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Re: info: Request for source on Viking tent decoration

>Might some Kind Gentle be able to point me in the direction of documentation
>for Viking tent ornamentation?  I'm looking for designs to paint on the tent
>I'll be making, along with spiffy things to carve on the wood parts.  I thank

Heather -

I haven't seen any documentation for decorating the tent itself (ther than
the bit below) but for doco on the frame uprights, I'd recommend looking in
some of the big coffee table books on Vikings - 'The Vikings', 'Vikings',
etc. By James Grahm-Campbell or 'From Viking To Crusader' edited by ?? and
published by Rizzoli - and there's another book - Called "The Big Red Book"
by some and "The Prune-People Book" by me that has a lot of nice line
drawings of various artifacts and scenes.  All the people have wrinkels,
which is why 'prune people'.  Check the Quarto area of your library.  It may
also be called 'Vikings' byt it's not by James Grahm-Campbell.

There aren't really tent frame designs in there, but there are designs from
bed posts (Such as from the Oseburg dig) that work. (Although they are very
complex.  Lord Ian Andrew de Scroggs, who taught me to make Viking tent
frames, and I have much simpler designs on ours, copied from jewelry motifs.)

As for the canvas, there is a very strong theory that the original Viking
tents were made of ship oars lashed together and draped with the sail. 
Sails had either diamond patterns or stripes (depending on what they were
made of.  I *think* wool sails were diamonds and linen were stripes, but can'
t remember. It has to do with the tensile strength of the fiber.)  So you
could, if you wanted, sew your tent from diamond shaped pieces of conrasting
colors or make it striped with contrasting colors. (Use cotton thread with
cotton canvas to minimize leaks.)

I've seen absolutely no documentation on painting or applique on tent fabric,
but almost no fabric from that time has survived.  So who knows what they
actually did once tents became more than oar/sail constructions?

Good luck - if you get more information, I'd love to see it!

        - Anarra
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