When I received word that a good friend of ours was getting elevated, I began the marathon that was this project. I would’ve loved to make it more period appropriate, but unfortunately with the time constraint, secrecy, and my lack of researching experience, that piece of this gift had to suffer. I tried to make it as simply as I could. Modernities include a drill, table saw, sand paper, wood glue, nail brads, stains, and polyurethane. Otherwise, the carving was all done by hammer and chisels. All told, I estimate completion took 5 solid weeks of daily work, for about 6-8 hours each. Ninety percent of that undoubtedly was the carving, sometime broken down to the 1/2 hour morsel I could get during my lunch break at work–having tolerant coworkers and a woodshop accessible on a daily basis was an incredible asset.
The images I needed to transfer were complicated enough that cutting out a stencil would’ve been much more time consuming than I had wanted. Instead, I drew the pictures on paper, then centered it over the desired board, and retraced the drawing with pressure in order; this made an indented copy in the wood that I could then trace with a pencil for better definition. Over the course of the project, I became much more familiar with best practices in order to avoid unwanted chips and damage.
The walls and lid are from maple, as a symbol of Sir Richard Larmer’s mundane homeland (Canada), and the oak of the base is to symbolize the stalwart conviction we ask of all our knights. Two of the panels host his coat of arms: a boar’s head, and three water drops with a single ermine symbol from the fur on his heraldry. For the water droplets, the middle one being a negative instead of positive carving is meant to symbolize the gaps our knights are supposed to fill–whether it’s a service that needs doing, or a moral that’s weakly represented, or just a show of strength when morale needs boosting.
The third side is the modified coat of arms of Edward the Black Prince. Sir Richard’s persona would have most likely fought with him in the 100 Years War in France, and so this was an appropriate choice as a historical representation. My lacking skill and time required the complexity of the actual coat of arms be scaled back to what you see.
Lastly, the fourth panel marked a significant point in Sir Richard’s mundane history, with his serious injury at Æthelmearc War Practice. He had once remarked to me that rejoining Ealdormere on the battlefield after recovering sparked a fire in him, how healing it was to be “running with the Wolfpack again.” This last panel was for that obstacle overcome.