31 August, 2011

Screwed! ... sort of.

Remember yesterday's post, about those scroll frames at A.C. Moore that could pass for period?

Well ... maybe not.

It looks like my initial thoughts about them not having screws were wrong. They do in fact have screws. And wing nuts. Those are definitely not 18thc. I still bought it, because what the heck, right? I am not going down without a fight!

I may be able to get them to work without the screws. I'm going to test a thought I had while thinking about them grocery shopping (usually, all of my best thinking is done in the shower). I think, if I can tie the dowels together in a tight X shape, they could work.

Is that 18thc.? I don't know. Before I do that, my next move is to try and find 18thc. drawings/engravings/paintings of people with a slate frame and see how the dowels were held together; my research yesterday said that one of the books on my library list, 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh, has engravings of women working at slate frames. I also may find that if I can hold them together with something else--not necessarily a screw, or a tie, but maybe another dowel?--that could pass for period. I can't just try and hide the screws, as I'm going to need to get to the back of the embroidery, and lifting it up would expose the wing nuts.

This is an unexpected but welcome challenge. I may not know a lot about slate frames and embroidery now, but I'll know a little more when I'm finished. And that is really, really cool, and a big bonus to being a serious reenactor. I believe that learning never stops, it should never stop, and why not learn at least a little bit about something new?

Ready? Set? Go!


  1. The Connecticut Historical Society has an example in their collections that might be helpful for your research. It's the Pitkin Family Coat of Arms. Object Number: 1935.10.1


    (It's also featured in the book that coincided with their recent needlework exhibit.)

  2. Oh, that IS helpful! Thank you!

    I've got a bunch of research done already to report on, including proof of screws, and reasoning/an option with proof of using no frame at all.

    Thanks again!

    (P.S. Will I be seeing you at the historic crafts day in a couple weeks?)

  3. You're welcome. Yes I'll be at the event you're prepping for!

  4. Oh no. :( But maybe dowel-pegs will hold it together!

  5. Excellent! Can't wait to see you again, we should make plans for the traveling exhibit in Newport that day, too!

  6. Maybe the dowel pegs will work--and I've seen them used (see the Pitkin Family Coat of Arms, for example). However I've also seen a lot of proof of *no* frames ... but, you'll just have to wait and see what I'm going to do later on! :)