Every project has its beginnings and mine for the most part come to me dirt covered and humble.during the spring my buddy Kendal had to pull a few invading 5-6 foot Mulberry trees from his property.Armed with his spade he popped them out of the ground to discover that 3 seasons of drought ,overcrowding and being bush hogged had given a few of them slender trunks and swollen /contorted roots.Those he kept and brought to me.Now most people would look with fleeting interest and then toss these sad things away.But I saw nice sized besom handles .So I set the three out at my doorstep to dry,with roots swollen such as this I knew the slender trunks would cure much quicker than they would so I had to be patient.One of the things time has taught me is don't trim now and regret it later so other than brushing off most of the dirt I left them intact to dry.With this one I didn't think to take pictures of the root before I started working with it but it was a mess, just like the one above which happens to be next on my list !

I choose my first for two reasons ....

1> It had a wound that was always going to be visible and I love a battle scarred warrior! .....

2> I glimpsed something else.It was just a glimmer but I knew some creature was there and had been from the very beginning seed. I saw what I thought.... might be.....maybe...... antlers lol

I started off by trimming off all the hairy little capillary roots

next I trimmed the trunk of the treeling neat ,close and free of the branch nubs Kendal had left behind.

last step here was ,with a dry scrub brush I knocked off any remaining dirt and thoroughly rubbed it down with a piece of rough burlap .

I knew I wanted the root as the focal of this piece so I started from there.The outer layer of the root was akin to the thick peel of an orange only woody.By the time I had finished "peeling away the mask of calloused and swollen skin the creature had revealed itself. It started by showing me the shape of its head flowing down into along graceful neck that ended with a proud jutting chest.

I was captivated I didn't need to carve or manipulate the wood in anyway "The Stag" had always been there!I wanted to fade the peeled wood back into the trunk that had evolved from it ,so I peeled a bit farther.

As I worked on this the Mulberry revealed one other secret .The colors of the Stag were all present!There was the rusty red of his coat and ivory white of his chest.Leaving the bark on in places gives the sense of glimpsing a deer as it slips through wooded shadows.

Now I was ready to sand . I do all my sanding by hand ,this allows me to feel nuances in the wood that would otherwise be lost.It took me three nights to sand this and I'll sand it at least once more.I sanded with a fine grain paper from the start and each evening after sanding I oiled it before putting it away.

Wood workers hold many opinions on the proper oil for wood and will caution you on the use of any other.I however am not oiling wood for the same purpose.They are oiling to capture a look or tone of color.I'm oiling to insaturate the wood with energy.

All my oils are made by my hand and I pair the oil used with the wood according to the properties both hold.This brings me back to the same thread that runs through the heart of all my blogs.....Know your materials.If you don't or are unsure Research is your friend! If your not going to take the time to know what your working with then its best to just not oil the wood at all.Mixing the wrong properties together will only muddle the energies and reduce the potency of your crafting.

Mulberry is one of the best woods for Astral projection and prophetic dreams so the oil Ive used is a divination oil made of Mugwort , Cedar ,Lavender, Peony root ,Hydrangea & Iris.Because of the Stag spirit I had uncovered I added a pinch of Powdered Antler and a dash of Ground Snake Skin to feed the spirit in the wood.As you can see in the picture below I rub it on "floaters" and all ,then wipe it down.

Eventually the regular use of oils such as this will change the color of your wood but it will strengthen the wood's metaphysical energies so for me its a fair trade off.

My project is over for now ,the Mulberry rests on my altar and this little lesson on hedge witchery is over. Later on once I have harvested what I need This will become a very witchy besom with talismen of antler and stone ;)

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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