Image of three items from an early period Anglo-Saxon chatelaine: a corn ring, a spoon, and a food pricker, made of twisted iron bar stock by Otoshi at High Plains Ironworks.

Chatelaine – with cords (the kit, cont.)

Image of an assembled chatelaine on a white knitted fabric background: a master ring, with black cords tied to it, and at the other end of the cords, three items made of twisted iron bar stock: a corn ring, a spoon, and a food pricker.

Well, I finished up the cords for my chatelaine kit, which Otoshi over at High Plains Ironworks made for me. I used a lucet to make these cords out of doubled cotton thread, and they’re attached to the master ring with halyard shackle knots. I haven’t found an appropriate piece of grain/seed head/whatnot to put into the cord ring yet, but it’s early in the season and most of the agricultural flora around here is only just beginning to grow. So I am sure I will be able to find something further on into summer.

My ultimate intention is to make a Anglo-Saxon/Viking-style leather bag to hang from my belt to hold the food tools, but to leave the corn ring hanging free. This is why the cord for the corn ring is so much shorter (plus, I need to be able to use the tools while seated at table without detaching them from my belt).

Making these cords was, as Adam Savage is wont to say, “contemplative” (and by this he means “tedious”), so I think it’s high time I got back into tracing some period heraldic art.

Photograph of a book.  There is a picture of three early period Anglo-Saxon brooches: a convex disk brooch with a raised boss in the middle, a flat brooch with a interlaced design engraved into its surface, and a convex disk brooch with four simple circle designs stamped equally around its edge.  The title of the book is "The Manufacturing Techniques of Early Anglo-Saxon Disc, Quoit & Annular Brooches", by Dennis Riley.

By the by, I had mentioned (in the footnotes of my last article) an intriguing reference to a “bulla” in one of the wills I’d read. I exchanged notes via with Dr. Penelope Walton Rogers (author of Cloth, clothing and Anglo-Saxon women), and she made a very good point: that this might not necessarily be a reference to a Roman-style bulla, but rather a name given to a brooch because of its bulla-like shape. This is entirely plausible, because the Anglo-Saxons liked to make convex disk brooches, see, for example, the cover of The Manufacturing Techniques of Early Anglo-Saxon Disc, Quoit & Annular Brooches by Dennis Riley, at right, which the author, who is Daegrad Tools, was kind enough to send me for free when it turned out I’d paid too much for shipping.