February 16th, 2021


Book signing

Esquire Anthony Wright and Rosalie Gilbert
Esquire Anthony Wright and Rosalie Gilbert

The book signing... my very first one in the real world... went really well! I was so fortunate to have amazing friends who came and made the day a success. friends who traveled, friends who bought books, friends who dressed in armour in the sweltering heat, friends who came and dressed up and kept me company.

Biggest shout out to Lauren and Ben, who really stepped up and were amazing! Also a huge shout out to Books@Stones who hosted the signing and sold quite a few books in the process.

The Valentine Giveaway went really well and had quite a lot of entries. The book shop reported a great morning of sales, so having me there signing and with my little medieval display, clearly caught people's eye. The fact we had a knight in shining armour handing out roses may have had quite a lot to do with it.

I was pretty excited to wear my new circlet with the jewelled roses and the new Baden Baden belt with my new early 14th century gown. I'm glad I went with the wimple in the end, as it worked really well with the rest of the clothing.

I'm now looking forward to our next hosted event- our Medieval Night Out at Lady Marmalade Cafe at Stones Corner.


Attaching the Baden Baden Belt Mounts

This is the perfect example of how sometimes I have these great ideas and they just don't work. I'll share my thought and actual processes here, so that others can see what I did and why I did it. I'm really pleased with the end result.

Step 1 was to assemble the things I thought I'd need. Hammer for peening, pliers for holding, belt and mounts, pins and ruler, roves and a cloth to make sure I didn't damage the enamel of the mounts when I hammered them on the back. I was primarily concerned with the mounts just slipping off the posts as the belt was worn and the weave moved with my body. For extra security, I decided to put roves on the posts before peening them down.

To begin...

I'd already attached the buckle, plate and chape, so I lay the belt out on the table making sure I had the side I wanted to attach the mounts onto facing up. It would be absolutely not hilarious at all if I attached half on the out side then half on the inside through sheer lack of planning. Quick double check to make sure the right side was up.

The next step was to space out the mounts and roves for the posts at the back. I just needed to make sure I had them evenly spaced and allowed a gap where the belt would pass through the buckle. I didn't need a mount right there, so needed to leave a gap. At this point, they're just resting on the belt.

I made sure I had enough spaced out roughly. Now to grab some pins and measure out the gaps properly.

After doing the math, I needed gaps of 65mm between each mount (and a gap where the buckle went through. Pins and more pins made sure everything was spaced out properly. You can see in the top right of this picture, that the roves fitted neatly over the posts of the mounts. I bought these at a bead shop, and they were sold as spacers, but they were perfect for roves.

Carefully, I wriggled the mount through the belt and placed the roves on. As usual, I trimmed the first post down ready to peen. The peening is done with a ball headed hammer in a circular motion to flatten out the end so it splays out over the edges. There are many U-tube videos on how to do this.

At this point, it became painfully obvious where my problem lay.

The three mount posts are so close together, that attempting to hit one with a hammer also flattened the other two. Peening was impossible.

There was a short interlude when I swore a bit in frustration.

Having decided to remove the roves, I though about my next best option. The mount posts were quite long, so I decided to use the pliers to simply fold the posts outwards. I decided outwards would give a greater grip and less likelihood of falling off.

Always thinking ahead, I helpfully clipped the top mount shorter to neaten it up. If you're playing along at home, DO NOT DO THIS! Yes, the post was shorter, but the posts are made with a rounded end which will not snag on fabric or clothing. Snipping the end shorter made a very sharp end almost certain to tear clothing.

Another short interlude for more swearing and some tears.

I was grateful I'd only done three. I needed to file the ends that I'd snipped so they would be blunter again, but filing so close to the tablet woven silk was a whole barrel of tears also. The end was very close to the belt and I was frantic with worry that the filing would cut the fibres.

I began to suspect this was why the posts had been made with a rounded end- to prevent this from happening.

In the end, it was extremely quick and easy to bend the posts over and give a gentle squeeze to tuck the very ends into the band. I've had a lot of trouble with brass belt mounts being extremely hard to do anything with, but these ones were good to work with. I wore the belt this weekend past and none of the mounts rubbed against my silk dress enough to tear or cut the silk.

The mounts, belt fittings and chape came from Gothic Cast Accessories. They also sell the lions which are on the original belt, but I dressed it down a bit and left the lions off.