A Viking friend of mine– here’s shouting out to Develon!– has offered to make me some brooches and other assorted pretties in partial payment for a linen gambeson. Having never made a gambeson before, I am still not sure exactly how hard it will be, but I have made more complicated and detailed things before, so I think it should be an interesting experience. Also, it will be nice to have some challenging busywork like quilting twenty layers of linen and two of wool for evenings when I am just plain sick of studying. More on the Gambeson when I get the material and it starts to take shape.
As for the brooches, I can’t decide exactly what I like or really want to have Dev make for me. So, here are a few ideas:
For starters, Kyle and Cody need cloak pins of some sort– I think some penannular brooches, not too complicated or ornate, would be just the ticket– preferably made of bronze so they are stronger. Maybe something like this: (Excuse the fuzziness of the picture.)
(My scanner was broken, mostly not working actually, but I had to take pictures of the things I liked out of the Viking Books rather than getting the lovely pictures I really wanted. That is why some of these are fuzzy.)
As for brooches for myself, I would like a couple of “Tortoise” brooches, as they seem to have been more commonly worn than the round style I currently have, and at any rate I would like to upgrade from pewter to bronze, as it looks nicer and is a little stronger. If I get the tortoise brooches, they would probably be something like this:
However, if I remember right, the open spaces are hard to do, so I’m not even sure I want or need the tortoise brooches at that rate. Round ones like these below might be better:
I really like the one on the right, especially if it were done in bronze. I am not sure what the loop below it was for, but I presume it was for hanging needle cases, knives, ear-spoons, etc.– all a respectable Viking lady needed on her person at all times. This one would also be appropriate, as it is approximately from the era that I portray, and very distinctively Viking, with the very typical gripping beasts.
For the last item I am interested in, I would like a brooch for clasping my cloak. While I really like the trefoil brooches, and the story behind them. (Apparently they were made originally by stealing a mount from Frankish Sword Belts and adding a pin to the back. “Hey honey, look what I brought you from the raid!”) However, I really prefer the equal-armed brooches for the purpose of a heavy wool cloak. I like the larger one in this picture about the best:
But, again this brooch is so incredibly ornate that I can’t even begin to imagine what it would take to make it– so much for “primitive technology”! Still not certain on this one, so I will need to ask Dev what he thinks would be possible. Also, I think the original was gold, so this would have been a rich lady’s piece. I know I portray an upper class lady, but I’m not sure I’m that rich!
So there we have it– I have ideas, but can’t decide a thing! Good thing fabric choices are easier– you get what the store has and go from there! Let me know what you think about the brooches, and I will post with my final decisions.