CoBloWriMo – August 18 – Favourite Tool

CoBloWriMo - Costume Blog Writing Month

CoBloWriMo – Costume Blog Writing Month

I’ve skipped a few CoBloWriMo prompts because a) I’ve been running tight on time and b) I wasn’t feeling very inspired.

I realize that only a few days notice to start a new month-long project was just too short notice, and it’s making me more unhappy than happy… to basically only post about things I’ve done in the past, while I have so many projects I actually want to work on.

That being said… I DID feel inspired to talk today about the prompt…

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Turku Medieval Market demonstrations and vendors

A demonstrator showing spinning wool with a drop-spindle.

A demonstrator showing spinning wool with a drop-spindle.

This is the last post I’ll share about the Turku Medieval Market, (Keskiaikaiset markkinat) which is apparently the largest medieval market in Finland. Thus, it’s a bit of a photo-dump, with a number of photos about both demonstrations and other vendors I haven’t shared yet.

Music demonstration

Musical performers at the Turku Medieval Market

Musical performers at the Turku Medieval Market

There were a few different musical demonstrations that took place in the “stone sauna” area however I only caught one.

I have some video to share of this performance – please visit my Facebook page to see it!

Additional vendors

There are a few vendors I didn’t shop at and couldn’t really fit into the other posts I’ve made in the past. I wanted to share them here to show off some of the goods – but also to show off how they displayed their wares.

There were a number of different vendors selling wooden items to start with. I was really tempted to add some new wooden platters and bowls to my Viking Age -inspired feast kit – but I didn’t want to spend suitcase space on them with so many other things to shop for… I am hoping to still be able to find good pieces to add to my kit locally.

Additionally, there were a few vendors selling clothing and soft accessories. I’d like to pay special attention to the booths themselves. There were several of what seemed to be pre-made booths for some of the smaller vendors at the market.

One of the vendors at the Turku Medieval Market - Kaspaikkakerho (?)

One of the vendors at the Turku Medieval Market – Kaspaikkakerho (?)

In once case, there were little tables that had little roofs – they looked a bit like old-fashioned village wells. This really gave a medieval feel to the display rather than just having an ordinary table with a tablecloth on it.

The unifying look also was beneficial to the overall atmosphere.

These little “wells” were all in the garden/park area of the market, tucked along paths between trees and bushes. I suspect that the well roofs didn’t really offer the vendor much in the way of shade, so the shady area was likely appreciated.

One of the vendors at the Turku Medieval Market - Muinaisemum (?)

One of the vendors at the Turku Medieval Market – Muinaisemum (?)

In contrast, the public market square part of the market, as well as along the river had larger booths with a larger table out front (with the same tablecloth as the well-style tables) and a backdrop and slanted partial roof of red and blue fabric. The market square has very little shade, so these booths must have offered much more shade for the vendors.

Demonstrations

There seemed to be two types of demonstrations – vendors and volunteers.

Vendor demonstrations

A demonstrator showing spinning wool with a drop-spindle.

A demonstrator showing spinning wool with a drop-spindle.

I really liked the demonstrations being done by the vendors – showing off some of how they made the goods they had for sale. This vendor for instance (left) was selling sheepskins, wool insoles, drop spindles, and then a number of other wool-related items… and she stood demonstrating the drop spindle.

Her set up with lots of different levels and textures is nice too – and the Viking A-frame tent with the flap up gave nice shade.

A woman doing tablet weaving, while her male companion is doing some wood working at the Turku Medieval Market

A woman doing tablet weaving, while her male companion is doing some wood working at the Turku Medieval Market

The next photo is from near the booth where I bought the diamond weave twill – though I don’t actually remember what they were selling. She sat doing tablet weaving while he was doing some woodworking. It made for a charming tableau.

Volunteer demonstrations

In addition to the vendors doing demonstrations, there were also volunteers. I felt based on their attire that they had been rented from a costume company, since they were a bit “generic medieval” and there were several that were the same as one another apart from the colour (as well as some who were wearing almost a uniform…)

There were some sheep on display, some volunteers showing how to play games, some volunteers running a sort of carousel for children, and lots doing sort of a LARP / role-play in various areas. Unfortunately since they were all speaking in Finnish, I couldn’t figure out really what they were doing.

Check out the A-frame tent above – it’s huge! The people inside were demonstrating something on the floor, but I didn’t check it out.. I was too overwhelmed with how enormous the tent is! I have some video to share from different areas of the market – please visit my Facebook page to see it!

SCA at the Turku Medieval Market

Weaving being done by a member of the Finnish SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

Weaving being done by a member of the Finnish SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

In advance of my trip to Finland, I tried to connect with some of the SCA groups in the country to see if there were any events happening. Unfortunately, like the group here – the regular, casual get togethers are put on hold during the summer, so the only event that worked with the time frame that I would be in the country was the Turku Medieval Market, (Keskiaikaiset markkinat) – or perhaps it was fortunate, since I was already planning to attend!

The SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

The SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

I was really grateful to the different people I spoke to via email before my trip – all were very welcoming and encouraging for me to come out to their activities. They represented the Barony of Aarnimetsä, as well as smaller groups within the barony – aka the mundane country of Finland. In advance they invited me to join their Facebook group – and it’s interesting to see the similarities and differences between what they post on their group and what we post on ours.

Once I got to the market, I walked around and shopped first, and then once my companion was ready to relax and sit down to rest, I went off to find the Society for Creative Anachronism group! I took a few photos before introducing myself and visiting for a little. They also let me know of their big event of the summer – and invited me to try to attend the next time I am in Finland for the summer!

A woman demonstrating the drop spindle. She was one of the demonstrators at the Turku Medieval Market from the SCA group.

A woman demonstrating the drop spindle. She was one of the demonstrators at the Turku Medieval Market from the SCA group.

Largesse

To thank the Chatelaine and others who had been so nice to me even before I arrived, I brought a small pouch of largesse to gift to the group. (And of course to spread the wordfame of the Kingdom of Avacal – which I think is still the newest Kingdom in the SCA.)

Of course, I needed things that would be small, lightweight, and not likely to melt/spill/etc. Sometimes largesse takes a less period theme and goes for more practical items (I like giving little mini emergency travel sewing kits for instance for camp event garb disasters) but I also wanted to look for things that would be more period in tone, and also was aware that I needed to consider customs – so I wanted to avoid any foodstuffs, fur, seeds, etc…

I took one of the little parti-coloured pouches I made and put in some of my handspun wool yarn… along with needle books, block-printed napkins, a necklace, earrings, and a paternoster along with another little leather pouch. The other items were all made by artisans here in Avacal, and were all tagged with the artisan’s names and barony/shire or kingdom. (Or both) It made me think that I’d love to hear from people in other kingdoms who might receive my largesse, so if I make any more, I want to try to put my URL or email address on the tags too!

CoBloWriMo – August 11 – Favourite Fabric

Assorted tables of fabric at the Helsinki EuroKangas

Assorted tables of fabric at the Helsinki EuroKangas

A few days ago I was chatting with a friend online about fabrics… I mentioned some wool gauze I picked up in Iceland a few years ago, and how I just wanted to pet it. There’s also been times when I’ve bought meters and meters of silk, and just piled it around my on the couch like a little fort of luxury.

I don’t feel the same way about cotton.. or linen… and certainly not polyester. (Don’t even get me started about rayon…)
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CoBloWriMo – August 10 – Visual Source

CoBloWriMo - Costume Blog Writing Month

CoBloWriMo – Costume Blog Writing Month

The prompt for today’s CoBloWriMo is “Visual Source” – and once I read that, I immediately thought of Pinterest!

Now… a lot of historical costumers look down their nose at Pinterest – but it’s not the beginning and end.. for me it’s just a jumping off place. Plus, there are so many awesome bloggers who have their images on Pinterest – with links to all of their great resources and thoughts – not to mention photos of their progress!
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