About the Primitive Method
The aim of the Primitive Method blog is to share information relating to my research into medieval jewellery techniques. I don’t always manage to update it as often as I’d like – the early sucess of the project has led to all sorts of opportunities, and, ironically, they’ve made me too busy to write regular blog posts! I’m very active on Twitter, though, so please have a look at the @primitivemethod feed. Regardless, there should be plenty of content to keep you interested, and new posts are put up from time to time.
There are two sides to the project – jewellery and archaeology. I write for a trade newsletter, called Benchpeg – my work there mainly relates to the modern industry, but I have been running a series of interviews with traditional artisans, which will be of interest to anyone wanting an insight into the world of pre-modern craft; you can read some of those interviews in the Miscellany section of the blog. While I’m no longer an apprentice, I’m no master, either, and I continue to work as a bench jeweller – my research is built on the premise that craft skills are essential for the analysis of production techniques, and this can only be achieved by using those skills.
On the archaeology side, I’ve been developing a flowchart of tools and techniques for jewellery manufacture in the middle ages. This is a huge A0 poster, but you can download a PDF copy by clicking on the image. I’ve also been given some access to the Staffordshire Hoard, which is an amazing opportunity, and once I’ve had a research proposal accepted by their research group, I’ll hopefully be writing about my studies of the artefacts, alongside the outreach work that I’m doing for them through Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
There are how-to guides in the Techniques section; these give step-by-step instructions for some of the basic techniques for the period, like the production of strip-twisted wire. The Library section has reviews of some of the books on my bookshelf, and the Workshop sections details some of the more practical issues the effect the medieval workshop. For any further information, feel free to send me an email – I’m always happy to discuss ideas and share knowledge.
I am available for commissions of various sorts – jewellery manufacturing, consultancy, research, outreach work, TV appearances, and so on. If you’re interested in hiring me, take a look at my LinkedIn profile.