Blood and Sawdust - A Briefe and Trewe Relation

Welcome to Blood and Sawdust, my web site dedicated to the study and recreation of 16th and 17th century English and American colonial history and material culture. For some 25 years I have been active (on and off) in various historical study groups, such as the Society for Creative Anachronism and Gardiner's Company of the London Trayn'd Bandes. My particular area of interest is in the woodworking trades (such as turners, carpenters, and joiners) and the history and culture of the "middling-sort" at the end of the Middle Ages and in the Early Modern period. This was a period of great change, as the medieval gave way to an explosion of new science, religion, art, and philosophy in the European Renaissance. In some ways it mirrors our own times, as we have gone from first human flight to moon landings in a single lifetime. Not to mention religious conflict, extremism, and really questionable taste in fashion.

Whether you are interested in historic reenactment, period furniture, or just looking for information for that term paper that's due tomorrow, I hope you will find some useful information here. Please check back periodically, as I add new articles and complete new projects. And feel free to drop me a line on the Blood and Sawdust guestbook or at if you have questions, or just want to geek about woodworking, history, whatever. (Note: sometimes the spam filter eats real mail; if you don't get an answer, try the guestbook.)

Thanks again for visiting,

Tom Rettie

Known in the SCA as Master Findlaech mac Alasdair, OL, CGD, CP, QoC

And in the London Trayn'd Bandes as Thomas Pennington, Citizen and Turner

26 November 2008 - A Bit of This and That

Upgrades to the web site have been slow, but here are some peeks at what's been going on in the workshop...

The framing and center pole for the arming tent is nearly done:

Arming tent frame

The frame has turned out lightweight but surprisingly strong and rigid. Unfortunately, that's the easy part.  Patterning and sewing the canvas is another thing, but I guess we should all learn new stuff sometime.

Also still playing with hollow forms on the lathe.  This one is a variation on the turned jar, patterned on a 13th century German artifact:

turned jar

For my Jamestown Targeteer impression, I've been working on padded bases for my corslet.  While no one seems to know exactly what these looked like, most authorities seems to agree that they were quilted fabric skirts that hung from the corslet like tassets. 

padded bases

2 November 2008 - The First of Many

I have finally updated my Recommended Reading page with several new acquisitions.  

For those of you who have not heard, Roy Underhill has a new book out in his Woodwright series (mine's on order, I'll post a review as soon as I finish it).

23 October 2008 - A Long Overdue Update

First, my apologies for such a long gap between updates.  My excuses are lame, so suffice it to say that I am endeavoring to make more consistent and substantive updates.

Over the next several weeks I will be working to update the entire Blood and Sawdust website, both technically and with new content.  If you find breaks or bugs, please let me know.  

One new feature is an album of photos from various events and projects.

Return to the Blood and Sawdust Projects Index

Copyright 2008, Tom Rettie. Content may not be republished in any form without permission of the author.