painted wooden boxes,  Projects - Largesse

medieval inspired painted boxes for largesse

2018-03 - Racaire - largesse - swap - medieval inspired painted wood boxes - SCAAs you can see, my husband and I had a lot of fun painting some small wooden boxes for our largesse stash. 🙂

Now you might ask – what is largesse? Well, largesse is a nice tradition within the SCA and it normally describes small tokens of appreciation. Largesse can come in a lot of different forms and shapes. Quite often it is hand made by the person who gives the largesse – or well, like in this certain case, it can be store bought and then hand painted. 🙂

Largesse is often given as a small ‘thank you’ for something which was done very well or if someone went above and beyond when it comes to service. I am really glad that we now have those small boxes to fill up our largesse stash again as I recently run out of largesse:

2018-03 - Racaire - largesse - swap - medieval inspired painted wood boxes - SCA

Well, can you guess who painted which boxes? Yes, my sweetheart painted the boxes on the right and I painted the ones on the left. The ones with the green Lazarus crosses are already going as small thank you gifts to good friends and the other ones will go to our largesse stash.

Here is a closer look at the boxes which my husband painted:

2018-03 - Racaire - largesse - swap - medieval inspired painted wood boxes - SCA - Conrad vom Schwarzwald

Ok, I admit it, I helped him a little tiny bit with the green crosses… 😉

…and here is a closer look at the wooden boxes I painted:

2018-03 - Racaire - largesse - swap - medieval inspired painted wood boxes - SCA

…and here is a picture of the boxes from a slightly different angle:

2018-03 - Racaire - largesse - swap - medieval inspired painted wood boxes - SCA

It’s quite funny – normally I come up with all kinds of projects. However, this fun project was actually my sweethearts idea. While we were browsing through one of the local crafting stores he suddenly found some small wooden boxes for a great price and asked me what I thought about them. Well, I replied, if he wanted to play with them, we can take them home and well, we did take them home… *lol*

…and we not only took the boxes home as my husband really longed to try something new: resin! It was quite a lucky coincidence that I also discovered a silicon form on sale with adorable little crowns, fleur-de-lis and even a laurel wreath. As soon as we got home my sweetheart stained the boxes and used the resin for the very first time. And as you can see on the pictures above, I already put the crowns and fleur-de-lis to good use. Yes, this was quite a fun project, but it was not only fun as we could try some new things and learn from them.

While I was admiring the lovely painted shields of a good friend and fellow artist here in Meridies, I received a great hint. He told me that he uses gesso to prime the wood of painted shields. Well, you might ask now, what do painted shields and small painted wooden boxes have in common? Well, actually more than one might think. My husbands shields are covered in duck canvas to prolong their life during their use in heavy fighting. If you ever tried to paint raw wood or duck canvas, you know how many layers it takes till the paint is actually opaque as wood and duck canvas tend to suck up paint like crazy. This unfortunately leaves behind a very unsatisfactory result on the surface.

2016-11 - Racaire - Conrad vom Schwarzwald - Meridian Crown Tournament - by David Fricker - Conrads new shield - SCA

Do you remember the shield I painted for my sweetheart? It took a tremendous amount of layers of paint to get the yellow to look as opaque as you can see it on the picture. And the spray primer which I used for this certain shield project did not really help – I think it just made it worse – which made me wonder if there is a better solution till I got the hint with the gesso as primer.

Therefore, while my husband was looking at small wooden boxes, I went through the painting department and searched for “gesso”. And then, there it was – just right next to the brush cleaners and all the other special liquids used for oil painting – White Acrylic Gesso! And the small wooden boxes, nicely stained by my husband to give them a nicer, darker color, were the perfect play ground to try the gesso primer for the very first time. I just applied 2 thin layers of gesso before we painted the boxes and I am very happy with the result. The gesso worked much better as a primer than I initially thought. Now we only need to finish our new shields so I can start painting them! I can’t wait to see how the gesso works on duck canvas! 😀

And my husband played with resin/epoxy for the first time. Yes, we learned that it takes only a little bit of acrylic paint to actually color the resin and that you really need to mix it up well or you can throw away quite a bit of your resin later because it just doesn’t get hard and stays sticky. However, it’s quite a lot of fun and if you find some nice silicon molds with  crowns or fleur-de-lis, the resin makes a really great embellishment which can be easily glued on and painted… 🙂

Btw. don’t forget to seal your painted projects afterwards! Sealing definitely helps to prolong the life and beauty of your painting projects. As soon as it gets warm enough I’ll take a spray sealer and will seal the painted surfaces of the boxes. It normally just takes one or two very thin layers and is finished in nearly no time but it’s really worth it!

…and last but not least – most of the patterns on the boxes I painted are inspired by medieval patterns used for book illuminations or medieval wall paintings. Just saying, though I think that you might have already recognized them yourself… 🙂 

So much to my husbands and I latest largesse fun project which was so easy to make and so much fun for us. I hope I could inspire some of you to start a small fun project or some largesse of your own now…

Btw. I have also some great news about my new nailbinded (and embroidered) hood project which I just finished, the new yellow raw silk fabric which we just block printed for the next 12th/13th century tunic for my husband, some viking wire weaving and wire wrapping projects, a new medieval inspired stamp and so much more to show you.
And I even have some nice progress pictures concerning Talina’s embroidered 14th century hood and some photos of how I made my husbands 12th/13th century side slit neckline…

Yes, I’ll try to post about it all as soon as possible. So many projects and so little time but I try to keep up with all my projects, therefore stay tuned my friends… 🙂

Best regards Racaire