PROJECTS FOR THE PANDEMIC III: IRONING TIME
There is still controversial whether the whalebone plaques that have been found are designed for ironing clothes or for other reasons. I am fairly certain they are designed for ironing. Then, I randomly found some Viking Era glass irons/linen smoothers, and that made me determined to make an ironing board! Historical Glassworks had two types of period irons. Only one style seems to be in stock right now, but the other was a tear-shape iron that is cute as dickens, so I’m glad I got both! 🙂
That meant that I needed a plaque. Making it of whalebone was out of the question. Legal–ie, vintage–whalebone (or ivory) was too expensive even if you cannot find a suitable selection. I went to my favored supplier of faux ivory, Masecraft Supply and ordered a sheet that was 8x10x½ (inches; 20.3×25.4×1.3 centimeters). The sheet was very satisfactory, so now I had to decide on a suitable rendition.
Most of the plaques I have seen were dragon heads, such as that found in the Scar boat burial in the Orkneys. However, I doubted my personal ability to do the shaping, and besides, I was afraid the dragon heads might snap off while being transported from site to site. I ended up designing the plaque like that kept at the University of Cambridge. The result was simple but functional and could no doubt be handled roughly with no fears. However, the color was still a bright, glistening white. I wanted to dull it a bit but feared overdoing it. I at last decided to dunk it overnight in a tea dye bath.
I had never dyed faux ivory, so I was not certain of the reaction it would have. The dulling was subtle but pleasing, and it got rid of the glistening shininess that I disliked.