Coming Up

Red & Gold – Scribal Masterclass – NEW DATE

25 May, 11am-5pm 

We are pleased to be presenting our very first Thamesreach Masterclass.

This first class will focus on the scribal arts and held by one of Drachenwald’s most skilled scribes Mistress Oriane d’Avallon.

Mistress Oriane has been a member of the SCA for over 30 years. Her first home being Drei Eichen, a shire she helped create and then raise to Barony, becoming the Founding Baroness in 1994. Mistress Oriane’s love has always laid towards the scribal arts, and she has gone on to create numerous scrolls and documents for our Kingdom. Her skill was acknowledged when she was made a Laurel at Double Wars VI in 1998. She has since gone on to be a recognised authority on gilding and we are excited that she is now giving this class for those wishing to further their knowledge in illuminations. 

As space for this class i limited, your place will only be confirmed once payment has reached Thamesreach.

Date 25 May, 11am-5pm

Venue The Duke of Sussex 23 Baylis Road, London, SE1 7AY

Price £10 + any material requested in advance, available at cost

Tools to bring if available brushes, tray/palette, quills, pen knife, gilding supplies, burnishers, gold leaf

If you don’t have any of the tools (yet), please let us know in advance.

Dots, dots, glorious dots, and squiggles too

Embellishment with red dots are so typical for Insular manuscripts and can take thousands of dots. Pen-flourished initials, often “puzzle” initials, can combine not just red and blue, but gold as well. Let’s see how to make them quick & easy.

We will also make red vermilion ink, cut quills and gild initials.

All that glitter: Patterned gold backgrounds

Let’s take a look at the development of the gilding technique and the interesting detours towards the glorious patterned gold backgrounds of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.

Raised Gold is flat

No, it’s not an oxymoron, it’s logical! We will make gesso (which you can take home), apply gesso, and gild (on prepared samples).

Coffee and a Chat – meet up!

16 May, 5.30pm 

Cafe W, Waterstones (Basement)
W1J 9HD London, United Kingdom

Another chance to meet with your fellow nutters from Thamesreach.
Come join us for coffee and a chat in the middle of a book shop!
Small projects,questions and board games are all welcome!
Come as you are, stay for as long as you like!


26 May, 1pm-6pm 

At our Stitch and Bitch afternoons everyone is welcome with or without a project. Maybe you have a question about a new project, maybe you got stuck, maybe you just want to get out of the house and meet up for a good chat.

These Crafting Afternoons are held  at a members house and future meetings are being arranged all the time, please see our calendar for more details and dates.

Rapier Revel

15 June, 1pm-9pm

Venue St Mary-at-Finchley, 26 Hendon Lane, N3 1 London, United Kingdom

An afternoon of rapier-related activity, followed by a potluck feast.

Join the Thamesreach Guard for a life of adventure, peril and reward!

There will be some warm-up and training exercises suitable for all (including newcomers) and opportunities to authorise either for the first time or in new forms. Fencers can earn prizes through a series of connected tourney and melee scenarios, which will lead to a final tourney with a grand prize.

The site is a large community hall next door to a church with 15th century parts. It should be possible to visit the interior (though timing may depend on weddings) during the day.

Further details to follow, but get it in your diary now!

Fantastic Fabrics and Where to Find Them – Masterclass

Sunday 30 June, 10am-6pm

We are pleased to be presenting our next Thamesreach Masterclass.

The class will focus on fabrics, what to chose, what to avoid and how to make an informed compromise. We are excited to have Dame Margaret Wolseley who was elevated to the Order of the Laurel for her skill in creating historically plausible clothing from a range of cultures and eras as our teacher.

Dame Margaret’s particular research interest is early Tudor women’s dress, especially hats. She has also poured considerable research effort into late 15th century Venetian men’s costuming, where they actually have many lovely paintings to study.

As space for this class i limited, your place will only be confirmed once payment has reached Thamesreach.

Venue 24 Milton Park, London N6 5QA. Closest tube station Archway Station and Highgate Station. Has two friendly cats.

Price £20, including materials and a vegetarian lunch and tea. Please submit any allergies when booking

The class will cover what kinds of fabrics were, and were not, available in pre-1600 Europe. Using small swatches of diverse natural and synthetic materials, we will create and annotate fabric sample cards to take home. While assembling these, we will discuss:

  • The properties, both desirable and not, of natural and synthetic fibres
  • How fibres and fabrics were processed historically compared to today
  • The importance of selecting the correct weave and weight for the garment intended
  • Choosing fabrics for different purposes (fashion fabric, body linens, warmth layers, decorative edging, linings, interlinings, stiffening)
  • How trade routes, local production, sumptuary laws, and national pride affected the fabrics worn
  • Modern substitutes for historic fabrics
  • How to treat fabric before and after constructing garments
  • How to choose sewing threads
  • Colours they could have made, colours they couldn’t afford, and colours they actually wore
  • Patterns to embrace, patterns to avoid
  • How to interpret the fabrics in art
  • Books useful for delving more deeply into this topic
  • Reputable (and perhaps not so trustworthy) suppliers – please bring your own suggestions and experiences to share

Please contact the teacher in advance if you have a particular culture or time period of special interest. Students are also encouraged to bring swatches of fabrics that they would like to know how best to use.

Dame Margaret enjoys taking classes at the School of Historical Dress, whose teachers are leading researchers, authors and costume creators for 16th-18th century clothing. The initial version of this class was inspired by the samplers she brought home from some of these classes, and the desire to share this immeasurably significant piece of advice with costumiers throughout the SCA: if you want to avoid frustration, faking it, and even failure, USE THE RIGHT MATERIALS FOR THE JOB. However, Dame Margaret has no illusions of any modern recreationist being able to afford today the money that was historically devoted to the wardrobe of the nobility, and budget-friendly options will frequently be considered.

Dame Margaret has taught versions of this class at Atlantian University, Pennsic University, and privately in her own home. Both seasoned Laurels and sewing novices have taken and enjoyed the class; all levels of skill and experience are welcome. She is delighted to be able to expand the time allotted beyond the cramped confines of a two hour time block and looks forward to hearing about the diverse experiences of class participants. Come with ideas, goals, inspirations, questions, and stories of headaches – all will guide us as we learn how to improve our skill at purchasing fabric for historical costume construction.