Before I post more about how to deal with the stress points of 12th century necklines, I would like to show you a “small” side-project for my husband at which I was working during the last days:
A painted shield for my husband!
The very first shield I ever painted! 😀
Well, my sweetheart might not excel in what we call the “Arts and Sciences” in the SCA but he has one great passion – Armored Combat aka “Heavy Fighting”. And that is perfectly fine for us as I am in charge of the “Arts and Science” and he for the armor and the fighting… *giggle*
But this doesn’t mean that we both are restricted to our main passions. I recently took up “Heavy Fighting” again and am working on my own fighting kit while he makes sure that every part of my armor will keep me safe with a special focus on keeping my hands unharmed. Furthermore we also started training together and hopefully I can soon get authorized and take part at some tourneys myself. 🙂
And I am very proud of him as he even tried to do some calligraphy himself which led to the mutual agreement that it might be better if he stayed away from this art form. *lol* Well, calligraphy is already quite demanding and being left handed just adds to the difficulty level as I don’t have any experience in teaching left handed calligraphy. However, experiencing how difficult it can be to write a text in a proper hand, he views calligraphy now a little bit different and with much more respect.
But let’s get back to todays topic again. Shields for “Heavy Fighting” have just a limited life span. And after all the recent tournaments and fighter practices he needed a new shield as the edge of his old one couldn’t take any more strikes. Therefore he created and cut out the basis for his new shield and covered it with black duck canvas(?). Well, this could have been the end of the story if he hadn’t married me… *lol*
After seeing so many lovely examples of painted shields in the past, I kinda made it clear that I really wanted to paint his shield. And though he was quite skeptic about my idea and we didn’t have much time left till the next event, he bought me some paint and let me work on his shield.
I am quite sure that he initially thought that this might be just another one of my crazy ideas. But the longer I worked on his shield the more his facial expression revealed that he loved what he saw. And though I couldn’t finish the whole design which I had in mind, I was able to add the most important design parts in just 3 days:
The center of my husbands shield shows his registered coat of arms (registered within the SCA). The top section of his painted shield shows the “populace badge” for the Kingdom of Meridies and the sign in the bottom section stands for the Order of the Sable Sword. (The Sable Sword is a fighting award in the Kingdom of Meridies – you maybe remember my posting about the scroll I made for him for this occasion)
And last but not least some details about how I painted this shield:
After agreeing on the design for his shield, we got some acrylic paint at a local crafting store (Michaels):
- “Cadmium Yellow” – Americana, Acrylic Paint
- “Snow (Titanium) White” – Americana, Acrylic Paint
This acrylic paints are “premium quality, all-purpose, water-based acrylic for arts, crafts, and home decor.” Though the label promised “superior coverage”, I still had to apply about 3 layers of paint to get the paint opaque due to the black fabric underneath. However, I hope that the paint is as lightfast as the label promises. Well, soon we will get to see if that’s true… 😉
In order to pre-draw the pattern on the canvas surface of the shield I used the same tools and techniques as I would use for a rather big embroidery project. Simple tailor chalk worked really great on the canvas surface and with the help of some long rulers I was able to pre-draw the whole design very fast.
After applying the last layer of acrylic paint I decided to seal the painted surface with some “Premium Spray Enamel”. This spray is actually meant for the use on wood or metal surfaces and though it might not work properly on the fabric parts, there is still a good chance that it might add at least some extra protection to the painted sections of the shield.
As I am writing this posting my husband is attending the “Black Axe” event in Alabama with a dear friend of us and hopefully putting his new painted shield to good use. Unfortunately I had to stay at home due to some issues with my digestive system but I am already looking forward to accompany him at the next event. And as soon as he gets back from the event, we will see if it makes sense to add more paint on the shield or not…