Shamrocks & Shenanigans at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

“ Shamrocks & Shenanigans ”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #6

September 23rd & 24th…

Love Ireland? Love Irish dance? Well… we love Ireland too and this weekend at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is devoted to all things Irish.

For more information about the Shamrocks & Shenanigans events at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival –including a Kilt contest– click here to go directly to the relevant page of the mInnesota Renaissance Festival website.

Think of it as “St. Patrick’s Day in September.” Nagle is an Irish name so we at Nagle Forge & Foundry have always made a wide variety of “Irish” styles for our fellow Irish-Americans.

We are particularly proud of our “Irish County Ship” line. Nagle Forge & Foundry’s  unique Irish County ship series features a pin for every county of Ireland. Each pin is engraved with the symbols of the specific county it represents and comes with a story card with a mini history of the specific county. (At only $37.- these are a wonderful gift item for the sons, daughters and grandchildren of the diaspora.)

Come see us at Booth #418 & ask to see the “Irish Fleet.”

Nagle Forge & Foundry Velvet Bags...

Sign Language Sat. –(And more at the Minnesota Renaissance Fest…)

Sign Language Sat.

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“Pets & Pirates”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #5

September 16th & 17th…

On Sat. September 16th there will be sign-language interpreters at all stages and help booths throughout the day.

This is also our traditional “Pirate” & “Pet Costume” week… So if Fido loves to play dress up this is your weekend… Even if you don’t have a pet you are welcome to join in the piratical fun.

Click here to go directly to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival page to get more information about Sign Language Saturday and the Pets & Pirates Competitions this weekend.

 

Want to go directly to the FULL Nagle Forge & Foundry 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival Calendar of Events? Click here for coupons and more…

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Wine, Chocolate & Romance –at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

“ Wine, Chocolate & Romance ”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #4

September 9th & 10th…

Love chocolate? Love wine? Want a day out with the one you love? Or looking for love? This is your weekend. 

For the fourth weekend of the 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival the theme of the faire will be love, chocolate and wine. There will be chocolate tastings & wine tastings throughout the day. A chocolate pie eating contest for people who really love chocolate. And for all the would-be wine-makers out there you can join the fun and help stomp some grapes.

If you want to celebrate your love this is the weekend for free vow renewals… (You do need to pre-register at least fifteen minutes in advance.)

And… for those still looking for love there will be a few special events too… So prep your lines & get ready to meet someone…

For more information about participating in the wine stomp, chocolate pie eating contest, singles events or vow renewals click here to check out the event page at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival & find out more about the wine, chocolate and romance weekend.

Want to go directly to the FULL Nagle Forge & Foundry 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival Calendar of Events? Click here for coupons and more…

 

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Christmas in September –At the Minnesota Renaissance Festival…

“Christmas in September…”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #3

September 2, 3 & 4th…

Longing for sugar cookies? Want to get a head start on your shopping? There will be special shopping opportunities and ticket deals for Labor Day Sept. 4th…

(Feel free to make your reservations online or at the box office to get the “Christmas in September package.)

Did we mention there are special ticket prices for “Christmas in September”? Click here to go the Minnesota Renaissance Festival’s Christmas in September page to check out the deals. Start your shopping trip by treating yourself to a fun day out.

Brunch, shopping, cookies, a “Holiday Sweater” contest and more…

As always we at Nagle Forge & Foundry offer layaway and gift wrap for all of our pieces.

At Nagle Forge & Foundry we believe you shouldn't have to try and figure out that whole "giftwrap" thing on your own. So when you shop with us we take care of the wrapping. Anything you pick up from Nagle Forge & Foundry during the "Christmas in September" event --or any other time of the year-- will be tucked in a logoed velvet bag. Or, wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a box.
At Nagle Forge & Foundry we believe you shouldn’t have to try and figure out that whole “giftwrap” thing on your own. So when you shop with us we take care of the wrapping. Anything you pick up from Nagle Forge & Foundry during the “Christmas in September” event –or any other time of the year– will be tucked in a logoed velvet bag. Or, wrapped in tissue paper and placed in a box. Come see us at Booth #418 and get your seasonal shopping started (or finished) early…
cat-greenpeople

Once Upon A Time –At the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

“Once Upon A Time”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #2

August 26th – 27th 2017

The Warrior
Fantasy comes in all shapes and sizes… Because dreams are truth and truth can be a dream. Our greenpeople are our version of a “once upon a time” masque. Handcrafted and signed by the artist… Stop by Booth #418 and ask to see the “Greenpeople” in person.

Love Fantasy? Fairytales? Masks? Knights? Dragons? Steampunk? All the best stories begin with “once upon a time…” For the second weekend of the 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival we are encouraging everyone to create their own stories and their own costumes.

This is a weekend for the creative, crafty, costumey and athletic…

Make your own mask, build a fairyhouse. Compete in the steampunk costume competition.

Always wanted to be Robin Hood? Sign up for the longbow competition.

Fleet of foot? Try the 9:00AM 5k race on Sunday…

For more information about participating in one of the great costume events click here to check out the Minnesota Renaissance Highland Fling page. 

At Nagle Forge & Foundry we love fantasy too… so for the second weekend we will be featuring our full collection of Dragon pins at our booth #418.

Want to go directly to the FULL Nagle Forge & Foundry 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival Calendar of Events? Click here for coupons and more…

 

modernthistles-2

Highland Fling! At the Minnesota Renaissance Festival….

HIGHLAND FLING!

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #1

August 19th – 20th 2017

Love Scotland? Love Scottish Athletics? Dancing? Kilts? The skirl of the Pipes? The Renaissance?

Once again the Scottish Games will be retuning to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

On Sat. August 19th the 11th Annual World Amateur Highland Heavy Games Championships will be held on Shepherds’ Green.

On Sunday the 20th the Midwest Women’s Highland Games will take place. Come both days and cheer on your favorite athletes.

Throughout the weekend there will also be demonstrations of Scottish dancing, a Kilt competition (feel free to wear your kilt & join the fun) & performances by Celtic musicians. For more information about joining in the festivities click here to check out the Minnesota Renaissance Highland Fling page. 

Want to add shopping to your Highland weekend at the Renaissance? We at Nagle Forge & Foundry will be in our regular Booth #418 but we will also have a tent set up near the Games site with an expanded display of our decorative and fully functional Made in America Plaid Brooches and Kilt Belt Buckles!

Did you know Nagle Forge & Foundry handcrafts over 25 styles of fully guaranteed and fully functional Kilt Belt Buckles? We also make over one hundred and forty Plaid Brooch styles. First weekend gets first choice of all of our new styles so be sure to ask for the “new styles” as well as our classic Thistles and Luckenbooths!

If you are like me and always have trouble remembering how to wear your sash check out our handy how to guide for the ladies....
If you are like me and always have trouble remembering how to wear your sash check out our handy Sash Pin Style Guide for the Ladies…

Want to go directly to the FULL Nagle Forge & Foundry 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival Calendar of Events? Click here for coupons and more…

Nagle Forge & Foundry Velvet Bags...

Carolina Nairne –Flower of Strathearn, Literary Light…

August 16th –Lady Nairne’s Birthday

Born in 1776, a contemporary of both Robbie Burns and Sir Walter Scott –Burns was 7 years older, Scott 5 years younger– Carolina Nairne was one of the great Scottish literary lights of the post Jacobite era.

Following the tradition of the 18th & 19th centuries –a tradition which dictated that while a lady might pursue an artistic career she should never do so under her own name– Lady Nairne was rarely, if ever, published under her own name during her lifetime. Instead, Lady Nairne (born Carolina Oliphant) was known as the Flower of Strathearn.

Born into a staunchly Jacobite family –both her father and grandfather fought at Culloden & Carolina herself was named in honor of the exiled Charles Stuart– Carolina’s work, like her life, would bridge two eras. As a writer and lyricist Carolina wrote about “the wild rose & the jessamine” & the “burnie doon” with a romantic affection, but she also wrote about those “whose warfare is ended, whose combat is over” with a sense of sober reflection. Her family’s dreams of a Jacobite restoration lingered through her childhood. But for all intents the Jacobite cause died before she was born. What remained was the culture and the stories –a culture that the British victors were attempting to eradicate.

It would become Carolina’s lifelong & very ladylike battle to keep the candle of Scottish narrative lit. Appropriately enough it would be Carolina’s efforts to keep Scottish culture alive that would help win her husband the restoration of his title –like many Jacobite sympathizers the Nairne family had lost titles and land in the 18th century– when Sir Walter Scott and King George IV informally negotiated the end of the Jacobite era as a political threat to the British government.

Considering the fact that many Burns’ Nights were still strictly “stag events” into the 20th century, it is perhaps appropriate on August 16th for the ladies to remember Lady Nairne, the Flower of Strathearn, one of the great Scottish literary lights of the 18th and 19th centuries.
(Carolina outlived both Robbie Burns and Sir Walter Scott. She died in 1845.)

Nagle Forge & Foundry Velvet Bags...

2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival –Calendar & Coupons

Nagle Forge & Foundry

Fine Jewelers At The Renaissance Festival

Quality American Made pewter, Bronze, Sterling Silver & Gold

Booth #418

2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival Calendar

A Fairgoer’s Guide to the 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Tradition, Fun, Fantasy & More….

August is special for so many reasons… The last warm days of Summer, the first blustery days of Autumn. Fall colors, orange sunsets… Sweet corn, the last tomatoes…

And, for those of us privileged to have the opportunity to escape the mundane for a few hours or days, there is the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

Located just outside of Shakopee for nearly fifty years the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is truly a one of a kind experience.

While most Renaissance fairs are temporary 1 or 2 weekend events, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival runs for 7 unique themed weekends & features dozens of entertainment venues and hundreds of booths that were individually built and maintained by Renaissance Craftspeople.

Nagle Forge & Foundry’s “booth” is actually a permanent building –-the second built on that site– and it has withstood nearly twenty fair seasons and nearly twenty Minnesota winters. Every year we look forward to sharing the magic of the Renaissance with you… and we also look forward to sharing our creations with you. We produce over thirty new designs each year & are proud to say… yes we really do make it the way it used to be.

And… much as we strive to create something unique and new every year –while still respecting tradition– this year as every year the Minnesota Renaissance Festival continues to create something unique and new every weekend.

As always there will be special themed events every weekend & unique opportunities for everyone to join the festivities. Make a costume, make some wine, eat cookies, participate in a foot-race, bring your dog, let your dog participate in a race, dance and make merry.

HIGHLAND FLING!

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #1

August 19th – 20th 2017

Love Scotland? Love Scottish Athletics? Dancing? Kilts? The skirl of the Pipes? The Renaissance?

Once again the Scottish Games will be retuning to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

On Sat. August 19th the 11th Annual World Amateur Highland Heavy Games Championships will be held on Shepherds’ Green.

On Sunday the 20th the Midwest Women’s Highland Games will take place. Come both days and cheer on your favorite athletes.

Throughout the weekend there will also be demonstrations of Scottish dancing, a Kilt competition (feel free to wear your kilt & join the fun) & performances by Celtic musicians. For more information about joining in the festivities click here to check out the Minnesota Renaissance Highland Fling page. 

Want to add shopping to your Highland weekend at the Renaissance? We at Nagle Forge & Foundry will be in our regular Booth #418 but we will also have a tent set up near the Games site with an expanded display of our decorative and fully functional Made in America Plaid Brooches and Kilt Belt Buckles!

Did you know Nagle Forge & Foundry handcrafts over 25 styles of fully guaranteed and fully functional Kilt Belt Buckles? We also make over one hundred and forty Plaid Brooch styles. First weekend gets first choice of all of our new styles so be sure to ask for the “new styles” as well as our classic Thistles and Luckenbooths!

Want to go directly to the Highland Fling page? Click here. http://nagleforge.com/2017/08/17/highland-fling-a…issance-festival/

“Once Upon A Time”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #2

August 26th – 27th 2017

Love Fantasy? Fairytales? Masks? Knights? Dragons? Steampunk? All the best stories begin with “once upon a time…” For the second weekend of the 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival we are encouraging everyone to create their own stories and their own costumes.

This is a weekend for the creative, crafty, costumey and athletic…

Make your own mask, build a fairyhouse. Compete in the steampunk costume competition.

Always wanted to be Robin Hood? Sign up for the longbow competition.

Fleet of foot? Try the 9:00AM 5k race on Sunday…

For more information about participating in one of the great costume events click here to check out the Minnesota Renaissance Highland Fling page. 

At Nagle Forge & Foundry we love fantasy too… so for the second weekend we will be featuring our full collection of Dragon pins at our booth #418.

“Christmas in September…”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #3

September 2, 3 & 4th…

Longing for sugar cookies? Want to get a head start on your shopping? There will be special shopping opportunities and ticket deals for Labor Day Sept. 4th…

(Feel free to make your reservations online or at the box office to get the “Christmas in September package.)

Did we mention there are special ticket prices for “Christmas in September”? Click here to go the Minnesota Renaissance Festival’s Christmas in September page to check out the deals. Start your shopping trip by treating yourself to a fun day out.

Brunch, shopping, cookies, a “Holiday Sweater” contest and more…

As always we at Nagle Forge & Foundry offer layaway and gift wrap for all of our pieces.

 

“ Wine, Chocolate & Romance ”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #4

September 9th & 10th…

Love chocolate? Love wine? Want a day out with the one you love? Or looking for love? This is your weekend. 

For the fourth weekend of the 2017 Minnesota Renaissance Festival the theme of the faire will be love, chocolate and wine. There will be chocolate tastings & wine tastings throughout the day. A chocolate pie eating contest for people who really love chocolate. And for all the would-be wine-makers out there you can join the fun and help stomp some grapes.

If you want to celebrate your love this is the weekend for free vow renewals… (You do need to pre-register at least fifteen minutes in advance.)

And… for those still looking for love there will be a few special events too… So prep your lines & get ready to meet someone…

For more information about participating in the wine stomp, chocolate pie eating contest, singles events or vow renewals click here to check out the event page at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival & find out more about the wine, chocolate and romance weekend.

Sign Language Sat.

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“Pets & Pirates”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #5

September 16th & 17th…

On Sat. September 16th there will be sign-language interpreters at all stages and help booths throughout the day.

This is also our traditional “Pirate” & “Pet Costume” week… So if Fido loves to play dress up this is your weekend… Even if you don’t have a pet you are welcome to join in the piratical fun.

Click here to go directly to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival page to get more information about Sign Language Saturday and the Pets & Pirates Competitions this weekend.

“ Shamrocks & Shenanigans ”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #6

September 23rd & 24th…

Love Ireland? Love Irish dance? Well… we love Ireland too and this weekend at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is devoted to all things Irish.

For more information about the Shamrocks & Shenanigans events at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival –including a Kilt contest– click here to go directly to the relevant page of the mInnesota Renaissance Festival website.

Think of it as “St. Patrick’s Day in September.” Nagle is an Irish name so we at Nagle Forge & Foundry have always made a wide variety of “Irish” styles for our fellow Irish-Americans.

We are particularly proud of our “Irish County Ship” line. Nagle Forge & Foundry’s  unique Irish County ship series features a pin for every county of Ireland. Each pin is engraved with the symbols of the specific county it represents and comes with a story card with a mini history of the specific county. (At only $37.- these are a wonderful gift item for the sons, daughters and grandchildren of the diaspora.)

Come see us at Booth #418 & ask to see the “Irish Fleet.”

Festival Friday!

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

September 29th…

All stages open… All booths open… Special ticket deals!

We know we aren’t the only people who work weekends so every year the Festival has a bonus Friday for everyone who can’t make it out on a Saturday or Sunday.

As usual there will be fantastic ticket deals and packages offered for Festival Friday. Click here to be taken directly to the Festival Friday page.

 

“ Oktoberfest ”

Minnesota Renaissance Festival 2017

Weekend #7

September 30th & October 1st…

Love Beer? Dachshunds? Fall Fun? For the last weekend of the Renaissance we will be having a Renaissance style Oktoberfest! Check out the home-brew competition… meet the brewers… Wear your lederhosen… Dance & make merry…

Own a dachshund? Pre-register your Dachshund for the long-dog races and get special treats for dog and human.

This is the last weekend of the 2017 Renaissance season so… make sure you make note of any special items you want to pick-up (or mail order) for that special someone in your life. Especially if you are that special someone…

As always we will be in Booth #418.

Interested in the details of the dachshund competition? Click here to be taken directly to the Oktoberfest page.

Viking Ship Seal Ring 1

The Northmen: The Viking Influence on the Celtic World

Traders, Fisherman, Farmers, Artists, Carpenters, Builders, Predators…

The Vikings, when they swept out of their Northern homelands in the 8th century A.D. were all that and more. Viking warriors guarded the Emperors of Byzantium, dragged –literally– the King of the Franks from his throne & raided the monasteries of Western Europe.

The Vikings were a sea people. Men and women with the courage to take to the North Atlantic in open ships that flexed with every wave. In bad weather passengers and crew must have been half frozen. And yet... the Dragon prowed ships of the Vikings were some of the finest ships that ever sailed. Sturdy, with a shallow draft they could slide up rivers as easily as they braved the Gulf of Finland.
The Vikings were a sea people. Men and women with the courage to take to the North Atlantic in open ships that flexed with every wave. In bad weather passengers and crew must have been half frozen. And yet… the Dragon prowed ships of the Vikings were some of the finest ships that ever sailed. Sturdy, with a shallow draft they could slide up rivers as easily as they braved the Gulf of Finland.

 

But it was as sailors and settlers –not predators– that the Vikings made their true impact on the Celtic world. Fierce and fearless sailors they plundered Ireland, England and Scotland… but they also settled in Waterford, Dublin, York, Normandy, Orkney and a hundred other places.

Today we like to think of the Celts as purely Celtic. The Vikings purely Scandinavian. But nothing could be further from the case. The Vikings were never mere predators, and rarely remained cultural outsiders for long.

Northern Cloverleaf
Look closely at a classic “Celtic” style and you can sometimes see the Northern influence. Is it a Celtic Knot? Or a Viking Carving?

The Northmen came to Scotland as raiders, would be lords, sometime conquerors. Appropriately enough the Highlands and Islands would become one of the last strongholds of Viking traditions and Viking culture. While the Jarls of Orkney adopted Christianity relatively early they were slow to abandon their traditions of magic, feuds and outlaws. Many of the northern Clans seemed equally unconcerned with the outside world. And, although the Orkneys “officially” became part of the Scottish crown in the 15th century –as part of the dowery of the Norwegian Princess Margaret, a descendant of Vikings– the Highlands and Islands continued to follow their own star and as late as the 18th century Jacobite sympathizers from the Islands would continue to flee to Norway or Sweden.

To this day there are still those that have problems with the hybrid nature of the Viking influenced Northern Clans. Their art, their history, their culture and their family trees are never purely Celtic or purely Viking. Historians are as inclined as anyone else to take sides… They prefer to see the battles of the North –even the artistic battles of the North– in epic terms. To the defenders of a purely Celto-phile vision of Scotland, Scotland isolated from the rest of Medieval Europe, is where traditional Celtic art endured passed on with barely a hitch from Druid priests to Catholic monks until that ancient tradition was threatened by brutal Norse predators.

The brutality of the Vikings should never be underestimated. They earned their reputation as sea raiders, fierce men of the North. Adorable Sterling Silver Cufflinks these are fairly accurate depictions of Viking Dragon Ships... But the scale enables us to forget that these ships helped the Northmen make rivers and coasts of Europe their own for nearly four hundred years. And helped the Northmen turn Northern Scotland into an eternal outpost of the Viking world.
The brutality of the Vikings should never be underestimated. They earned their reputation as sea raiders, fierce men of the North. Adorable Sterling Silver Cufflinks like these are fairly accurate depictions of Viking Dragon Ships… But the scale enables us to forget that these ships helped the Northmen make the rivers and coasts of Europe their own for nearly four hundred years. And helped the Northmen turn Northern Scotland into an eternal outpost of the Viking world.
But the Celts and the Vikings –despite their battles– shared a strong connection to the natural world, a belief in the mystical otherworld and a self confidence reflected in art unlike any other.

This design is a reflection of that hybrid world that was both Viking and Celtic… a world that gave birth to the Northern Clans.


                                             Both Viking and Celtic Art Share An Organic Origin
Celtic knotwork –whether it is the colorfully intricate ornamentation of an early Christian Irish prayer book, or the sinuous lines that decorate the hilt of a Bronze Age warrior’s dagger– is always the most immediately recognizable aspect of High Celtic art. What inspired those knots is, today, a mystery. But… before there was Bronze there was rope. Long before the first Celtic stonemason picked up a chisel to carve the very soul of the Celt into the stones, there were weavers, fisherman and sailors who could make mazes out of twine & rings out of rope. Like the Celts the Vikings were also people of rope. Their ships never sailed without rope, their fisherman never fished without rope, they never tied a bail or set a trap without rope… And rope and braid motifs are staples of Viking Art just as they were part of the daily life of Vikings and Celts alike.

The Celts and the Vikings shared a bloody and vibrant world. A world of old Gods and new. Sagas and stories. A world of conflict, and a world of courage. Today nearly half the clans of Northern Scotland can trace their lineage back to the Vikings. And Ireland’s smiling blue eyes? They might be a legacy of the Vikings as well.

Tartan...

Anniversary of the Repeal of Proscription –Celebrate Freedom!

July 1st –The Anniversary of the Repeal of Proscription

A quality tartan of course can never be accused of being "tourist tat" --but with so much color it is blindly obvious that accessories must also incorporate a world of color. And, historically, they did.

In 1747, in the harsh aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, British authorities banned the wearing of the tartan –and imposed other penalties on acts which, in the aftermath of Culloden hinted of Scottish nationalism.

Over thirty years later, on July 1st, 1782, the Proscription Act was repealed and Scots could once again display their tartans. 

(Whether the Plaid was a complete unknown in Scotland in the thirty plus years between Proscription and Repeal is a question for another day. In the aftermath of the Repeal of Proscription the Scots were certainly quick to re-adopt the wearing of the Tartan.)

The new “legality” of tartan reignited the Scots’ passion for tartan. Interestingly it also ignited a passion for tartan in the English.

Thus, anyone who loves tartan today owes a (fashion) debt to Queen Victoria, her uncle, George the IV, and the Sobieski-Stuart brothers. The Sobieski-Stuart brothers, a determined pair of Stuart pretenders to the throne who were beloved by the fashionable set in Scotland in the early decades of the 19th century, in a very real way re-invented (or simply invented) Clan Tartans in the 1820s, ’30s and ’40s. They wrote –from quasi whole-cloth– the definitive book on Clan Tartans and were widely consulted in their day as experts by anyone looking for an “official” Clan Tartan.