Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heraldic, Scribal, and Dance Sypmosium 2013

Bellewode will be holding this event on February 9th. I'll be teaching two classes:

Heraldic Art: Drawing for Submission
 A general overview on how to draw heraldic emblazons and the common errors resulting in artist's notes or returns based on artistic depiction.

Heraldic Art: Drawing on a Computer
 How to use computer programs such as Inkscape and Illustrator to make clean and readily editable emblazons. This is a good way to make a personal clipart library.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Turnshoes Part 1: From Foot to Paper

  I am sorely in need of period shoes and have held off buying any because I want Sarmatian shoes and nothing I've seen sold in the SCA looks like them. Our new A&S officer does a lot of leatherworking and he and his wife host craft days about once a month, so I'm finally getting around to doing it. This is a rather lengthy process, so this will be a mulit-part post.

  The first thing you need to do is figure out how to turn the 3D shape of your foot into a 2D shape to cut out of leather. The shape you end up with after doing the steps in this post is not the final pattern. It's a key to what shape your pattern needs to fit and can be used to figure out any turnshoe pattern be it Sarmatian, Norse, or whatever. There are multiple ways to do this. I used the tape method.

Two pairs of socks
Two plastic bags
Masking or artist's tape
Fabric measuring tape
A marker that can write on the tape (like a permanent marker)
Paper good for pattern drafting
A buddy

Step 1: Prepwork
Apologies for the poor image
quality. I forgot to take my
camera and had to use my phone.
  Put on two pairs of socks (yep, one over the other). One should be the thickness of the socks you'll wear with these shoes. The other should not be thin because it gives you wiggle room. Then stick your feet in plastic bags. They should at least reach your ankle. It doesn't need to go higher no matter how tall your boot. That part is added on later. You'll be taping on top of the plastic bag. The directions I used did not include the plastic bag, but we didn't have any sacrificial socks. If you've got some odd socks, you can skip the plastic bag and just cut through the outer sock.
Step 2: Make a Tape Shoe
  You might want a friend to do this part for you so you can stand like normal. Use pieces of tape no more than 3 inches long to tape over your toes (one end on top of your toes, the other on the underside). This is to create the shape for the end of your foot. Then wrap pieces about 7 inches long around your feet to cover the rest of you foot up to the ankle. Overlap each successive piece about a third of their width.

Step 3: Mark Off Parts of Foot
  You'll want your friend to do the marking while you stand. Between the socks and tape, things won't be quite obvious, so flex joints where relevant to help them out. Flex your toes so they can see where their base is. Draw a line separating the toes from the rest of the foot. Now do the same right in front of the base of your leg. Draw a longitudinal line between the big toe and the rest and continue it up the crest of your foot. Draw a vertical one along the back point of the heel. Find the ankle bones that stick out to the sides and draw vertical lines leading from them to the ground.
  Wrap the measuring tape horizontally around the ankle joint. Extend the ends onto the top of the foot. It will not be completely horizontal in front of the leg. To keep the tape flat against the foot, the ends will curl in towards the center of the foot. Make a mark where they cross. Make two more marks on either side of your toes where they start to curve into  the relatively flat sides of the feet.

Step 4: Demarcate the Sole 
  Stand on the paper. Use the marker to draw the shape of your feet onto the paper. Make tick marks everywhere there's a line or mark on your foot. Cut out the two soles. Next, have your friend hold each sole against the bottom of your foot and make an outline of the sole on the tape.

Step 5: Cut off the Tape
   Cut down the vertical line along the inside of your heel to where it meets the sole outline. Cut along the sole outline to the tick mark where your toe curves. Now you can take your feet out. You don't need to wear the socks anymore, either. Continue cutting the sole away from the top of the foot.

Step 6: Flatten the Tape
  Cut away any excess plastic around the edge and on the underside. The parts around the toes and heels are not going to flatten without some modifications. Make small cuts 1 cm long every 1.3-2 cm between the two toe-curvature tick marks and around the heel line. This will help you flatten those parts down. There will be some folding where the leg meets the top of the foot; that's fine.

  Now you have a 2D version of your foot and are ready to make a pattern.

Brzezinski, R., and Mielczarek, M., 2002, Men-at-Arms: The Sarmatians 600BC-450AD, Osprey publishing.

Kohler, K., Die Trachten der VölKer in Bild und Schnitt:

 Frazier, J., 2008, The Basic Craft of Turnshoes, The Compleat Anachronist, i. 140. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

  The beginning of the new year is another holiday celebrated by many cultures through space and time. A time for old problems to be acknowledged, old memories to be reminisced upon, and everything is new- a chance to start fresh.
  For Westerners today, January 1st marks the star of the new year. It wasn't always celebrated at that time by the Western World, though. During the SCA's period, you'd more likely find Europeans celebrating it at the end of March, based on things like the resurrection of Jesus or the cross-quarter days.

  When did your persona celebrate the New Year? What calendar did they use? Why hold celebrations when they did? How did they celebrate it?