Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nobody's Perfect

It's been too long!

Those nasty taxes have been taking up too much time. I promise I'll have a juicy new post soon, but in the meantime I wanted to update my last post, about English gable hoods:

Turns out, everything I said about them was pretty much wrong.

When I made my first gable hood last year, I based it on a well known source. I thought at the time that the odd engineering, with the flared front, seemed awfully complex, but any costumer knows that people in the past did weird things for weird reasons. So I went ahead and made it that way.

Then I started work on creating my own version for the Tudor pattern. You saw my previous conclsusion. But when it was time to actually make the final graded version of the pattern,I just could not come up with a method that would create a consistant pattern that wouldn't drive my customers to drink.

I kept thinking this couldn't be right, so I decided to take another look at the original source material, and the notes from my researcher, the wonderful Kimiko Small.

The first thing I noticed was Kimiko's statement: Something I do want to point out for both redraws is that the narrow band/frontlet ‘E’ is attached to the under structure close to the face, and hides the edges of the padded band RS. I have seen several recreated English hoods where the narrow band/frontlet ‘E’ encloses the face inside a box, which it does not do.

Now, I swear I have read every word of her research report several times. So why didn't I remember it when it actually came time to make a hood?

Part of the problem was a drawing I was following. It does show the frontlet sitting on the outer edge of the hood on one side, but on the other side of the face, it's done an Escher-like twist and is on the inside of the face! So it's no wonder I was confused.

I wondered if attaching the frontlet to the inside edge, rather than the outer, was part of the problem I was having. I cut a new one and made yet another manila folder mockup. It was better, but the difference in width between the back of the hood and the frontlet still caused the front opening to flare, making it twist.

So I cut another frontlet, the inner edge of which exactly matched the back piece. Voila! No twisting, no torque, and the whole thing sat properly on my head and hugged the sides of my face the way it should. The hood understructure is simply a set of flat panels, and could have been made of thin wood, possible shaped into a curve with steam.

So, I take it back. It is like wearing a box on your head, but a very carefully tailored, well fitted box covered with silk and velvet.

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