Category Archives: Uncategorized

And now an actual update

I brought my work with me to hospital, but I forgot just how much it takes out of me, add in I was feeling pretty sad, and I managed a whopping 5 pages of double spaced A5 paper. About sleeves. But it was still useful, I’ve got a good handle on those sleeves. Skirts have been given a great boost, they also support my own advice I’ve shared regarding circle skirts for years- “forget Pi, this isn’t paper.” So that’s cool.

My North Rhine research pops in here too. It’s quite hard to find the records I need but it’s the same issue as always, but I have some timeframes for apprentices. Some of these need a much more careful translation than I did because some writers just use apprentice, some journeyman. Different crafts required different lengths of training and it might not be as expected.

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Finally a break!

For months now, possibly a year, I’ve been blocked from real research and writing progress due to an issue with the thumbnails of my folders of research failing to be created. I was able to only get around this by force quitting the process involved. But then only getting a few files to load and then nothing. Turns out a lot of us have had this problem but no solution actually seemed to work. Some people had malware, some corrupted media files. Then I found someone who solved their own issue.

They had a system file try to tell the OS there was a file on the desktop that wasn’t there. They were told to not delete the system file, but also that it would be recreated on start up if they did. The file is apparently used by the OS what folder options to use- icons, thumbnails, columns etc.

So I turned on “view hidden files” found the same system file , I opened it in notepad and yep. I saw a file name for something that hadn’t been in that folder ever as far as I know. Probably once in a transfer from one drive to another.

So I quickly did a search for the files on my research drive and my “user” folders, deleted every single instance in dozens, but not all, folders then reset folder options, and restarted and wow.

Not only do thumbnails load instantaneously in folders but in searches.

It’s so exciting.

And a massive relief.

But that a crappy little unneeded file caused so much delay and extra work and set back my health hugely. It’s taken time away from everything good in my life because it really needed fixing but no one is willing to say that this is a known issue.

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Sad day

We have a new Dx for Mr Carlo. A blood clot in his femoral artery that has lead to a loss of blood to his hind limbs. But it explains his sudden onset of paralysis and his haematoma and really fits in with what mum and I thought. We thought he might have injured himself because as a climber he can land heavily on his legs.

We did get his haematoma drained again, about 22ml which is a lot for a little dude and I didn’t want to ask but it looked more purple than red so it’s from a vein?

But he’s getting lots of love, he’s got his favourite cushions and fur throws and he feels safe.

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This is not a real word but it needs to be. To be both over and underwhelmed at once. This is me today in finding some incredible and extremely important work on trades and guilds. But. And it’s a big but and I cannot lie it’s the same but as always. It’s a near black hole of information between 1500 and 1560 for women’s clothing. There is a mix of issues. All of which are incredibly difficult to tackle at this temporal and physical distance.

So I have yet another dissertation on its way.

I’m now fatigued, again, so back to being just whelmed. I’m protecting my excitement though. It’s precious.

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Research breakthrough

I decided to do a bit of a blunt search for the term for a specific craft in the hope I might, might, break through the big gaps in OCR of so many of the digitised books online have. I didn’t realise entire pages were missing in the I think 1600 pages I have on trades, let alone all the dictionaries (cries). It may not seem like I need to search the documents about, say, fishmongers but sometimes the documents are wills or letters, in which clothing items can be found. But also it’s fascinating to read the quantities and types of fish sold.

My hope is to find documents about where their product went, and how many crafts it took to reach it’s final form. There are some obvious uses, but I’m trying to be able to get the specific document archival names so no one else has to fight this OCR mess.

Luckily the index of my main trades resource does reveal when a trade was mentioned in the records of another trade, also when it’s a surname. So I’m pretty sure I have everything that can be found in it.

Online options to strip the OCR layer have failed, my only option is to pull out all images (ie the top layer) then get google to transcribe and translate page by page.

Anyway, back to being excited because yes I found a couple more books about trades that didn’t show up in more general terms for trades and crafts.

In one instance I have a timeframe needed and number of journeymen needed to embroider a garment: 6 weeks and I think 8 journeymen. Apprentices not counted, I suspect due to the nature of the work which was for a Duke. It’s fantastic as it reveals just how fast these pieces were made but also how many people were involved for each piece. I’ve always suspected this, but in part because of other references like how the heck did you make all of those costumes for the parades and festivals. Maximilian used his own tailors to design and make the Freydal costumes. I think also some of the clothes of the partners of those in the dances as usually the all wear matching clothes too.

There are also massive amounts of fabric ordered in the North Rhine for festivities like this that could also be for these same kinds of clothes worn to denote loyalty.

It’s all very cool, and I’ve started to save files in named folders in my downloads now to avoid what I’ve done in the past which is to accidentally lose important documents due to naming conventions of the digitisers.

Given the leap in progress yesterday I can face at least renaming some more books.

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patterning update- spiral sleeves

I wanted to do a fast blog about spiral sleeves including art, extant garments, tailors manuals and I’m overwhelmed. It’s actually a [censored] ton of work. But it’s kind of in my niche and I want to show how that niche is not really niche but part of a 4D continuum in time and space that reaches right up to today.

My pattern book is wrong, it’s rare for me to be wrong in patterning but I’ve been open about that for a while. It’s part of my complete overhaul of my book to make it more accessible.

The main reason for my book to be in this state is that I destroyed a bunch of older saves of my linework for the figures and I have to redraw them all. The patterns themselves have already been converted to an easier to read font and the line art with plain lines rather than mimicking a pen/quill.

I’m genuinely excited to be able to fix this and share the more accurate, if less precise, method to pattern and craft them. It’s just that it has to be with all the evidence and it does mean creating image files and properly citing every single example. At this stage I’m lucky that yes I have my files almost entirely sorted to pull images out and edit and create a specific nomenclature for them.

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At least I can still…

.. Every time I have that thought I wind up not being able to do the thing I was grateful to still be able to do. Unfortunately my Achilles tendon issue has turned a bit catastrophic and I’m now high priority to see an orthopaedic surgeon. Terrifying when you know how hard it is to get on waitlists.

So my thought that at least I could still go for the occasional walk for a bit of exercise now feels like I cursed myself. But it goes well beyond difficulty walking. It’s difficulty standing, going to the kitchen, bathroom, in and out of bed.

My risk of rupturing my tendons is real. Risk of rupturing them via steroids too. And finally risk of rupturing them with surgery and recovery.

I’m feeling quite sick with the pain as well. It’s not sharp but that deep pain you don’t really notice until it’s gone too far. So I’ve found myself also less able to tolerate my limits or anything that dings those limits.

What would have been a 5min overlocking task (sum total of 2m, yes, 2 meters) took an hour because the needles kept shredding the thread. I swore so very much.

It’s also making it harder to focus in general so my “at least I can use my computer” has turned into “at least there are dozens of series of QI to catch up on while I rest.”

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Gelderlander update

Apparently I decided I didn’t need as much blue wool as I would actually need so yet again I’m experiencing delays. I think I only have an issue with the sleeves which should actually be easier than I keep thinking once I get the wide crimson velveteen guarding sorted. PHEW! It’s not obvious from any artwork so I’m combining so many sources to figure out what the sleeve outers should look like.

I had to though cut the skirt panels on the fold and so lost 10cm each panel which means I also wasted so much calico that it’s very embarassing.

The layers are pressed and carefully folded so I can have a rest and then put each panel on the table to baste and trim.

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Gelderlander frock- two steps forward so many back

I have started working on my Gelderlander frocks only to find the underlining for my skirts are too short, and my references…. sigh. I actually start to read the “Maison de Lynden” Chronical to find out more about Fulswine de Randwyck and… sorry? Married in1440? But her plate is more like 1530.

“Autentica et originali effigie delineabat fr. Joannes Vafou ord: pred A 1625.16. octobris”
“An authentic and original effigy drawn by fr. Joannes Vafou ord: pred A 1625.16. October”

I know the risks in using 17thC printed works, and especially family histories. I was just hoping she would be named correctly.

Her clothing and accessories do work for the region if we go by the Codice de Trajes. The problem is a near total lack of digitisation of portraits from the time and place.

Luckily there are a few other works to go by including a fabulous painting with the mix of North Rhine headgear and Dutch style frock.

Current attribution possibly Anoniem (Gelderland (prov.)) 1549
Date dated 1549 (1549)
Title Portret van een vrouw, waarschijnlijk Aleid Bushof (?-1582) Other (former) title
oude titel: Portret van een vrouw, genaamd Maria Hacfort (?-1550) English title Portrait of a woman, probably Aleid Bushof (?-1582)

And wonderfully we have Aleid Buschof’s wedding contract!

Gelders Archief, 0405 Huis Ter Horst, Inventaris, Persoonlijk gedeelte, 1.1. Geslacht Hackfort, 1.1.04. Wijnant Hackfort en Aleid Bushof, 13 Acte van huwelijksvoorwaarden tusschen Wynant Hackfort en Aelheit Bushoff, 1546. 1 charter i

13 Acte van huwelijksvoorwaarden tusschen Wynant Hackfort en Aelheit Bushoff, 1546. 1 charter i

And a little more information:

1546 maand. na visitatie Marie vprg. (5 Juli) . \ Wynolt van Hackfordt burgem. te Arnhem . Joffer Aelheyt Buyshaves 1)

from De Nederlandsche Leeuw, jaargang 36 (1918)

But wait, what is that note?

1) Burggraaf kan er niet staan, want als zoodanig komt hij niet voor op de lijst in Mr . van den Bergh’ s Nijmeegsche bijzonderheden en in Mr . Joosting’ s Nijmeegsche Broederschappen.
1 ) Burggraaf cannot be there, because as such he does not appear on the list in Mr . van den Bergh’s Nijmegen details and in Mr. Joosting’s Nijmegen Brotherhoods.

Luckily this doesn’t impact the veracity of either the portrait nor the marriage. But does point to the massive difficulties in finding and trusting sources even when you have physical access to them.

And I do not.

So to go back to this chronical? Well…

It’s made up. There are something like 8 different articles about it all by a single historian. I’ve grabbed them all (inside massive yearly books) so maybe I’ll find a hint in one of them. But so far several dates appear wrong inside the text let alone the attributions.

There is almost nothing about the artist, unless you look for “Jan Vassens” or “Joannes Vasoens” or “Jan Vasoens” and then his paintings pop up. And the quality does suggest he carefully recorded the portraits he saw- it’s just a question of where he saw them.

The printer Jan Cnobbaert and his family (widow, son) seem to have a good handle on the etching so it’s, again, trying to track down where these images were and now are.

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Pearls- part 1

Well. That’s a bit of an unexpected turn. I’ve been collecting bits and pieces about artificial pearls as I have projects where I use them and wanted to know if glass or plastic carry the properties they would have.

But now I’ve managed to digitise and translate sections of one of the most important works on North Rhine clothing and I find this:

“If one also considers their high prices, it is clear that the countless pearls listed in Cologne in the 15th century are largely imitations.”

Are they though? They are suggested as being Venetian glass which I’m pretty sure was even more expensive. But I also know that the glass industry in Cologne were reproducing Venetian glass so it is possible. But then I’d also expect the inventories to state this.

But I’m always reviewing my own theories so to the glass trade information I have.

So first, yes copying, but without the techniques to de-green glass, but there were techniques to add iridescence and it really is very beautiful.

Becher auf Fuß mit Nuppendekor | 1546/1550
Aus Monschau, gefunden 1931 in der Burg Montjoie (Eifel)

Köln, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln, Inv.-Nr. F 522

So in theory these skills should transfer. But what about the evidence it did?

I can’t find it.

The source is J Faulk who wrote in the middle of the 19thC and he didn’t cite his source.

If we look through the trades, pearls feature heavily in the goldsmiths records. They also feature in the “Wappenstickerei” records (including a series of letters threatening legal action.)

It’s hard to find records of glassworkers but if we go back to the inventories then we do find a lot of pearls that are carefully counted. We also find fake gold in the form of silver that is gilded. So if pearls were fake then they would be described as such.

The visual record also seems to support pearls as markers of sumptuary laws. You wouldn’t be recorded breaking these laws, but on top of this the visual record seems to follow the massive economic loss that occurred in the later half of the 16thC.

I know!

I hope this helps explain just how wide you have to search for information for a seemingly niche topic.

But one of the reasons I’m interested in that fake pearls

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