I often used to visit the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, and I used to admire the 1542 Nuremberg paper astrolabe. (I see from the online catalogue they also have a 1584 Paris paper astrolabe.)
Although the brass astrolabes are more common in museums and collections, and are a lot more shiney and impressive looking, I thought the paper and wood ones looked a lot more possible to make as a project.
Continue reading Paper astrolabe
I made this little knife in 1995 or 6, when I was experimenting with blacksmithing techniques. It has a pattern-welded blade, formed from twisted bars of iron with seperate steel edges, all forge-welded together. This was the only finished blade I made using pattern-welding.
Continue reading Sgian dubh
As part of a big push to re-do my stringing paper at earlygaelicharp.info, I was searching for the reference to the tiompán with strings of “ór dearg” (red gold), which Ann Heymann refers to in her article Strings of Gold.
I was pleased when I finally tracked it down, to find that the person holding the instrument is Aonghus, son of Boann and the Dagda, who lived in Newgrange, at Brú na Bóinne. This is the same Aonghus an Bhroga referred to in the praise poem to Aonghas Òig, Rì Innse Gall, which I was working on last year.
Continue reading Aonghus Mac ind Óg ⁊ an tiompán
I was reading the descriptions of people’s appearance in Togail Bruidne Dá Derga (The destruction of Daderga’s hostel), an early medieval Irish story from the Ulster Cycle, when I was interested to note these quite vivid descriptions of people at the court of the Irish High King, Conaire Mór mac Eterscél, who is said to have reigned in the first century BC or AD.
Continue reading Picts & Saxons in early medieval Ireland