Thursday 26 November 2009

Briefly home!

We are home again - but briefly!

T.O.R.M. was great fun, as always. Here's John in 18th century costume just putting cloth out on the atall - we haven't opened yet! (He looks neater when his waitcoat is on!!!)

We set up early on the Friday morning and the market opens at midday, from then on you barely get a minute to think, but it's always really good to see friends and customers old and new. The social side is just as important as the trade really!

Forest Glass were just behind us with all their beautiful historical handblown glass. I love it - most of my glassware now comes from them!

Trinity Court Potteries were no where near us - but we share a cottage with Jim and Emma, so I had to show you their beautiful pottery too!

My final picture is History in the Making - Simon handmakes all the furniture that you can see here When we are all camping in the summer they bring their four poster bed which Simon made with the hangings hand stitched by Lesley - really stylish!

Our next trip is to Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre - off tomorrow!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

T.O.R.M. and preparing stock

Keeping up to date with this blog is quite hard when working away so much, but I guess it's time for an update!

The heading is T.O.R.M which stands for The Original Reenactors Market. There are two markets a year one in March and the other in November which I wouldn't miss (unless something catastrophic happened of course, she says touching wood rapidly!) They are held at The Sports Connexion, Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry. It's a huge sports complex, (I believe it's where Coventry City practice, but not being into football, that may be wrong!) the whole place is taken over by historical traders - you can buy anything you need from any period in time (well it seems like it anyway!) If you have a requirement for pots, swords, muskets, flutes, drums, clothing, cloth...............etc, etc.

For me this is my showcase for historical yarns and cloth, and all John's textile tools. I started this business by chance because I wasn't able to get involved with the "battle" side of reenactment when I joined the Sealed Knot, because the boys were only 5 & 7. They were too young to be left - so I needed to give myself a "character", decided that I'd be a 17th century embroideress and learnt to spin and dye silk to make my embroidery threads. Some kind soul asked if they could buy some and the business was born! I started trading at TORM about 14 years ago now maybe even longer - I've lost count - and love the atmosphere there, and the cameraderie!

What this actually means is that I am madly busy in the dyehouse and hanking/balling/bagging etc, etc! I sell dyes as well as the dyed items - I think customers value the fact that I am selling the dyes that I use - so they can see the quality in my own colour production! I also have a couple of dye kits, one for indigo dyeing and the other is the Mediaeval Dyekit.

John's textile tools are always popular - though I say it myself his braiding disk is the best on the market, and we've produced a booklet with a variety of braids to try! Working from achaeological finds and illustrations in the books of hours and paintings he's also produced reproduction niddy noddy's, spindles, tablet looms, lucettes, distaffs. ......

I always label my hanks with the dye - it means that customers can see straight away what has been used and whether it is appropriate to their period - or they can ask. We can be very pedantic about what a customer can or can't have in terms of dyestuff and their period/status!!! (It also means I don't have to wrack my brains to try and come up with fancy dancy names for the colours!!!

Ah well back to labelling - those silks have been hanked up now and are nearly ready!