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beekeeping 
2nd-Jan-2005 07:34 pm
let's see how the faceplate for my period beesuit fares in the Arts & Crafts comp next weekend *grin*


Beesuit

This item is protective clothing for the tending and caring of bees, notably taken from middle 16C pictures.

The 2 pictures: ‘Cosmographia’ Sebastian Munster (1545), and ‘beekeeping scene’ Pieter Breughel the Elder (1565), (footnote 1) clearly shows the protective faceplates made from a type of basket weaving.

I chose to start with willow, as it was easily accessable and often used for basket weaving (footnote 2). a willow tree in a nearby park supplied the imeediate needs as i cut down a large handful of trailing branches,


I stripped of leaves (to avoid rotting, and take away the junk) and only leave the important part, heartwood) and left to soak in a large bucket of water for 4 days. I then, using the back of a knife, stripped the bark from all the branches, to leave only the heartwood showing (this further stop and rotting, allows water into the wood, and makes the end product look better).



 It was then placed back into water for another few days (primarily as i did not have enough time to continue).




A surf of the merry olde internet lead me to find Mike Reddy's websight (footnote 3) which show ‘mike’s’ attempt at this garment, and two wicker/basket weaving howto examples (footnote 4). I noted they looked ‘simple enough’ in design and didn’t follow it any further as an attempt seemed obtainable.

(attempted http://sui-001.livejournal.com/2005/01/04/)

As this example failed to meet my expectations – (or needs!) I believe I will use larger diameter ‘canes’ (of wicker or other material - what ever i can get). This will allow me to reach the ‘protection Vs ease of sight’ factor that, at the end of the day, this item will require.
Also I have learnt (been told verbally more than once now)to use HOT water. that seems to be the trick here)



1 http://www.metmuseum.org/special/Pieter_Bruegel/107.L.htm
2 http://www.somerset.gov.uk/celebratingsomerset/willow/Pages/History.htm
3 http://www.comp.glam.ac.uk/pages/staff/mreddy/skepFAQ/todo.html
http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/ksheets/willows.html & http://www.theorganiccentre.ie/willowpics.html
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