Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beginning to hatch a plan

Some ideas have been percolating around my brain in terms of the projects I'd like to do for my Pentathlon entries. I've had an opportunity to discuss this with a couple people whose opinion I value. Sarafina Sinclair suggested that I work on creating a "persona" pentathlon, which means rather than scatter-shot picking various things from different divisions, I should choose things that have a cohesive relationship to a specific person in a specific time and place (presumably my persona). Although I originally tended to do primarily Elizabethan English clothing (with the occasional Italian or Burgundian thrown in), I recently have honed in on the Tudor time frame as my primary area of interest. So, my entries will all have to do with an English woman in the first half of the 16th century. Then, I was discussing this with Ercc Glaison, and he suggested that I look for a pair of books that he had seen at a used book store about Tudor architecture. The idea started to form that I should work on entries that revolve around upper-middle class Tudor home life. I could research Tudor buildings, or make furniture, or embroider an item that would have been used, or make a stained glass decoration, or make a child's toy. So, now I'm putting holds on a variety of books from area libraries about life in Tudor England. Tudor buildings, specifically the half-timbered style, have always fascinated me. When I lived in England, and later when I visited as an adult, I loved going to cities and towns with the old Tudor style shops with the upper stories leveraging over the street until they nearly met in the middle. The book that Ercc mentioned has detailed drawings and photographs of many Tudor buildings. Since the book is nearly 100 years old, some of these buildings may no longer the standing, though others may be significantly restored. For many years, I have wanted a reason to build a miniature Tudor building. After I made a dollhouse for my daughter's 4th birthday, I wanted to make another Tudor style one for myself. I'd love to do so now as a way to research the Tudor life of the time. The problem is how that could relate to an A&S entry. There's not really a place for a scale model alone. I used a scale model of my pavilion to support an A&S entry, but the item really being judged was the full-scale pavilion. I know that dolls were played with by girls of the Tudor era, but I don't know that doll houses were made. I could make it as part of a research project and use it in support of a research paper. But I'm not sure that it's worth the extra effort beyond the research itself. It would make a great A&S display at some point. So, these ideas as still in a rather nebulous phase, but I'm getting excited about how I can bring a variety of disparate projects together to make a meaningful whole. Philippa