August 27, 2014

Spinning on the Great Wheel

Anneliese here with your weekly internship update!

August 21, 2014:  Back in the costume shop for the day!  I started the morning by pleating the apron I've been working on to the waistband and securing it with tiny running stitches.  Then, taking a break from the Sophia Project, I got to help the costuming ladies finish the costumes for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

"The Mad Tea Party" from the original illustrations of
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, drawn by John Tenniel.

Cheryl worked on the Queen of Heart's Elizabethan standing ruff, Whilma finished Alice's pinafore, and Bevin made the queen's headdress complete with a heart-shaped coiffure.  My theatrical costuming skills were put to the test as I was tasked with constructing a giant tail for the Dormouse.  First, I cut a tapered rectangle shape from pink fleece, seamed it at the center and stuffed it with batting until firm.  Then, with Bevin’s aid, we shaped a base for the tail from coat-hanger wire and buckram.  Hand-stitching just about every inch of the base to the tail and two, twill tape belts later, the result was a sturdy, five-foot-long dormouse tail.

Costume shop view of the dormouse tail.

August 22, 2014:  I had the privilege of joining craftsperson Sandy for spinning lessons on the great, walking wheel at the Humphrey house.  Sandy is a dedicated interpreter and all around lovely individual, so I was definitely looking forward to spending the day with her again!  In the morning, she demonstrated the mechanics of spinning on the great wheel, including all of the hand motions and walking path involved.  Then, she left me to practice and get acquainted with the wheel.

The Great Wheel at Humphrey

Wool & Hand Carders
The first skein I spun and wound off was rather uneven and full of kinks from over-spinning, but the second skein I spun in the afternoon featured a much better and thinner thread consistency.  (Also, the second skein features some hand-carded brown wool.)  I found that, after a day of spinning on the great wheel, I prefer the walking wheel to the treadle style wheels, which I had experimented with a few weeks ago.  Despite having to spin the wool with one hand, I felt that turning the wheel by hand gave me more control over the result.

Antique Skein Winder

Top: my second try at spinning.
Bottom: my first attempt at spinning.

August 23, 2014:  I was thrilled to be called in to model in the fashion show for the museum’s second, annual Victorian themed day!  Bevin spent the entire morning getting all of us models dressed for the show at noon.  Then, at the fashion show, I enjoyed parading around with the others and demonstrating the change in silhouette throughout the Victorian Era.

Sitting and waiting for the fashion show to start like proper ladies.

My excited (and silly) face :)

The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the Rochester Steampunk Society's presentation and preparing for the museum’s Alice in Wonderland themed tea party.  Two other maids and I set the table, arranged tea cakes and followed behind the Mad Hatter to serve tea at the party.  All in all, the event was successful and that made the clean up afterwards much more pleasant.

Two thumbs up for a great day!

Helpful links referenced:

No comments:

Post a Comment