Honorable Company of Metalsmiths
MADE BY NORMAN GREENE IN BERKELEY, CA
If I am honest with myself, one of the merchants that got me hooked on the faires was the Puzzle Rings booth (Honorable Company of Metalsmiths) at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. I am easily distracted by shiny objects and this place sucked me in immediately. Now, I am not someone that wears a lot of jewelry when I am out-of-garb. When I am all pirated-up, I usually have on more jewelry then my wife. But the Honorable Company of Metalsmiths has more then just jewelry and everything they have is out of this world and unique.
This is a true metalsmith booth. They are casting bronze and precious metals to make all of their products and you are going to be hard-pressed to find anybody producing jewelry and other items (more on these later) better then the Honorable Company of Metalsmiths. The puzzle rings were the first thing that caught my eye. I was with a good friend of mine that was hooked on the idea of the puzzle ring before we got there so she was in hog-heaven. Now, I will disclose that I cannot work the puzzle ring. I can take them apart but I cannot put them back together… at all. She got the knack very quickly and bought one that day. The puzzle rings range from the delicate to the hardy and they work on anybody’s hands, male or female. They draw the eye and work with any garb.
Now, while my friend was looking at the rings, I ventured down the booth. I was pulled magically to the astrolabes, navigation devices and telescopes. I planted myself and listened to one of their people explain the astrolabe and how to use it. I watched as they went through the history and the technique. I was hooked. I asked to look at several of the items. I could not believe the craftsmanship. They were made with old world skill and technique. The attention to detail, the want to make them not only accurate and detailed but also usable is what hooked me. I realized right then that I wanted… nay… I needed an astrolabe. The astrolabe: the biggest and bestest piece of pirate-bling EVER!
The next year, I found them at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. I had the cash. I grabbed the astrolabe and it has been part of the garb ever since. When it is not in use, it has a home on one of the bookshelves in my office, in a place of honor. A couple of years later the group that I took to the Carolina Faire bought me a telescope from them. Another one of my favorite pieces from one of my favorite vendors at the faire.
Next time you are at a faire, look for the puzzle rings. Learn how to work the puzzle rings, ask about the astrolabes and learn about the Honorable Company of Metalsmiths. I promise you will love them and their wares.