Our Crafting Process
Research to sketch to reproduction
As long time crafts people, a huge portion of what we sell is made directly by us, Rowan and Amy, in our home with period equipment, or sometimes even at reenactment events.
A lot of work goes into what we craft, and even more time, with a good portion of the time not even being spent on the crafting itself.
When trying to re-create items that are 1000 years old, the resources for such things are often limited. This means a huge portion of our time is frequently devoted to research - where was a particular item found? When? Are there photos? Are they reliable? Is there a book? Where can I source it?
It's also important to note that just because an item was found in a certain area, it doesn't mean it was TYPICAL of that area. Ascertaining the correct origins of items, despite their final resting place, can only be done through research on the rest of the items recovered from the grave or find, and a broader understanding of artifacts and cultural nuances to interpret items in context.
It all sounds rather hoity-toity, but in simple terms:
It means lots and lots of research time.
Lots and lots of reading. Lots and lots of looking and comparing. Lots and lots of heated debates between the two of us over coffee. Sooo much coffee...
Then, of course, comes the planning of items. The sketching process, or figuring out patterns.
This can be particularly tricky on items photographed from only one angle!
The next step is sourcing appropriate historically accurate materials in as high a quality as we can.
(All our nalbinded items for instance (hats, gloves, socks, etc), are not only hand made from 100% wool, but hand made from 100% hand spun wool, and in many instances, hand dyed in historically accurate colours with historically accurate plant or mineral dyes)
This isn't always easy - as we're sure you can imagine, what was a readily available staple 1000 years ago isn't always a readily available staple now! Particularly for us, being located in Australia!
Only then, after the research, the planning and the sourcing, do we get to the actual crafting.
And of course, where feasible, we try to recreate these items in a historically accurate manner - as much of what we possibly can we recreate by hand without modern machinery. It's - once again - a slow process. Are we sounding like a broken record yet?