RAM Vikings – Embellished ordinary things

Embellished ordinary things

Embellished ordinary things

Today’s Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) exhibit items are all things that have ordinary uses, but are all decorated with different elements.

Like the Bone tools display, I found it difficult to categorize this display – and the only common element was that they seemed to be common items with decorative elements.

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RAM Vikings – Draw plate and metal working tools

Draw plate & metal working tools

Draw plate & metal working tools

Part of a competition piece I did a few years ago was on Viking Knit (Trichinopoly) where I learned a lot more about draw plates, and specifically 11th century draw plates. These are (in short) used to make wire a smaller diameter – as well as taking down the diameter of completed Viking Knit.

One of the items in the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) exhibits was about draw plates, along with other metal working / jewelry making tools.

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Natural dyeing – Lupine

Beautiful green handspun wool dyed with Lupine flowers

Beautiful green handspun wool dyed with Lupine flowers

It seems like greens are difficult to get with natural plant dyes, so when I read that green (even bright acid green!) could be obtained with Lupine flowers, I wanted to try it.

We have had lupine growing in our backyard for years – the flowers seem to be a favourite of bees, and they are a dramatic, beautiful, colourful flower. I read on The Easy Blues that lupine is originally a North American plant, though I remember being in Vantta, Finland and seeing vast fields full of them… they self-seed, and the seed pods POP sending the seeds all over the place, so apparently there they’re almost treated like a very pretty weed.

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