Frog Measuring Tape Casket Toy
Inspiration - by Tammy Jones
My inspiration for this piece was several extant 17th century frog purses, particularly one located at the Ashmolean (www.ashmoleanprints.com/image/221387/anonymous-english-frog-purse) that appears to include some of the techniques used to make casket toys, and the revolving tape measure pictured on your blog. The tape measure idea was so brilliant that I just had to try it, and I’ve always wanted to make a frog purse, so I put the two together and made a tiny frog whose tongue is a tape measure. The tongue/tape measure is pulled by a tiny braid attached to the end and retracted by spinning the frog’s front legs.
Techniques Used - by Tammy Jones
First, I drew a simple pattern shape to use as a guide, then using techniques from both the Pansy Casket Toy and the Lacet Gloves projects, I sewed green lacets together edge to edge to make the upper body of the frog. I then added spangles for eyes. Using the Bullion Snake project as a guide, I made 2 sets of legs from copper wire and wrapped one set (the back legs) with green cotton floss then 2 shades of green Soie Ovale. Before wrapping the second (front) set of legs, I cut a 15inch length of measuring tape, punched a hole in the metal end and braided a lace (a thin lace of 5 bows) directly onto the end of the measuring tape to use as a pull. The other end was then glued into the wire armature of the front legs and the same wrapping that was done on the back legs was worked on either side of the glued tape measure. The lower body of the frog was then made in the form of a small, green, silk, drawstring bag with open sides into which the front legs were inserted concealing the measuring tape inside. I used leftover green lacet for the drawstrings. I stitched the back legs directly to the bottom section of the underside of the upper body then stitched the lower body to the upper body sandwiching the back legs between them. To work the measuring tape, open the drawstrings and gently pull the frogs tongue out (It will measure to about 12 inches.). To retract the measuring tape, spin the front legs towards you.
Multiple Strand Bookmarker
Inspiration - Tammy Jones
This project was inspired by the essay, “ Tiny Textiles Hidden in Books: Toward a Categorization of Multiple Strand Bookmarkers,” by Lois Swales and Heather Blatt and published in Medieval Clothing and Textiles, Volume 3 and the discovery of 15th century buttons at Lengberg Castle in Austria that may have been used as anchors for bookmarkers. Also, I have been totally enthralled with braided laces for about 20 years, collecting and voraciously reading every reference I could find on the subject.
Techniques Used - Tammy Jones
First, using a bone button mold, Soie de Paris, and the instructions for Lengberg buttons found in Gina Barrett’s book, Buttons: a Passementerie Workshop Manual, I made the anchor for my bookmarker. When I finished the button, I realized that the threads did not completely cover the back of the mold, so I stitched a matching piece of felted wool to the back of the button. I then stitched a buttonhole bar across the back of the button to hold the braided laces. Using filament silk from DeVere, I braided four laces directly onto the buttonhole bar: a thin lace of five bowes, a broad lace of five bowes, an open lace of five bowes, and a lace maskel. Instructions for each of the laces can be found in the book, Take V Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined by Elizabeth Benns and Gina Barrett. Unfortunately, the strain of braiding damaged the buttonhole bar slightly, so I had to do some repair work on the buttonhole bar once the braiding was finished.