Monday, February 4, 2013

Crowdsourced Band

I've just got back from Canterbury Faire which is the big SCA event of the year around these parts. During the event I was elevated to the Order of the Laurel.  Since I knew about it in advance I thought it would be nice to plan something to celebrate the occasion- and celebrate tablet weaving at the same time! What I came up with was a band to be woven by the populace, with a brocaded inscription relating to the occasion.

Baron Steffan ap Kennydd provided a Latin transcription for the band.  It reads:

Populus Lochacis in Mercatu Cantuar. m.f. A.S. XLVII reg. Fel. Evaq. RR. ut induct. Dom. Hon. Amaliae Brisachensis in Ord. Laur. annotet.

Which translates roughly as:

The people of Lochac at the Canterbury Fair made me in the 47th year of the Society during the reign of Felix the King and Eva the Queen that the induction of the Honorable Lady Amalie of Brisache
into the Order of the Laurel might be recorded


Of course I never expected we could get through so much weaving in the 6 "official" days of Canterbury Faire, but this is approximately the right length of text to fill a belt.

I used the font from the Girdle of Witgarius as a model although the band does not emulate this band in other respects.  It has 30 cards and both the warp and brocade weft are a relatively thick spun silk bought from Swarog.

I set the band up on my Oseberg loom last Monday, and asked a few experienced weavers to be available to help first-time tablet weavers contribute to the band. By the end of the Saturday 44 people had woven 30 letters.  About half had never done any tablet weaving before and most of the ones who had had only been though my introductory class in previous years. I was very impressed with people's willingness to give it a go.

Teaching people how to do brocade over and over again, and watching the other experienced weavers do the same, was a very interesting experience and made me a lot more aware of my own process when weaving.

I plan to finish off the rest of the band in the coming weeks.