Spice Mills

Just finished a new batch of spice mills based on the Mary Rose example. These break down into 3 parts: a base pot, the central collar with the grating plate, and the top part providing the pressure. Most of the ones below are made from ash, with the exception of the smaller beech one on the right, and most are also spoken for! Hopefully there will be time to make a few more before TORM in March, otherwise they can be made to order 🙂

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Religious pendants

The Madonna and Child, and the St John the Baptist are now available on chains via my shop on Etsy!

Latest embroidered bag…



Another version of the IHS bag recovered from the Mary Rose (1545).

Last embroidered bag for the time being… my eyes need a rest!

Another posh bag!

This one made for a friend – more commissions welcome!

In this one I’ve been able to solve the last few construction issues that arose in the first pouches – practice makes perfect! (or nearly…)

Tudor boxwood seal

This is a copy of a seal found on the Mary Rose which bears the initials GI within the design.

Part of a batch of items commissioned for filming/handling at the Mary Rose.

Embroidered Tudor Pouch – some revisions lower down…

This bag has been a long time in the making! I did the first mockups for it over 10 years ago when I first realised how beautiful it would have been. For one reason or another it then lay dormant until last month when it was recognised it would be needed for AV filming for the new Mary Rose museum.

The bag itself is a multi compartmental leather pouch with inner pouchlets. In my version it is also lined with silk, and the pouchlets are made from the same material, and closed with silk drawstrings finished with bone beads. The belt loops on the back of the pouch did not survive, but similar examples survive from the ship which still had their loops, so I used those for reference. The three panels are embroidered with silver thread – for cost reasons I had to use DMC divisible silver thread, but maybe one day I’ll make a panel in real silver… 😉

There are things I’m not happy with (the border is scruffy where I tried to thicken it afterwards, the loops are a different leather because I ran out of the other, the leather itself is too shiny and wouldn’t take the hide food). I guess they are small things to some people, but very irritating for me… ‘Must do better next time’

I was going to upload just the pictures of the bag, but I think it might be useful for people to see how I work and why some jobs are so darn expensive…

The pictures below show the bag following some revisions that came to light after studying some other bags and pouches in the collection…






Tudor Archer's Jerkin

Just finished making a Tudor archer’s jerkin for the Mary Rose in Portsmouth. This is considerably larger than the original, but follows the pattern closely, including the slashing and pinking (with some allowance for the extra surface area!). It is made from calf skin (around 1.2mm) with goat skin gussets under the arms. The shoulder/neck and one side are laced. I still need to make one lace for the neck – it’s currently held by a bootlace! The jerkin is flesh side out, which is very unusual, and made treating the leather a challenge. It needs to look worn in quite quickly as it’s to be used for AV filming for the museum. So far I’ve used various different hide foods and oils to give the surface some age and colour, but I think someone will just have to wear it for a couple of weeks to break it in more. The pinking helps to make it a lot more flexible.

Purser's money bag

Made as part of a batch of objects for handling and filming… The only parts of the original bag to survive were the wooden core, some of the woven leather from the handle, and the five closing flaps for the bags. The rest is based on contemporary pictorial evidence. The softer leather is kip, the flaps and back panels are calf, the closure beads are boxwood, and the beads on the inside (which you can’t see!) are bone. The beads were all turned especially for the bag, although I do also keep some in stock.

I’m hoping to have one or two of these on the stall at TORM in November, time permitting!

Tudor hawking mittens

These form part of an ongoing commission of odd pieces for the Mary Rose in Portsmouth. The original mittens were found (without the hair as it had rotted away long ago) in a closed officer’s chest. As they were both left handed, there was some confusion for a while as to their purpose and why the right hand mittens were missing. The clarification as hawking mittens (backed up by a hawk bell and pictorial evidence) only came to light after the volume ‘Before the Mast’ was printed.

It may be that their are other items of hawking equipment still to be identified, in particular the creance, jessies and hood. Watch this space!

They are  very comfortable (and warm), although the smaller, wrapped design, one is a little tight. The two part  mitten would make a lovely winter piece for those of you who insist on re-enacting all year round!

Incidentally, the gloves show several incidences of repair which is why there are inserts near the cuff. These don’t form any useful part of the design, but were essential in this case to produce them as authentic reproductions.

The mittens appear to be an inner and an outer which, when combined, form a formidable piece of armour. They fit perfectly inside one another, and you can easily understand the extra protection the thicker outer leather would give from hawks talons!

Isn’t experimental archaeology wonderful!

Bank Holiday Jobs…

… Some new combs made over the Bank Holiday weekend…

Not yet priced and in a variety of styles and periods.
Top left is a large version of the Roman comb from Alcester (but in boxwood not bone), below is a 2-part Tudor comb (source Mary Rose, but made made in acacia rather than boxwood), bottom right is an S-profile section comb (source Mary Rose, but made from beech rather than boxwood). Other combs are made variously from yew, cherry and boxwood. I’d normally work solely in boxwood, but people seem to like the variety!