked cold this weekend, but that didn’t stop Blackwolf members from braving the elements to tackle all sorts of medieval projects.

Sue came all the way from Brisbane to start building a medieval box. The Duke helped her get started and showed her just what to do.

Before long she was busy making holes for wooden dowels and gluing bits together to make it just perfect. She also brought the beginnings of her medieval garb that she’s been hand-sewing and it’s coming together brilliantly! She’s got an underdress and headpieces and beautiful fur trim for a cozy wool cloak.

Alex rattled his entire self by sanding board after board to be used for sets of medieval shelving. They’re going to be fantastic for use around our medieval camp to keep weapons, armor, dishes, and food up off the ground and on display. He also buffed helmets for our upcoming medieval demo at a local school this week.

Neil worked hard cleaning off his workbench and got started on making a medieval leather belt for the Duke. During the week he’s working on ropes for our new tarps and they will be done in time for History Alive next month.

Ann organized the packing of all the accoutrements needed for our medieval demo on Tuesday. She collected and packed swords, garb, helmets, and shields and we’re all set.

Once Sue was finished with her part of the box building process, Robbie and Neil got the various pieces clamped into place so they could dry straight and true. In two weeks Sue will be able to put everything together and have her very own medieval box for sitting and storage.

While everyone was outside in the bluster and cold, I got to stay nice and warm inside and mix up various medieval medicines. I finished a fever remedy and one for treating upset stomachs. I also kept everyone supplied with cuppas, bowls of hot soup, and fresh bread rolls. Those are rolls in the photo below, but for some reason they look like a glowing pan of whiteness instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

What creative projects are inspiring you this week?

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Medieval Weaving, Medieval Furniture, and a Medieval Cart

We had another busy Sunday at Citadel Vulgus as we continued work on various projects for Abbey and History Alive.

Ann had made her own medieval standing looms and has been making all kinds of beautiful medieval weaving. She brought two to show us this week. This gorgeous blue, white and black design…

…and this beautiful sage green and yellow strap for her loom.

Neil continued twisting plaits of rope to make new tie-downs for our tarps.

The Duke has been spending every weekend sanding, whittling, turning, and shaping bits of wood to make medieval furniture for our encampment. Like these splendid medieval shelves. What a difference they will make in keeping our camp tidy while having all our medieval accoutrements on display for the public to see.

He’s also been putting together this fantastic medieval cart for carrying bolts of silk, linen, flax, and other trade goods for display in our medieval caravan encampment. It’s also going to make a handy stretcher for use in Yliana’s medieval medicine display.

Elizabeth and Poppit worked hard getting the medieval medicine gear sorted and ready for this year’s demonstrations. They were astonished to find that several of the medieval medicines made last year were still good seven months later!
medieval medicine bottles

Bit by bit we’re getting closer to being ready for our favorite medieval events in Queensland and it feels great.

What projects are you tackling this week?

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How to Make Medieval Knives with Wood-burned Handles

Robbie and Krista have been working hard making a series of medieval knives with wood-burned handles to use in our medieval kitchen.

Since many ancient knife shapes have not changed over the centuries, they start the medieval knife-making process by scouring dump shops, antique shops and op shops for blades, then set to work making them as authentic as possible.

Robbie begins by removing any modern hardware such as plastic handles or screws, getting back to the naked blade and tang.

medieval boning knife

medieval boning knife

Using a buffer, he removes any markings from the blade such as stamps or brand names.

He then uses a grinder to make any necessary alterations to the shape to make them fit known medieval knife examples.

While some knives, such as the bread knife below, may not be period, they are still helpful when cooking during non-public times in camp. When we have our medieval display open to the public, any non-period knives are hidden away, with only their medieval handles open for viewing.

medieval bread knife

medieval-ish bread knife

Once the blades are up to snuff, Robbie chooses wood or leather for the handle, cutting it to shape and sanding as necessary to make it fit the blade perfectly.

medieval butcher knife

medieval butcher knife

Then he draws medieval-style designs on the handles, drawing on historical resources to get the images just right. The designs are chosen to reflect the purpose of the knife.

Once the images are etched into place, Krista heats up her wood-burner and carefully burns each image onto the handle.

After the design cools, they give each knife handle a coating of protective varnish and give the blades a final polish.

medieval skinning knife

medieval skinning knife

Next they will design and make sheaths or a roll-up carrier to transport the knives in a manner that protects the blades from damage.

If you’d like more detailed information on how to make a medieval knife, leave a comment here or email us at blackwolfcaravan at gmail dot com

We love to hear from you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Building Medieval Furniture and Medieval Ropes

After a long break over the Summer, Blackwolf met this weekend to start preparing for the 2014 medieval season.

It was so fun to plan and prepare, dreaming up ways to make our medieval encampment even better.

Alex sanded until his arms went numb, getting all the boards ready to make medieval shelves for our gathering tent.

We were able to source boards from a torn down fence, and with a bit of sanding and shaping, we’ll have great sturdy shelving to hold medieval weapons, medieval cooking utensils, and all sorts of delicious medieval food.

Neil found a whole stack of fantastic pillows that Stacey will be recovering with medieval Moroccan and Turkish fabrics for our new harem display.

The Duke bustled around fixing tools, collecting materials, and helping all of us with our various projects. He’s in the midst of building a medieval cart to haul water and it is going to be a beauty!

Neil got started twisting ropes together for our new awnings that will cover our trade goods stalls and medieval medicine display to keep us protected from the sun. He knows so many interesting knots and each one looks beautiful.

Krista tackled one painting project after another, getting various wood bits ready to be put together into a medieval-style lectern from which we can give our talks at medieval functions.

Ann put the belt sander through its paces as she sanded the new batch of tent pegs to be used to anchor the shade cloths. Now we can pick them out without getting hands full of slivers.

Other members were busy working on projects at home. Marie is knitting up a storm, creating medieval knitting patterns for hats and coin purses. Stacey and Shaun are working on creating the harem display, and Stacey is carving her original bone work designs. Krista is also working on creating wood-burning pieces featuring trees and herbs used in medieval times.

We’re looking forward to getting together as a group to share our ideas and projects and finalize last minute details before our first medieval event.

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Medieval Season Opening for Blackwolf, Part One

It was a gorgeous Spring morning on our Queensland farm when Blackwolf gathered for our first meeting of the 2013-2014 medieval season.

We started off the day with cold drinks and catching up on all our projects and studies of the last few months. We even got in a little cuddling with the gorgeous orphan joey Gre and Ste are caring for.

Then it was time to get into our training. The Turk was just a little bit excited to be out there swinging his sword again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lamont and the Turk did slow-motion training while the Duke gave pointers about positions and moves.

Gre, Lamont, and the Turk listened attentively as they got tips on protecting vulnerable areas (legs, anyone??) while making accurate attacks on their opponent.

Then it was time to get decked out in full gear and go at it!

The farmyard rang with the clang of steel against steel as swords crossed and helmets were bashed.

They had a marvelous time, grinning broadly at great moves…

…and groaning when the Duke managed to always find the weak spot.

When they’d had their fill of knocking each other about, the whole group got together for another form of medieval combat: staff fighting.

Check in for that next time! ๐Ÿ™‚

What fun projects have you been working on lately?

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