EEEEC: Isabel Maria’s Transformational Soteltie Tower

EEEEC: Isabel Maria’s Tower Soteltie

This tower falls into the categories of collaboration, luxuriation, and transformation

Constructed from a base of popcorn pottles, plant pot-trays, and paper bowls, the basic shape was transformed by overlayed with plaster wraps by Julia Fortunata and Christian Baier. This not only concealed the popcorn motif, but added a textured layer that could be painted.

For its first outing, the tower was lit internally and rigged with two furry rats that scurried up the walls towards the Pied Piper when a cord was pulled. This was to complement the “Pied Piper of Hamlin” theme. (I am reliably informed that His Majesty and Their Excellencies tested this mechanism thoroughly during the feast.)

For its second outing, the tower was de-ratted and lushly decorated with pomegranates, red carnations, red roses, and gold leaves to enhance the “Evening in Granada” theme.

EEEEC: Christian Baier’s Granada Gown

EEEEC: Christian Baier’s Granada Gown

Shared as an example of transformation, Christian writes:

“I had brought a small piece of this gorgeous silk in the Los Angeles fabric district some years ago. By the time I found it at the end of the day, I had only a little left in my budget, so could only afford to buy a small piece. I didn’t have a project for this, but I couldn’t not buy this beautiful fabric.

“I made a simple garment out of this piece but I was never very happy with it. Fast forward two years and I’m back in the LA Fabric District. And the same shop. And there is the same fabric. In a city of 4 million, in a metropolitan area of 14 million, commonly visited by other SCA folk and the film industry, my fabric had waited 2 years for me. I brought another piece and stashed that away for that future project.

“Last years Granada event proved the perfect event for me to finally create something with my fabric. The pomegranate, with which the fabric is embroidered, is the symbol of Granada, and red and gold were the colours we based the event decor upon. The previous garment presented some challenges for cutting the new, but i managed to make this work well for an early 16thC Portuguese gown, which was perfect for the event theme.”

EEEEC: Isabel Maria’s Camp Rug

EEEEC: Isabel Maria’s Painted Floor Rug

Entered as a transformation.

Sometimes I don’t like to take my whole setup to a camping event. Or my usual rugs are just too unwieldy to pack for a bunkroom. To that end I purchased a light and inexpensive fabric rug. However, despite having a lovely pseudo-fleur de lys design, it was rather obnoxiously black and white. This stark contrast needed to be corrected.

I started by painting the background green (to echo my heraldry), then adding the gold details (also to match my heraldry) before reassessing the situation and adding the brown to mute the overall look (and cunningly avoid any white areas that would be a nuisance to keep clean).

The paint used was cheap acrylic, to which I added product designed to make it better suited for use on fabric. I also added a tiny drop of water to further thin it out and improve paint adhesion.

EEEEC: Christian Baier’s Lucky Dress

EEEEC: Christian Baier’s Lucky Dress

A submission for the categories of personification and transformation. In Christian’s words:

“I had a small amount of black velvet left over from my M&M dress, and two different pieces of trim in stash that I had been gifted, and some little pearls… so the logical thing to do was transform the scraps and horde items into a gown. “I had a small amount of black velvet left over from my M&M dress, and two different pieces of trim in stash that I had been gifted, and some little pearls… so the logical thing to do was transform the scraps and horde items into a gown.

“The trim that is used for the wide guides on the bodice bore some resemblance to the 1539 portrait of Felicitas Von Wallbrunn by Hans Abel the Younger (below), so it seemed the ideal project.”

Portrait of Felicitas von Wallbrunn via wikimedia

EEEEC: Isabel Maria’s heraldic camp chair

EEEEC: Isabel Maria’s heraldic camp chair

A chair, with personal heraldry, is shared under the categories of personalisation, preparation, transformation, inspiration, and imitation. (Or should that be approximation?) Isabel Maria describes the project:

“At Canterbury Faire 2023 it became clear my trusty chair was now rickety, having reaching the end of its usable life, and needed to be replaced. In preparation for this day I had purchased a new directors chair some time ago (on sale) and put it aside. Before Canterbury Faire 2024 I brought it out with the intention of transforming it into something that was clearly inspired by 16th century seating, and also recognisably mine, through the use of my personal heraldry


I started a simple embroidery of my arms at CF’23 as a fun time-filler activity. After I finished it I realised that I had really enjoyed the process, but that I did not like the proportions of the finished item. So, I made a pattern changing the angle of the chevron and reducing the height of the eagle and fleur de lys, and made a new one. The vague hope had always been to apply the finished item to my chair in some way.

There are several styles of chair that have the arms on the back, as can be seen on this pinterest board. Most are folding or “hip joint” style chairs, both of which are considerably more complicated and decorative that the chair I used, so any similarities need to come from the fabric and trim.

Materials and Construction

Many of the materials used in this project were items from stash (canvas, wools, fringe, thread) or purchased inexpensively (drill). Much of the construction is completed by machine to save time and keep the project moving. Fringe was sewn on in the placement seen most commonly on the hip joint chairs. The embroidery was basted in place on the back rest, as seen in several hip joint chairs, before being hand sewn to the burgundy drill.

Verdict and Next Steps

After considerable testing at Canterbury Faire 2024, I can declare this previously prepared chair comfortable, and easily recognisable. However it still seems a little, … plain. The next step is to make a fringed cushion, probably with my heraldry on it, to add more luxury and ‘bling’.

EEEEC: Emrys Grenelef’s Six-board Chest

EEEEC: Emrys Grenelef’s Kubb Chest

An entry for Personification, Transformation, Imitation and Preparation is described by Emrys:

“We had some old timber lying around from a dismantled piano. The timber was a little rough but the 2 boards were over a foot in width so I decided to upgrade my Kubb box. I went with a basic six-board chest.

“I based my design on the six-board chest found:“I based my design on the six-board chest found:

I cut each board into thirds, this left me with six boards at 420mm x 350mm x 25mm.
I then cut two notches (350mm x 25mm) out each side of the two side boards, to act as a shelf for the front and back boards.
The bottom board was trimmed to 370mm x 300mm x 25mm.
I then nailed the five boards together using square copper nails.
I found some old wood stain and stained the visible cut edges of the boards.
Next I got an old sheet of brass and cut out eight reinforcing straps, this brass looked aged and I left it as such.

I then got some heavy weight leather and cut out two pieces for handles and two pieces for hinges and then dyed them with a generic dye from Mister Minit.
I cooked a small batch of rabbit skin glue and glued the leather in place.
Then I nailed all the straps, handles and hinges in place and bent over any nail tips that were protruding.
Next was laying the felt inside the chest, I bought some cheaper felt blend from spotlight but the widths that were on offer meant that I couldn’t lay one piece inside the chest and had to settle for two pieces on the inside and two pieces for the lid.
I then made another larger batch of rabbit skin glue and glued down all the felt.
Lastly I cut out two light weight pieces of leather for stays and nailed them in place to the lid and the side boards.

The chest is a little rough around the edges but serves well as a Kubb set holder and a seat.

I am looking forward to making a larger, grander chest.