Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Onto happier things.

Much to the disappointment of some of my friends on facebook, (where I made a passing reference), this isn't the eighteenth century military type of mitre, but the medieval ecclesiastical type.  A Bishop's to be precise.

Now, strictly speaking, most medieval bishop's mitres were white, with gold, silver and jewelled trimmings.  However, my client for this wanted purple, so purple he shall get!  (The mitre is to be used regularly in a heritage setting, and a white one would get very dirty, very quickly.)

This is a relatively early mitre - it has the classic double point, but it still has straight sides (later they were angled).

It's made in purple wool by Hainsworth, and trimmed with gold and silver lace from Wyedean Weaving.   The crosses are hand cut (from silver metallic pvc!) and hand appliqued onto the wool.

The whole thing has a buckram and wire frame, and the end result is a handmade hat (of medievally style!).

The buckram sides, with the wire in the process of being hand sewn to the top.  The top of the frame was then attached to this, again, by hand.

The mitre after the frame was built, and the outer was added.   Lightened to show the herringbone stitching used to attach the sides to the crown.

And finally, the front of the mitre, and the back, showing the tails (again, cut from wool, this time unhemmed (this wool does not fray), and edged with gold metallic fringe.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Frania, of The Vikings.

Obviously, as well as making clothing for re-enactors, I also re-enact.

I was extraordinarily sad to hear that Frania Juchnowicz, formerly the Battle Captain of 'The Vikings' died last week, in her sleep.

I can't claim to have known her well, but whenever I met her she struck me as genuinely lovely, warm, and funny (if somebody who was slightly scary and whom you wouldn't want to annoy!).
She also gave Nigel a lot of moral support when he needed it, (during times when certain of his closer friends found it to be too much trouble), for which I will be eternally grateful.

I'll remember her as she was at Hastings 2006, running things, racing round in her armour, getting people to be in the right place, shouting at those who weren't, and generally organising everybody.

My sincere sympathies to anyone and everyone who knew her, especially those closest to her.  May she rest in peace.

There is a 'Just Giving' page in her memory, in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the horrible illness that took her.   http://www.justgiving.com/Frania-Juchnowicz