Sunday, March 9, 2014

2014 A&S Faire Project: Day 1

Now that I think I have all of my materials and tools gathered, it's time to get to work!

I will try to add notations and sources later. From my research, the glass artist worked from a "table" that was whitewashed, and the pattern drawn directly on it. There are financial records showing the glazier hiring artists to draw their pattern onto the table for them. I do have a sister-in-law who is a professional artist, but rather than bother her, I decided to trace the design I want onto the board. But, I wanted to do it in a period manner too.

The "creative" category of our faire criteria threw me for a while. Researching period practices, we can show that glaziers would reuse the same cutlines on a table for different windows. I have chosen a specific cutline from a grisaille window segment in a Norman catehdral. I'm going to paint it with a floral motif from a different contemporaneous grisaille in the same cathedral, and use a border inspired by a third. The end design should look like it could have come from the same time and place (and building!)

I started with a large board I had around the house. I white washed it and placed it on my dining table to begin working. It was inspected and improved by Scheherazade ("Zod"), my cat.

I placed my pattern onto the board, grabbed a pin from my sewing kit... and started poking it. Now, this method is not one I researched personally (my library is not focused on scribal arts) but was described to me by multiple highly-learned scribe friends. [See Lessons Learned, below, for a note on these pins!]

This was both more and less tedious than I expected. Right when I reached a point where I really thought unkind things, I also realized I was finished with the pin. It hurt my hand quite a bit, pushing that pin into wood. The thought occurred to me it might be easier to have a handmade pin like what Roana or Ercc makes. They are a bit larger and I suspect stronger. Sometimes this pin was bending more than I was comfortable with as I pushed. I imagined it snapping and going into my finger (been there, done that). Fortunately, it didn't.

The hole-y template

I then rubbed the leadlines-to-be with charcoal

As promised, the dots and charcoal were left behind on the board.

I then played connect-the dots...

The traced cutline looked a bit irregular. On further exam... the original panel was irregular. No problem there, then!

Now, I have a whitewashed board, a cutline on it, and my tools ready. I got excited, grabbed the glass, and got to work. Unfortunately, that was a mistake. The medieval procedure was to trace my desired cut line "with an emery point" before taking the dividing iron to it. I forgot that part and jumped right in with the iron. As a result, it didn't follow the path I needed. Rather than just waste the opportunity however, I grabbed my camera. Here is video I took of the dividing iron doing it's job. I did initially have to use a little bit of water to get it started, but after that it followed the heat well:

I removed the background nose of the "How It's Made" marathon and replaced it with something a little more.... on topic.

Before anyone asks, the white material on the rod is from absent-mindedly setting a blackhot iron onto the pattern table. It burned and picked up some paint.

Since I demonstrated the dividing iron on tape, I decided to do a quick video of the grozing iron too. I had a segment of glass that I scored but which was not cleanly broken. The grozing iron takes it right off.

[Edit: Movie deleted! I was an idiot! See the post that follows on Day 2, I kind of misunderstood how a grozing iron was supposed to work until I used it in production...]

I didn't have any clever music for this one, so you get 23 seconds of How It's Made.

Lessons Learned:

The wood used for the table can have an impact. This had hard bands that were difficult to push a pin into. Estelle de la Mer has informed me of a better alternative and provided a picture, of a handmade tool she uses for ruling in her scribal work:

Don't forget the emery point path! I shall find out today how different that makes the process.

As I already knew, a larger dividing iron will hold more heat and make this process easier with it's extended working time. That will be rectified later!

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