SCA Life, tablet weaving

My love-hate relationship with tablet weaving

Before we got into the SCA, my wife and I went to Ren Faires more and we (mostly she) made our own clothes.  To help with that process, I decided to learn tablet weaving.   I figured, people have been doing this for 10,000 years, surely I can figure it out.

Needing help with those clothes is what brought us to the SCA.

I don’t mind weaving but there are certain things I don’t like.  I don’t like warping my looms.  That takes a lot of time and I often do it wrong.  Even for patterns I have done before!  Simple patterns are good for me.  I can get lost in the 4F/4B and etc.  But patterns which require turning certain cards and not others quickly frustrate me.  And of course, those are the interesting patterns!

I have finished my last round of glass and I said I would work on my garb.  I need to make new garb and accessories and those things need trim.

I am trying to decide what trim to make and trying to find patterns that I like and actually like doing.  My universe is small.  I have even considered buying some trim from others who (hopefully) enjoy doing the more complex patterns.  But the other part of me wants to do it myself.  So simple patterns here we come!

Wish me luck!

Here are some of the trim I have made in the past.


Overthinking glass bowls

Sometimes, when you make stuff, you overthink it.  When you find the real solution, you kick yourself because it is so easy and so simple, how did you not see it before?

Case in point, fused Roman bowls.  Fused Roman Mosaic bowl

I made one such bowl as part of a pentathlon.  I tried to approximate making “millifore” to make a small bowl.  It was a giant pain.  When Lucretia was elevated to the Laurel, I made this for her.

I used a different method to make this bowl.  Lucretia’s Fused Roman Mosaic bowl   I cut strips of glass from a square sheet.  Follow the link for the process.  This again was a bit of pain.

I then wanted to try for a more “roman” type shape, a high sided bowl.  My local glass shop couldn’t slump it properly over the model.  There was a lot of glass folding in on itself.  So I tried to make bowls like Lucretia’s again.  I don’t have photos of the process.

But as I was driving to the glass shop, I figured out the problem and why this way is a pain.  I was overthinking the problem.

Let me lay it out for you.   To make the flat plate in the “old” way, I had to cut strips of various sizes to fit a 9″ circle.  I had to nip the ends to make it fit.  Pieces were irregular in width.  I had to spend several hours across different days to make all the pieces fit.  I thought, there has to be an easier way to get pieces into a circle.  The answer is obvious; start with a circle.

So last night, I cut the pieces for two new bowls in about an hour.

First to choose the glass.  I choose these from my stash.

Then cut them into 9″ circles with my strip cutter.

There is a nice trick to break out almost perfect circles.  Once cut, you flip it over on a soft surface, like a towel, and use your hands to gently (or sometimes not so gently) propagate the crack.

And you get this



I also need a substrate between the two sides so a thin layer of clear glass serves for that.

  I tried to show the score line in the glass.  I am not sure you can see it.

Then you take the strip cutter and cut the circles into strips, ~ 0.5″ wide.


Then chose the parts from each to make the flat that will be fused.


There will be one on each side.  Turn the one set upside down and stack.



These are now ready for the kiln to be fused into flats then slumped over the bowl mold.  Viola!  Fused bowls that in the Roman style.


SCA Life

It is the simple things

This weekend was Simple Day.  It was a very enjoyable weekend.  And I re-learned, it is the simple things that matter.

  • The joy and ease of setting up camp with additional hands.  Quickest ever.
  • The joy of seeing a local group doing local things – begging a macaroon, giving out a baronial award, enjoying each other’s company.  That kind of thing.
  • The joy of good doughnuts.
  • The joy of watching parents and children enjoy the day together (mostly looking at you Adam).
  • The joy of a new(ish) person to the SCA meeting and geeking out with so many people.
  • The joy of managing to perfectly peel one egg.
  • The joy of walking into a room like you are Norm on Cheers!
  • The joy of hugs from close friends.  Especially Llew.  He gives good hugs
  • The sad joy of hugging friends who are hurting and hoping that it helped.
  • The joy of the blessings of the weather gods
  • The joy of chatting with friends about just whatever.
  • The joy of unexpected gifts from one’s SO.
  • The shame-faced abashed joy of forgetting that one has not ever introduced one’s SO to their Majesties and subsequent ribbing that resulted.
  • The joy of people using the photos you took at profile pics.
  • The joy of teaching eager students
  • The joy of learning that one’s efforts are worthwhile (apparently my vinegar makes good cheese)
  • The joy of good food, good friends, and good song.
  • The joy of meeting new people and remembering their names!
  • The joy of going home again after a good weekend.

Simple Day is probably not all that simple to run but it is the simple things that matter.


Froderick goes to Simple Day and then runs away