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The last couple of months have been more than a little sparse regarding posts here, I had hoped to get more than 3 up before getting distracted but ho hum such is life.

It has been quite a busy time for my bone working stuff – as well as shows to go to (and my own Skyrim homage “I used to be a re-enactor like you, then I took an arrow to the face”) and things to make, my bone working guide/book has been eating into virtually all my spare time. However it is all good, as the initial part of it is now almost entirely finished. All that remains is to sort out the formatting and add some missing references and then that little project is complete! After only 7 years or something.

The guide is just the start though, as it is nothing more than an offshoot of a book I am writing about Early Medieval bone working. While the core contents is roughly similar, the book is much more expansive in scope and discussion. I have no idea how long it will take to complete, but I already have at least one publisher interested in it and possibly more.

Making stuff

Somehow, in between all this writing I have found the time to make a few odds and ends.

On the right is the Mk2 horn heddle (the Mk3 was made for a fellow re-enactor and while much nicer, I have no photo ^^). While the evidence for rigid heddles is small in this period (mostly inferred from extant braids), there are examples from before and after (late Roman from South Shields and a 13th/14th C example from Bergen).

The little disc of the left however is rather a bone of contention. It is what is known as a Trelleborg wheel and was supposedly used for making round braid. Except it wasn’t. It is a modern interpretation by re-enactors to “authenticate” the Japanese braiding technique of Kumihimo. Most Early Med societies allow them as they are a possible way of making braids that have been discovered, but no such discs themselves are known from Western Europe before the 17th C.

I have also been experimenting with combs, whistles and various softening methods for bone and such.

One other item I managed to finally get made was a shave horse. The earliest evidence of these is 1485 but they were certainly in widespread use before then. The problem with finding examples is that if it breaks the pieces become something else – firewood. However, I challenge anyone to successfully use a draw knife on long strips of antler (which microscopic trace analysis shows they did in the Early Med) without something similar to a shave horse.

Hopefully it won’t be so long until my next post and I may even have my guide ready for download.