Squire Task: Leather Armor

FOREWARNING: This blog is long and FULL of photos.

One of the many things that a squire in Belegarth is required to show they can do is build armor. Sometimes just leather, or just chain but normally both. Today I finished my leather project. I would like to thank my big brother Mekoot Rowan for helping me with this, with out him I would have never finished.

First things first, this is what I made. It is a tasset piece for Bonnie. She is a Blue Lizardperson with copper for accents.

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Now in order to make these there were some things I had to learn to do first. I needed to learn what tools I needed.

The Scale Press

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This is me cutting out the scales in Rowan’s shop with his scale press. Very good arm workout.

The Scale Template

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This is the scale template I used. It has 5 holes. I never learned what the large center one was for. Anywho this is it, sharp side up.

The Steel Disk

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This steel disk goes between the press and the template so that you are proving even pressure across the whole template

A Hand-Held Leather Hole Punch

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This is for punching holes in straps or to punch holes that the press may not have. It can be kinda hard if you are not use to it.

An Anvil

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Here is the tiny anvil Rowan gave me. It is cute and easy to carry around. I rather Like it. But anyway to set rivets you need an anvil or other hard surface.

A Mallet and Rivet Setter

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The Mallet that Rowan told me to use is Rawhide. I assume that’s to avoid the metal on metal with the river setter. The rivet setter is a pretty simple tool. One end is concave and that’s the end you set on the rivet

Rivets

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These are copper or brass snap rivets. I’m not sure that is what they are really called but they snap together so thats is what I am calling them.

Once you have all of these things all you need now are the scales. So while I punched out scales for Rowan, he spray painted them the colours that Bonnie wanted her armor to be. This means blue and copper. Here are the scales. You will notice these all have funky shapes that dont match the scale template above, and yes your right they dont match. Bonnie is a monster character, a Blue Lizardperson to be specific, so she didn’t want pristine scales, she wanted them to look a little uneven, have some odd shapes, so that’s what we cut out. We achieved this by using scraps and sometimes while the holes fit on the leather other parts of the template did not, which results in these monastery scales.

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Once they were dry, which honestly look like most of the day. I started putting them together. Rowan didn’t have a pattern for me to follow so I just went with what looked good. Here are some process photos.

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Once I finished the piece and it was the right length and width at the top I added on the straps. This is where I encountered an issue. My rivets were too short to go through 3 layers of leather so I had to off-set the straps.

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Front of Off-Set Strap
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Back of Off-Set Strap

Overall this was not as hard as I figured it be. I enjoyed it a great deal and while it was not like I was molding and shaping and tooling the leather, I did get to learn how to cut scales, paint leather, and create armor. I really enjoy the finished piece. On the next side I am not gong to start from the middle which is what I ended up doing since I didn’t’ start with 1 scale and build up. I will be with this next one.

One last photo just because I really like how it looks, the finished back

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Moccasin Making Tutorial

One of my many creative enjoyments is making leather moccasins and mitts. This is a skill i learned from my time working and volunteering at Fort William Historical Park. I have uploaded this tutorial onto my slideshare account and you can find it by following the link here: Moccasin Making Tutorial Slideshare.

 

Master Seneschal

It has taken me some time to get to this point. If you do not understand what the title of this blog means that is okay I am going to explain it.

Around May 24th 2014 the Belegarth Guilds were created. We started with 2 guilds. The Artificers Guild for Arts ans Sciences and the Seneschals Guild for Service.  We have recently added a third, the Chroniclers Guild for the preservation of the history and culture of Belegarth.

These guilds were created in part by myself, Sir Piper, Lady Armstrong, Master Artificer and a now retired fighter Shrike. We created them so that we could continue to build a society that embraced its armor-smiths and autocrats, its musicians and chefs, its seamstresses and tailors, its bakers and brewers. We wanted a place where something other than fighting mattered. With the addition of the Chroniclers Guild, spearheaded by Archive, we are now making sure that out society embraces its photographers, history keepers, lore writers and videographers as well.

When created there were two paths to obtain Mastership within the guilds. There was the application for Master Status and the Apprenticeship. Lady Armstrong and I made the choice that each of us would do one of the paths to make sure the system worked. Lady Armstrong applied for Master Status in the Artificers Guilds was granted, so we knew that worked. I took the Apprenticeship path in the Seneschals Guild, first under mentorship of Sir Beauregaurd Brutus Elevo, the Implacable, and then under Sir Hurin and finally under Mekoot Master Gorlock. Lets just say well the system works it has some kinks to workout.

I became Squire Antoinette Aesa Halla Finnrsdottir, Moosewitch, Master Seneschal about 8 weeks ago, June 10th give or take. In order to do so I had to present my CV of Service to Belegarth, Recommendations from at least 3 non-realm, non-unit mates and tutorials (Troll and Weapons Check). You can find these documents by clicking on the links.

Now that I am finished this journey I can move on to working on completing my squireship. This also means I am open to take apprentices within the Guild so that will be a new learning curve.

Back in Action

There has been a lot that has happened since I last made a post. Life got very hectic in terms of work and my overall personal health.

I just wanted to check in and make the list of things that  I want to have accomplished clear to me and to everyone who reads my blog.

In Belegarth for 2019 I want to complete the following

  • Become a Journeymen in the Seneschal Guild
  • Become a Master in the Seneschal Guild
  • Become a Mentor in the Chronicler Guild
  • Complete all Reading for my Squireship (2 books remaining)
  • Complete all Garb Tutorials for my Squireship (5 remaining)
  • Run a Successful Chaos Wars
  • Build at least by blue weapons and maybe a min red for my Squireship
  • Get some unit coloured garb

Lets see if I can get all of this done!

Hagakure: Book of the Samurai

So here I am again, with yet another book blog. This book was recommended by Sir Uargvak Hellhammer as something for my squire requirements. It took the longest to physical read due to me ordering the pocket version, it was honestly like a small brick.

Overall, it was interesting to learn more about a culture of warriors I had not previously known much about other than that they valued death in battle, that they were  Japanese warriors from the 16 to 19th centuries and that they held values such as self-mastery, honor, respect, loyalty, and courage.

I was honestly surprised to find a handful of things from this book that made an impact on me personally. I had sort of expected this to be another book about fighting that I wouldn’t enjoy. I was wrong. I’m happy to admit I was wrong. This book hold a number of great insights into life in general that anyone can use no matter their path.

Although it seems that taking special care of one’s appearance is similar to showiness, it is nothing akin to elegance. Even if you are aware that you may be struck down today and are firmly resolved to an inevitable death, if you are slain with an unseemly appearance, you will show your lack of previous resolve, will be despised by your enemy, and will appear unclean. For this reason it is said that both old and young should take care of their appearance.

This was one of the very first things that made an impact on me. I love my garb, and I like looking good. Not because I am vain, but because I feel that it is something worth doing, so I should do it well. It is why I feel the need to make sure my tabard is always clean. I am representing my knight and to me that mean something special.

“If one is secure at the foundation, he will not be pained by departure from minor details or affairs that are contrary to expectation.”

I spent a long time considering this one single sentence. I struggle with change and when things do not happen exactly the way I had planned them. It is something I am working on, and feel like I am getting better at, but will always be a work in progress. My foundation is not secure for many reasons, reasons I am aware of and it will just take time. Thank you for sticking with me. I know my consent panic and stress over things that do not seem panic or stress worthy can be annoying and hand for others to deal with.

“Living without mistakes is truly impossible.”

I have taken to using this quote with my students who are terrified to make mistakes in class. It is a very powerful sentence in my opinion. Once you understand what no matter what you are going to make mistakes, its how you learn from them  that matters you are going to be better off. There is a great acrostic poem for the world Fail…

  • First
  • Attempt
  • In
  • Learning

Its okay to make mistakes and its okay to fail so long as you learn from them.

“Depending on one’s point of view, Hagakure represents a mystical beauty intrinsic to the Japanese aesthetic experience, and a stoic but profound appreciation of the meaning of life and death.”

I am Lucky

After everything I have seen today, I couldn’t sleep until I got this down.

I am making it clearly known that I know I am lucky. I am lucky because I have an expectation of safety at the foam fighting events I go to. Why? Because of the people, I camp with (EBF) and the people in the sport I call my brothers and family. To name a few of them you have Sir Fox, Sir Killian, Warmaster Zeldrine, Warlord Elwarth, Mekoot Rowan, Mekoot Kraylose, Sir Mick, Sir Forrest, Sir Guts, Sir Par, Dragoon Locutus, Dragoon Dopp, Squire Avianna, Squire Ixous, Squire Caleidah, Squire Hobbit, Squire Gaston, Lyllith, Biggs, Zenith, Joyous, Faline, and Drago. That isnt even the whole list, just the ones off the top of my head.

Because of these people among others, I know that I will be safe at events. I know that I have a network of people who will keep me safe. This makes me lucky and I know it.

I also know that there are many people, male and female, who do not have the expectation of safety at the events they go to and that is unacceptable. It is unacceptable that trying to help people feel safe could lead to you being threatened with a ban from Rag. It is unacceptable that people do not feel safe bring issues of harassment and assault forward to event staff, Bel or Dag. It is unacceptable that in 2018 we are still dealing with people, specifically, those who identify as a female being told they are wrong about something that happened to them, or it was there fault they were assaulted/raped/harassed.

It is UNACCEPTABLE that there are people who do not expect safety at foam fighting events. I want this to change. We NEED this to change.

Incomplete Untitled Lore

Another day and come and gone. The redheaded women had walked the outer walls of the monastery she kept. Fulling more power into the stones that held the etched runes that resulted in the walls of fire that surrounded the once vibrate monastery. They kept the outside world out where it belonged.

It has been three years and four months since the others had all left. She had left as well, but returned and remained. There was nowhere else for her to go. Every day she walked the wall line, every day she check the doors. The very simple blood magic that had been used on the doors would forever lock them if the one who claimed it died. There were many that were locked. They reminded her each day of how many they had lost.

Today, none of the remaining unlocked doors turned into locked doors. None of the locked doors unlocked, which had happened once, so now she checked. What was most important, to her at least, was that Static’s door remained unlocked. She knew she would never see her sister again, so that door was her only connection to her sister. The only way she knew if she was alive or dead. It was the only way she knew if any of them were alive or dead. She checked the doors in a certain order, always starting with her own, just to make sure that she was still alive and not a ghost floating the halls of the place she called home. It was an odd habit but it gave her hope that maybe one day she would open a door, and find someone home behind it. This was so far not the case.

After her walk, and the doors she ate, then she wrote, then she sat in the great window that overlooked the court yard and recalled memories, sounds, and happenings. She passed her days alone. In her loneliness, she had discovered the breadth of the magic she had been given. It healed, it guarded. It was passive and helpful. It caused great damage and could easily burn an entire city to the ground. It was reckless and dangerous. She controlled it all, the damage she could cause if she wanted to was both astounding and terrifying.