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RE: [medievalsawdust] Sneakin' up on period (was: Viking ? Chair)

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  • Avery
    ... use period woods... primarily because the stuff I build is intended for fairly regular use. Good ol #2 common pine is lighter (makes the truck happy) and
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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      Charles said:
      >I like to be "close to authentic" to a point... but, for example, I rarely
      use period woods... primarily because the stuff I build is intended for
      fairly regular use. Good ol' #2 common pine is lighter (makes the truck
      happy) and cheaper (makes the wife happy) that other materials... and if it
      gets dinged up I feel less upset about it than if it were European Walnut or
      some period species of oak...

      There was a point where I would have agreed with this. Then one day I
      needed a fairly wide piece of knot free pine. Great googly moogly! My
      choices were this weird composite stuff - like oversized butcher block - and
      paying though the nose. Since then I've kind of leaned towards white oak
      for my SCA furniture needs. While a board foot of white oak weighs more
      than a board foot of pine, I can get by with thinner material, so the weight
      of the project isn't too much more. More importantly, it's much more
      durable than pine, so it doesn't ding with nearly the vigor pine does.

      >to truly "get period", in my opinion, you'd have to use period tools on
      period woods with period fastenings/adhesives and period finishes... etc.,
      etc., etc.

      True, but I think there is another level in there. There is a true period
      reproduction with all that implies, but there is also a level of
      reproduction that isn't absolutely period, but would require disassembly of
      the piece, chemical analysis or the like to prove it.

      Avery
    • jrwinkler@msn.com
      Avery wrote: True, but I think there is another level in there. There is a true period reproduction with all that implies, but there is also a level of
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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        Avery wrote: "True, but I think there is another level in there.  There is a true period
        reproduction with all that implies, but there is also a level of
        reproduction that isn't absolutely period, but would require disassembly of
        the piece, chemical analysis or the like to prove it."
         
        Absolutely...  this is where I use the term "Period Informed"...  i.e.: It looks like a duck, kinda' walks like a duck but cackles like a chicken.  ;-)   In many cases, even having the original in your hands doesn't provide ALL the information you'd need to write the definitive "everything you ever wanted to know" paper on the piece... AND... just because you might get all the info on one piece... it doesn't mean they didn't change something the next time around!  As Avery is implies... no matter how deep ya' dig there is, in all probability, SOMETHING you're never gonna' know about any particular piece and will have to make an educated guess about.
         
        I guess a good question would be...  in the woodworking world... what actually defines a piece as being "appropriately" period?  Construction techniques, choice of materials, proportions, the right nails or glue???   Does using hand saws make a piece more period than using your Craftsman table saw?   Does the set (or lack thereof) of the tooth on the handsaw have a bearing?   Do we need to set up a saw pit in the back yard... (NO AVERY... I AIN'T DIGGIN' A PIT!!!!) so that we can cut the logs with the appropriate grain???  
         
        How period is "period" and what defines it?
         
        Just askin...
        Chas.
         
         
         
         
      • Conal O'hAirt Jim Hart
        ... You would also have to consider where the item you are reproducing can from.... down to the village and the shop. The techniques for making two boxes
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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          >
          > I guess a good question would be... in the
          > woodworking world... what actually defines a piece
          > as being "appropriately" period? Construction
          > techniques, choice of materials, proportions, the
          > right nails or glue??? Does using hand saws make a
          > piece more period than using your Craftsman table
          > saw? Does the set (or lack thereof) of the tooth
          > on the handsaw have a bearing? Do we need to set
          > up a saw pit in the back yard... (NO AVERY... I
          > AIN'T DIGGIN' A PIT!!!!) so that we can cut the logs
          > with the appropriate grain???
          >
          > How period is "period" and what defines it?
          >
          > Just askin...
          > Chas.
          >
          You would also have to consider 'where' the
          item you are reproducing can from.... down
          to the village and the shop. The techniques
          for making two boxes could vary based on
          what the craftsman was taught.

          Consider this, would the cabinetmaker be the
          one splitting and smoothing his own planks
          or would he get them from someone whose entire
          business is making planks....or from an
          apprentice. ( No Charles )

          Would he make his own hinges, nails, clasps....
          He would probably get them from a blacksmith.

          Would a seamtress have to weave her own fabric?



          =====
          Baron Conal O'hAirt / Jim Hart
          Aude Aliquid Dignum
          ' Dare Something Worthy '

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        • jrwinkler@msn.com
          ... one splitting and smoothing his own planks or would he get them from someone whose entire business is making planks....or from an apprentice. ( No Charles
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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            Conal wrote:

            >> Consider this, would the cabinetmaker be the
            one splitting and smoothing his own planks
            or would he get them from someone whose entire
            business is making planks....or from an
            apprentice. ( No Charles )

            Would he make his own hinges, nails, clasps....
            He would probably get them from a blacksmith.

            Would a seamtress have to weave her own fabric? <<
             
            Good points... but this raises yet another of them interestin' authenticity questions...  What aspect are we trying to authentic in?
             
            I would contend that if one is trying to BE an authentic medieval carpenter then all of the above issues would come into play...
             
            If you were simply trying to recreate a period piece and the THING you were making is intended to be as authentic as possible... then the cultural division of labor thing can kinda' goes out the window... and ya' gotta' do what ya' gotta' do...  (unless you can barter with a local sawyer and blacksmith.
             
            Its a process or product question... unless you're REALLY geeky and want to be authentic in process AND product!!!
             
            Then, of course there's simply understanding (the academic aspect) of having a solid grasp of the authentic KNOWLEDGE of what you're doing and electing to modify, ignore, change, etc. that in the actual practice of what you know.
             
            But... to either work at BEING the authentic craftsman and practicing your art in a period manner... or learning a bunch of diverse skills that a period craftsman wouldn't dream of or stand a chance of getting involved in order to produce a period THING... both require the underlying period KNOWLEDGE.    Without that aren't ya' simply makin' stuff up???
             
            Chas.
             
            Great discussion of the philosophic aspects of what we're doin' by the way...  ;-)


          • vinlandar
            I agree on the great discussion. I hope this will be a useful contribution. For my purposes, (described in an earlier post,) I am working at producing
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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              I agree on the great discussion. I hope this will be a useful
              contribution.
              For my purposes, (described in an earlier post,) I am working at
              producing household and farm items that my Norse farmer character
              might not necessarily have been able to make himself, so I don't mind
              not doing everything with period tools and glues, etc. As long as
              the non-period production and fastening techniques don't keep the
              piece from looking as period as I can make it, I feel I am alright.
              On the other hand, pottery is one of the techniques my character
              has learned from his Anglo Saxon neighbors, and so I am trying as
              close as I can to duplicate the methods, clays, glazes etc. that I
              can to pottery of that period and that location, allowing for imports
              from more distant locations which indeed were found in the area.
              Even that requires some compromise, though, because glazes of the
              period used lead to make them smooth and flowing. I am not willing
              to use lead in my cooking and eating items for the sake of period
              accuracy, so I seek out safer materials that give a similar effect.

              -Charlie


              --- In medievalsawdust@y..., jrwinkler@m... wrote:
              > Conal wrote:
              > Then, of course there's simply understanding (the academic aspect)
              of having a solid grasp of the authentic KNOWLEDGE of what you're
              doing and electing to modify, ignore, change, etc. that in the actual
              practice of what you know.
              >
              > But... to either work at BEING the authentic craftsman and
              practicing your art in a period manner... or learning a bunch of
              diverse skills that a period craftsman wouldn't dream of or stand a
              chance of getting involved in order to produce a period THING... both
              require the underlying period KNOWLEDGE. Without that aren't ya'
              simply makin' stuff up???
              >
              > Chas.
              >
              > Great discussion of the philosophic aspects of what we're doin' by
              the way... ;-)
            • jrwinkler@msn.com
              ... period used lead to make them smooth and flowing. I am not willing to use lead in my cooking and eating items for the sake of period accuracy, so I seek
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 3, 2002
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                >>  Even that requires some compromise, though, because glazes of the
                period used lead to make them smooth and flowing.  I am not willing
                to use lead in my cooking and eating items for the sake of period
                accuracy, so I seek out safer materials that give a similar effect.  -Charlie  <<

                Yer' a wise fella' Charlie!!  ;-)   Every passion must have its meets and bounds...   from a functional point of view this makes good and sane sense...  on the other hand, using proper safety precautions there is nothing from stopping you from perhaps making a few demonstration pieces with the period lead based glaze to gain an the first hand knowledge of what differences (if any) might exist in the quality of finish, workability, etc. between the period version of the glaze and its modern analog.   This is the KNOWLEDGE part...  that I talked about in an earlier post...    
                 
                Your examples illustrate what I was trying to say very well...  one standard of authenticity in one context... a different one for the other.   Different approaches for different goals yet both based in an inherent understanding of what IS correct and then making conscious decisions of where and how to deviate from that standard.
                 
                Chas.
                 
                 
              • Dan Baker
                Master Charles, did you change your email? ... -- YIS, Lord Rhys, Capten gen y Arian Lloer Privateer to the Midrealm Arafu at dawnsio mewn adlaw ...Take time
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 4, 2002
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                  Master Charles, did you change your email?


                  >From: jrwinkler@...


                  --
                  YIS,

                  Lord Rhys, Capten gen y Arian Lloer
                  Privateer to the Midrealm

                  Arafu at dawnsio mewn adlaw
                  ...Take time to dance in the rain...

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