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I tired myself out yesterday by failing to take a nap in favour of working on my green linen jacket. 


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( 141 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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nq3x
Jun. 4th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
Kass_rants turned me on to this, and I couldn't be happier. You make so many valid points in one essay, my brain flitted from one to the other like the most distracted of butterflies. (I especially applaud your quite original paraphrase of Santayana; indeed pithy).

Speaking directly to the purposeful casting aside of one's modern filters, it is one of the most difficult skills to master. Historical things sensed with the five senses is actually simpler to accomplish than moral and/or ethical judgment, in my opinion; sufficient exposure to historical things actively pursued will break down the 'filters' without conscious effort.

I have in mind the time in my life when, musically, I was heavily involved in studying the development of vocal polyphony in C15 (Josquin des Prez, amongst others) and the development of organum several centuries earlier. Musical consonance and dissonance were completely different things then; our modern consonant 1-3-5 chords were dissonant, while triads were consonant (theoretically due to the Trinity - long, weird story). After months of listening to essentially nothing but medieval music, my ear began to mold itself to that idea of consonance and dissonance, such that a CD recorded by a 20th-century music ensemble with which I performed sounded completely different, several years later, from the sounds I remember. Scales and harmonics sounded dissonant then; now they are consonant, because my ear has developed once more the modern concept of consonance.

Where was I going with this? Oh, yes; back to clothes. =) Natural dyes are a wonderful thing. I have in my collection a lovely 1770s suit of clothes, made with Kass's pattern (which is, contrary to some people's idiotic belief, based on extant examples - thanks for the extra kills), of silk lined with linen. The fabrics were hand-dyed with safflower. (There is an article here that details the process.) The photos in the article don't do the suit justice. Long story short, the silk turned international safety orange, which has in the meantime faded to a rather pleasant cooked-salmon color, and the linen turned a pink the same shade as Bazooka gum or Barbie's Dream House. I mean, like, wow!

Anyway, keep on keepin' on. And keep on paraphrasing famous philosophers with mixed obscenities - God knows the original thoughts were probably so formed, over bottles of absinthe in the back rooms of small cafes. =)

Kass's Bob
attack_laurel
Jun. 4th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
Holy cow, that is frikkin cool. :)

I agree, one of the hardest things in historical reconstruction is letting go of modern views. The next hardest, clearly, is letting go of the idea that they only did thing one way, ever. *evil grin*
clothier16c
Jun. 8th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
Colors and "this the THE way it was done"
You just hit one of my "hot buttons". When someone says "that is not authentic/period/proper/pick an adjective" I look at them and say "Prove it!" if we, sitting with our cloth,needles, thread, and cutting implement can figure out how to do something within the boundaries (insofar as we know them)then it's been thought of and attempted before. The information we have on clothing is so limited that Absolute Pronouncements ex cathedra should be banned. Of course I was brought up to think that the way to figure out how to do something was first to figure out why it cannot be done. So, if someone says to me that it was "never" done/worn they'd better be able to prove it.

A thought on colors. In the SCA time periods people who dyed cloth lived with botany. The old dyers went outside and looked at color combinations they saw in plants, rocks, etc. They constantly experimented with new dyestuffs. And did a lot of "what if?" work. They, unlike their modern counterparts did not sit in front of computer screens in windowless rooms in concrete asphalt environments and say " well, what color shall we make everyone want to wear next year?"

Comment - my first Elizabethan was peacock blue - I think the 16th c. name was popinjay but can't be sure without more coffee.

Final comment - Please, keep writing. It's refreshing and fun to read.
mstewart
Jun. 4th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Dang... I see another project in my future.
hsifeng
Jun. 4th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
*adds candle to her ‘personal hero’ altar*

Thank you, it’s nice to know that one is not alone in a wilderness of badly re-made prom dresses and pointy princess hats.
dreadbaron
Jun. 4th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
I hear you! Preach on! I admit that I have NO eye when it comes to accurate clothing, which is why my kit is always not quite right.

It is similar to all the morons who want all wood projects to look dark and stained (and highly glossy). Because we should be making authentic stuff that looks exactly like what they dug up on the Mary Rose!

There's actually a guy who made a repro of a wood plane from the MR, down to the last detail, which includes where most of the handle had been lost to the wreck and the sea.

Freakin' idjit.
pononrka235
Feb. 16th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
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