Heraldry Update!

As most of you are aware, as the Turnip of Terror, the turnip has been a central facet of my arms, heraldry, and iconography for this project and for my living history pursuits. I am a self-taught graphic artist doing what I can with access to tools I have no training or true understanding of. Now and then I try to make cosmetic improvements. However, outside of looks, there are also times when further study of the period brings to light possible errors in our kit we have to fix. In this instance, it is my “digital soft kit” which is getting both an aesthetic and an authenticity upgrade.

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Medieval Cooking With Children – Barley Water

My daughter and I adventure through making and trying a period medieval recipe for Barley Water. We caught it all on tape, plus our genuine reaction to the first taste of the final product. We used the recipe from Kiriel’s Kitchen, translated and interpreted from the 14th century book Le Ménagier de Paris, a home care and cooking guide for the medieval house wife. Barley water, or A Sweet Tisane as it is called in the book, is a restorative beverage designed to help convalesce the infirm.

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A Research Exercise: Behind the Name

Creating a living history impression requires generating some sense of place and purpose in the historical context the impression originates from. In my efforts to create an appropriate and authentic impression I have developed a characterization of the impression I portray, short of an SCA level persona. Part of this journey was developing the unique armorial and nom de plume I write these articles under, The Turnip of Terror. Among my colleagues, at events, or in the lists I go by my actual name. As my preference is third-person portrayal when doing living history presentations I have not developed a name for my impression outside of the ToT moniker and for many years now it had not occurred to me this may be an issue. And, since I do lean toward third-person presentation, it still may not be an issue.

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Introducing The Merchant Roll

The Merchant Roll

First and foremost, this is a developing project.

One of my primary goals with Turnip of Terror is to promote my journey, it’s vain, but it’s a fun outlet for a hobby I only get to “show off” with a few times a year. Also, the oversight, scrutiny, and input from the community keeps my impression accurate, honest, and sharp. All good things. But I would also like to make this site a useful utility for others. That’s why I post scans of my drawings, personal resources, and my methodology: in the hopes that someone else will be able to walk the reenacting road a little faster because they’re taking a moderately-worn track instead of trailblazing. Continue reading “Introducing The Merchant Roll”

Padding Over Mail

I’m a big fan of the “why” behind things. The historical record indicates that quite a bit of quilted/padded clothing was worn over mail. That seems weird to me; putting the padding on over the armor defeats the purpose, right? The gambeson or aketon is, as I understand it, the “foundation” supporting garment, but putting the cut vulnerable cushion over the cut resistant metal sounds like a great way to waste a lot of fustian to little benefit. What can’t be denied is that it did happen; both in visual and written sources; especially in the 12th and 13th centuries when mail was the predominant defense (before plate started to take over.)

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Why 1396?

I have mentioned once or twice that the date range I’ve narrowed my impression down to is 1396 – 1420 (or, 1410 +/- 10 years). I have also mentioned that the 1420 date is mostly a convenient, group compliant, estimate and that the impression is probably more accurately in the 14 -teens. Why, then, if my end date is so vague, am I so specific about 1396? Because that’s the year the Turnip of Terror was the High Sheriff of Cheshire.

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Reference Effigies

Everyone has to start somewhere, and as I mentioned in General Research, the website Effigies and Brasses is an amazing resource. It has been invaluable tool in developing a better idea of what I really wanted out of the look of my armor, in the context of the time-period and region I want to portray. Continue reading “Reference Effigies”

Perception vs. Reality

I love this resource. It’s an analysis of hundreds of effigies all laid out in an easy to read bar graph with bonus explanations as to what the bars on the graphs mean! Mr. Strong, aka “Talbot” really went above and beyond with this. I can’t imagine what it was like to do living history a generation ago before all this easy to access statistical data. I don’t even want to imagine. There are plenty in the community who lived through it, and I tip my hat to them. It’s like going through school without Google, or working at night without electricity*, or existing before the wheel: people did it; I’m just glad I don’t have to. While I’m focusing specifically on an English portrayal, the root site does provide data on other cultures as well as all recorded effigies combined. Pretty slick. Again, all the kudos to Talbot.

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