I was a happy participant in the very first East Kingdom Artisanal Exchange, which was inspired by the Nobelesse Largesse project from Calontir.
The idea is that it’s sort of like a large scale, hand-made, medieval secret Santa project. Interested participants put their names in, write about their time period, persona, and things they like and in return are given the same information about another participant. Over a few months, a project is made, with a material cost of no more than $25.
I was pretty excited that I had been given the name of someone of whom I am very fond, in the Province just down the road. She’s Italian, her husband is a Crusader, and so they have time periods which aren’t the same. However I found glass designs that would span her persona period and his with relative ease, and would be a nice addition to feast gear.
Their designs are inspired by the Aldrevandini Beaker (and fragments of others like it). That object is currently in the British Museum. It was made in Venice in about 1330. It is quite beautiful, and has three heraldic objects on it.
My versions each held the same floral leaf design, and the gold and red paint, but stylized English letters to say the names of each of the owners of the glasses, and each featured a single shield with their heraldry upon it.
My versions are below.
I used glass enamel paints for this project, painting them with a set of small brushes, and then allowing the pieces to air dry before baking them in an oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.The original glass is enamelled both inside and out, but I just enamelled on the exterior. These are also food-safe, and according to the paint manufacturer, able to be washed in a dishwasher on the top level. Handy!
There are two kinds of paint enamels. One is plastic-feeling, and gives the translucence that true glass has. It goops about more, and when dry probably looks more like glass. It’s not as hearty though, and needs to air dry, and then have an additional coat of acrylic clear enamel put on over it all. It looks pretty awesome, but it’s not durable.
The paint which is baked on has a quite thick consistency and it’s opaque. I wish I could have both the transparent quality and the glassine look of the first with the baking durability of the second. The original beakers seem to have elements of both – the white is opaque and solid and the transparent glass is enamelled (I believe) on the inside of the glass.
However, these turned out looking at least somewhat like their inspiration pieces, and I really hope that they are used often and well, with health and prosperity by Beatrice and Michael!