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Snow White: Design 1

We have a initial design for the Snow White dress.  This dress maintains the base overall color scheme of the Disney movie, but keeps the design of the dress in line with mid 1500 Saxony. The red/blue/white slashing are poofs, but those tend to be more difficult to do 3d in a 2d program. The fleurs are a nod to my heraldry, drawn in Lower German/Florentine fashion.

SnowWhite

Bodice/collar: Christiana Eulenau, Cranach, 1534 Germany
Saxon apron: Portrait of a Young Woman Holding Grapes and Apples, Cranach, 1528
Skirt: Duchess Katharina von Mecklenburg, Cranach
Sleeves: Sybille von Cleve. Cranach

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in 16th Century, German

 

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What would Snow White “actually” have worn?

On April 11-12 we will be invading the Midrealm’s Golden Seamstress event.Currently we are an inter-kingdom squad of Mid, East and Calontir. I have been obsessed with creating a period appropriate Snow White since I last went to Disney.

The goal is not to create a Disney dress in period, but to create a period dress in Disney colors. Or fix the hot mess that is Snow White.

The trick for this project is to reverse engineer the Disney version of Snow White, into period appropriate SCA clothing. If you look at Disney’s version, it is a hot mess of styles from mostly around Germany in the 16th century. The sleeves mid century, skirt and later 16th. But the thing that is odd is the two colors between bodice and skirt. Disney’s movie version is set somewhere in Bavaria, but she’s dressed in a dress that you would expect to see in Saxony.

Going back to the origins of the faerie tale as written by the Grimms, the story was told to them by 2 women in Kassel. And by the time of retelling of the folk story, it was already “old”. Kassel is located in the area we know now as Hesse and bordered Saxony.

Add in another wrinkle of Margaretha of Waldeck. There are scholars that believe there is a direct connection to Margaretha of Waldeck and the Snow White story. The time period would be correct, as she died in the mid 1500s. The geographical area would be correct. Waldeck was a sovereign principality in the German Empire and is comprised of territories in present-day Hesse and Lower Saxony. There is a scholastic presumption she was killed by poison, long illness that started when she was at court, long drawn out death in 1554. The earliest Grimm tale of Snow White, has her hair being blonde. There are accounts of the family owning copper mine, worked by small deformed children called dwarfs.

I’ve got books on the way for the historical accounts of the House o Waldeck. Hopefully the get here in time and that translating the German doesnt prove to be a really large rabbit hole of time.

So I have, time, location, motive and a bunch of circumstantial coincidences. 1550s, Saxony here we come. The good news, is I am really familiar with this time/location combo and I have a bunch of manuscripts to paw through.

I think we have a winner for portrait inspiration. Christiana Eulenau by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1534 That collar line is nearly spot on. Now we just need to figure out how to make the standing collars for the bodice AND the hemd. The big guns suggest that the hemd is actually a gollar, which has decreased the level of difficulty exponentially. A gollar can be a little caplet, that is circular in nature and worn over the top of a dress. Or it can be like a square partlet. Modernly, we would call this a dicky.

Christiana Eulenau by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1534 Germany

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in 16th Century, German, Sewing

 

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New beginings

I’ve started a new blog for my confectionery work.  Some of it was getting lost here between all the sewing and the cooking posts. Slowly I will begin moving the confections over to the new home. The goal of the new blog is to create a living “book of secrets.” You will be able to follow the the nyce and trewe accounte of Alesone Gray of Cranlegh, Sugarwricht over at http://sugarwricht.wordpress.com/.

I will still be posting all my other projects (sewing, heraldry, armor and cooking) here. I’ve got more posts lined up to put out here, including some new armoring projects. Thanks for following along.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Confectionary armatures: wood form experiment goes mostly wrong

This weekend, I was asked about the process I went through on my journey to find the most ideal materials for doing armatures. One of the things I was asked if I tried was wood. It is mentioned that some of the early armatures used wood as a base. And at the time, I had forgotten about the small king I made to slay a dragon.  As I thought more about it, I remembered that yes, I had tried using a wood form for an armature, and had blocked the memory because of the trouble I had getting the sugar to adhere to the form.

Edward slays the dragon.

The small sugar king, has a wooden form to assist with the general shape and pose of a longsword attack. A 10″ wooden art manikin was used as the base.

Wooden-Manikin

The base was removed from the form. The wood pieces were sanded to remove all of the varnish. The manikin was posed into a mid-swing, German longsword movement.

The first attempt at sugar application was directly to the sanded wood. The sugar would not stick. There was not enough grip to the under surface for the sugar to make a solid bind. It peeled off the form, like bad paint peels from a wall that has not been properly primed.

The second attempt came after priming the surface with paper mache. I knew that sugar could grip the paper form my earlier attempts with the metal armatures. However, the paper mache would not stick to the surface either.

The third attempt came after a rasp was taken to the entire form.  This created uneven surfaces in the wood. The sugar stuck, but when it was dry it would not stay in position. It slid off the form.

The fourth and final attempt was a combination of priming the surface with a tempera paint, a layer of paper mache sealed with glare, followed by the sugar paste. The surface of the sugar was a bit bumpy than it normal would be as there was only one layer of sugar. The sugar was “smoothed” by burnishing it with water while it was still pliable. Normally, there would be a second layer of sugar for the fine details, but given the unexpected layer of paper mache, a second sugar layer would have give the figure unwanted bulk.

If I were to attempt to use a wooden form again, I would probably use a layer of plaster mesh or possibly starched linen as a barrier between the wood and the sugar. This would probably give me a solid surface for the sugar to adhere.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Sugar

 

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Updated: Confection research

Updated the research paper, now with experimental research. Paper has increased by 13 pages. The next version will probably have more about the various classes and their build or buy tendencies.

Confections

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Sugar, Uncategorized

 

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Heraldic gown- German early 16th century: 3 yards of Heraldry

This is what 3 yards of heraldry looks like from the 2nd floor balcony. The center line represents the back of the dress and the change in armory. The ermines are appliques also. The dress has been completely appliqued. The dress has been built. All that is needed are the final touches of trim added. This is the part that will take the longest.

Heraldry

Design Phase

The dress has been completed and you can see it here: This is Yehuda getting his Silver Crescent (OHM for service in the East). Photo taken by Hugh Tauerner.

What’s all the heraldry mean:
Right side panel- Who am I?
Alesone’s arms- Quarterly gules and sable, on a bend sinister argent three fleurs-de-lys gules. Those are Florentine fleurs, they look a bit like lobsters with jazz hands (yeah, there’s a story behind those).

Left side panel- My associations (aka-who I’ve been “licked by”)
Front 1/2
Aly Macintosh’s badge- (Fieldless) A bear rampant gules charged with an ermine spot argent. This was put on a yellow feild to show that I am a protege.

Back 1/2 Top-
Ian Raven’s cadet mark- My position is the 6th child of Ian Raven, which is represented by the fleur-de-lys.My cadet scarf is marked by Ian’s ermine spot and raven, with the fleur on top.

Back 1/2 Bottom-
Donovan Shinnock’s badge-  (Fieldless) A fox’s mask gules charged with a mascle argent.This was put on a green field as that is one of his primary device colors.When my Don moved out of kingdom, I entered into the age old system of “fostering”.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in 16th Century, German, Heraldic, Uncategorized

 

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Heraldic gown- German early 16th century: Update

Progress has been made on getting the appliques pieced. I have completed the first 1/2, and pieced & ironed down the second side. I’ve opted for doing 100% applique for the ermine dots rather than purchasing fabric. This is a mostly formal dress, the appliques will look nicer. The time line for completion has moved from River Wars to Coronation. As of today, I have not decided if this will double as armor.

Side1

Side 2

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2013 in 16th Century, German, Heraldic

 

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