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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Activities for Young Norse - One

1a. Activities for 5 years olds
    Posted by:  rosie5823 to the Norsefolk discussion group
    Date: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:19 pm ((PST))

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what activities would be suitable (and safe) for 5 years old boys to do whilst in costume?
DARC has had a fair amount of experience with public demonstrations. We 
centre on daily life and the craftsman, and also are using both full 
role playing (floating interpretive level presentation of characters and viewpoints), and fairly high authenticity standards. 

Kadja & Unn - Norstead 2000
One of the single most engrossing activities for younger visitors has related to water. We are well equipped with cooperage. A major task in any 'working' day is hauling water, for which we have a couple of yokes and lots of buckets and pails.

One of our team interprets the character of a 'household slave', and she undertakes a number of tasks related to this every presentation day. Gathering a bunch of kids to 'help' bring water from source back into camp always works well. We have a number of both pails and buckets with wooden lids that keeps water in the container, rather than on the carrier.

Volunteer Helper - L'Anse aux Meadows 2010

Related to that is washing up. We have a large tub especially for this. Three primary tasks : washing the dishes after meals, washing selected clothing, washing fleece as part of the textile preparation series.
Kadja - L'Anse aux Meadows 2012
Kids love to play in water - and the whole series of getting the water, doing the task, dumping the waste water - all re-enforces how much raw labour is required for the simplest task.

There are images related to all this on the DARC web site. Check the various museum presentation descriptions, especially at L'Anse aux Meadows for Parks Canada.

First image - Darrell Markewitz, Remainder by Paul Halsz

Friday, November 29, 2013

'Tell me EVERYTHING...'

 A re-post from 'Hammered Out Bits

This in response to a recent comment from 'Anonymous', or any others who :

a) are too lazy to follow the included links to the large amounts of research information freely available on the DARC web site.

b) take the 'tell me everything' approach. 


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Teach me to make swords"

(I absolutely howled!)

A day in the life of a custom sword maker.

This is based on actual questions and comments I have received. The comments range from innocently misguided, through ignorant, to downright rude. They are presented here as if they all came from the same individual who becomes increasingly tiresome to deal with.

If you see yourself in the early part of the vid, don't feel bad, you are probably a well meaning if slightly confused individual.
If you see yourself toward the middle of the video, you may need to get a better understanding of how the world works. Put down the game controller and pick up a book once in a while. Maybe go outside.
If you see yourself toward the end of the video, you need counseling as your social skills are on par with those of a badger.

 I try not to do this kind of thing too often (re-post something seen on Facebook that is from YouTube). But this was just WAY too good not to pass along. I expect many of my fellow blacksmiths will also howl with laughter (and recognize the conversation!). Most of my readers here will also be highly amused...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Glass bead making furnace at Goderich Celtic Music Festival - this weekend! Aug 10 and 11

Hey all,

We'll be back at the Goderich Celtic Music Festival to demonstrate the various techniques Neil and his crew have learned about making glass beads in a (possible) Viking Age glass bead furnace.

Come on out and say 'hi!'

See all the collected blogs about our glass research here.

And the main section on bead research on our website proper is here.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Presentation - Upper Canada Village Medieval Festival

Upper Canada Village

Morrisburg Ontario


Open to Public – 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013
Education Day / Open to Public – 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A colourful cast of medieval re-enactors, musicians, buskers, artisans, falconers, archers, merchants and jousting Knights in shining armour on horseback will converge on grounds adjacent to Upper Canada Village from Saturday through Monday, June 8, to 10 2013.  This festive encampment of tents, mini-stages, natural arenas and livestock quarters will also feature trebuchet and catapult demonstrations, children’s activities and a medieval marketplace. Check out our exciting line-up of       Medieval-style Weekend Entertainment.
Teachers … check out our action-packed Medieval Education Program on Monday, June 10.

Admission to the festival is through the main Upper Canada Village entrance gate. The grounds of the Medieval Festival are outside of the Village proper, and are accessed through a castle facade entrance located at the eastern border of the site. Visitors will also have full access to the Village’s uninterrupted, authentic 19th century program during the festival dates as part of their admission for the day
the Dark Ages Re-creation Company will be mounting a living history presentation inside this larger Medieval themed special event. As usual, we will be representing daily life during the Viking Age : 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Iron Smelt Demonstration at ICMS - overview

Strictly speaking, the demonstration described here was not mounted as part of DARC. As Neil and I were both referring to DARC and handing out those business cards, I thought the event should be described here as well as via the Wareham Forge / Hammered Out Bits blog.

On Saturday May 12, I mounted an iron smelting demonstration at the 48th International Congress for Medieval Studies, at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI.

The two day presentation was sponsored by AVISTA - The Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Medieval Technology, Science and Art

The images bellow are scooped from the MiLive / Kalamazoo Gazette web site :

All images by Matt Gade

You can view an article by reporter Theresa Ghiloni, along with the sideshow of full sized images by following this link.

There was also some video shot of the extraction by fellow researcher Dr. Mike Cramer

My assistant and smelting partner Neil Peterson does figure dominate in the video and images above! Excellent work was done by conference members Keeney Swearer and Lisa Anne Conner for both the build and smelt days. 'David' helped on the build, 'George' was the second striker seen.

I would like to thank Steve Walton of AVISTA for organizing the demonstration.

For those curious:
Ore type : DD Analog, enriched with hammer scale
Ore total : 25 kg
Bloom weight : 5.4 kg

More images and detailed report in the works

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DARC at the ROM

This coming weekend is Archaeology time at the ROM again.  DARC will be there talking about experimental archaeology, and demonstrating a range of acivities including weaving, spinning, and pewter casting.  Come visit us!  Sat 13 Apr, or Sunday 14 April from 11-3.