Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Viking Crafts

This past weekend was Regia Anglorum national training weekend for the re enactment group we belong too.  It is a time for the members to get together to share knowledge and practice battle techniques.  My husband usually spends the day fighting, while the kids and I wonder about looking for things to do.  This time however there were several new Viking era crafts to try so Princess and I decided to give them a try.

First we tried our hand at making viking glass beads.  We did use modern equipment for this

Princess did great and wasn't at all afraid of the flame

Here she is molding a glass bead using a graphite paddle (forgot what it is really called)

In between waiting to have her turn she read her book and Little Man played his DS.  He didn't want to try and I was a bit nervous having him around flames as he tends to be a tad impulsive 

I had a go and really enjoyed it.

Here are our finished beads (the two green beads and the 2 blue and white beads.)  not bad for our first time

Next I took a workshop to learn a little about Pewter Casting...Princess deserted me at this time as she found some kids to play with:)

During our period most mold would have been made of wax and then encased in clay.  Once the pewter was pours into the mold the wax would melt and the clay would need to be broken in order to reach the pewter casting.  Which means only one casting could be done at any time.

This mold is using cuttle fish bone; a shape would be carved into the bone and then hot pewter would be added..  Several pewter castings could be done before the mold would no longer hold shape.  

Another method was to use soap stone which would be carved into a shape.  Pewter casting on this method could be reused many times.

Lastly and the modern way of  of pewter casting is using silicone  molds

Here is my casting efforts, I just need to clean it up a bit!
Next Princess and I signed up for Repousse which is metal work.    Which basically consists of using hammers and different shape medal pins to score into copper or other metal to make designs.  This was used on helmets, shields and other metal items to add decoration

After you hammer in a design the metal becomes inflexible and no longer takes the shape of the tools so the metal needs to be resoftened.  We do this by adding it to the fire for a few minutes.

and cool it down in water

then you can continue to hammer in your shape.  I did RA for the name of our group Regia Anglorum 

We also worked on our archery skills using the long bow.  Princess was getting pretty good hitting the target and even a couple of bull eyes:)

Hubby had a turn

and so did I

Little Man pretty much stayed in the hall playing his electronic games during this trip.  He is the only one of the family who finds this whole re enactment thing a bit overwhelming to his senses:).


  1. Looks like another wonderful, hands on history day! I must say I have "history envy", since history is the one subject I feel totally lost on when teaching my kids. I need to step it up a bit! :) I was so surprised you didn't use gloves/some kind of protective hand gear of any kind around that flame! Looks like fun though!

    My oldest daughter would have especially LOVED the archery opportunities!
    Clicked a vote for you ! :)

    1. Thanks Tracy, I am sure you do fine with History. Being here makes learning history so much fun and easier too:)

  2. Wow, love the details here with the Viking craft....thanks for sharing this.
    I can't believe you guys are part of a reenactment group! That is just so very cool! When we were in Gettysburg a couple of summers ago, we found a group that we could have joined....and we DO camp...but it was far TOO rustic and primitive for my taste, b.c you have to literally sleep out after a day of explaining to tourists the crafts, weaponry, and marching like they did back then....also, women of course only get to hang around the site and cook, etc b/c that;s what they did back then. So I'm stuck doing boring stuff AND I have no running water or air conditioning. Sheesh. I encouraged my hubby and sons to join in and I hope they do at some point, but the time commitment is big and we are hours and hours away from where they'd be meeting the group to do reenactments.( I'd stay at a 'real" campground with my own comfy linens and bathroom in walking distance and let them sleep out on the rocky battlefield LOL)
    I wish we could join up with a medieval group though!

    1. LOL, I have to confess we sleep in hotels and not in the tents or long halls. I need my comfort and my space after a day of talking to the public. Thankfully this groups allows women to do men activities although you have to dress like a man to do it especially when in public, since this was just for our group I was able to do archery with my husband. We actually bought a long bow to bring home with us and already found a place where we can practice near our house:)

  3. Very neat! We'll be studying Vikings in a week or so. Wish we could do some of those crafts!

  4. You know you're a homeschool family when you blog about practicing battle techniques! The photos of Princess in her Viking clothes and sunglasses/goggles just crack me up! Little Man sounds more like my kids, they would have all been on their DS's the whole time too, except maybe Secunda... I sure wish I could try archery! You look like a force to be reckoned with in your Viking clothes with a bow in hand!

    1. I am still not so great on my aim for the bow and arrow but my husband and daughter are getting really good.

  5. Oh man, forget my kids I'd love to do that.