I decided a while ago to leave Plimoth Plantation so I can concentrate on a range of wood-working that falls outside the guidelines of 17th-century English furniture. That work continues to fascinate me, but I’ve been drawn in several different directions in recent years, some re-visits of work I have done before (baskets, spoons, bowls) some new areas I hope to explore. A book to finish, for example. And other stuff.
I don’t pretend to be a blacksmith I am one. We’re not pretending to bake bread we’re actually doing it. That’s not something you can say for the average martial persona which, by their very nature have inherent limitations. When was the last time Viking re-enactors actually stole, killed, and brought back plunder? They can’t. It’s the commoner portrayal that gets to actually live the life of our ancestors and that is not only fulfilling but keenly interests the public.
Ann Althouse looks at Joshua Green’s Why is This GOP House Candidate Dressed as a Nazi? and asks:
How evil is it for a candidate to play the role of a Nazi in war reenactments? How evil is it for a journalist to write about that and bury — in the 13th paragraph — the news that the same man — Rich Iott — has also done reenactment as a Civil War Union infantryman, a World War I doughboy and a World War II American infantryman and paratrooper?
More at Witch! Whore! …Nazi!
FWIW, a few years ago, at an event in Iowa, I met some people who reenact a Soviet unit in the “Great Patriotic War.” It never occurred to me to think about their politics in 21st century America.
Read a Letter to the Franklin Institute and think again.
You see, in the medieval and Renaissance periods, people had to make use of every scrap of fabric. Labour was cheap and fabric was expensive. In the early modern period that followed, wealthy people wore lace collars that would equate in price to an estate in Ireland. So you see where I’m going with this. If you had an expensive piece of brocade, it probably cost more than your house. So when you made something from it, you pieced it and turned it and used every last scrap.
Modern dressmaking techniques waste a lot of fabric. They are engineered for speed of sewing. In the periods we study, speed was not as important and conservation of fabric.