A World of Color: Gems, Jewels, Treasure & a Great Big Plaid Brooch

Embracing Color in Scotland’s Era of Empire

Color has always played a tremendous role in traditional Celtic dress and has continued to play a tremendous role in traditional Scottish dress to this day. Tartan, after all, is practically synonymous

Today the Scotland that is cemented in our collective imagination as the “traditional” Scotland is very much a creation of the 19th century… a hazy combination of Victorian Romanticism and historical novels that seem to have sprung full formed from some rocky loch side castle in 1855. The romantic in all of us prefers to forget the harsh reality of the Scottish Industrial Revolution. Instead… “Scotland” generally conjures up visions of Queen Victoria. (And rightfully

Romantic Scotland” is, today, an almost inescapable term. Scotland’s scenery, history, plaintive ballads and colorful traditions all seem like the definition of romance… What, after all, could be more romantic than an elegant lady of yesteryear wrapped in a tartan sash? The reality of course… was a little less elegant. And

By Sarah

This article was originally published in the Nagle Forge & Foundry newsletter between 2002 & 2003. Due to space constraints (& printing costs) the original article had to be heavily edited. As many people commented at the time that they found this article useful we have decided to revise and expand it prior to adding it to Notes. As

Birth Stones

Historical Birthstones, Modern Birthstones: Your Birth Stone Over the years we have been asked –by, it sometimes seems, everyone– to show examples of the January birthstone, the April birthstone, Mom’s birthstone, Dad’s birthstone, my birthstone: We always answer people the same way, “Pick a stone, any stone. It has probably been (or will be) the birthsone you are looking for at

What They Are,

How They Work,

Where They Go:

(& why they have two names)!

History, fashion, common usage, & our own stubborn refusal to move with the times and gracefully accept the changes of the modern age (anything post 1840 –actually we have accepted a lot of post 1840 changes, just not when it comes to design…) have conspired to

Custom Pewter Work

As a courtesy, Nagle Forge & Foundry provides custom design and casting services for Clans, Clubs, Bands, Corporations and Events interested in creating a quality commemorative pin or medallion. All of our custom pewter work is done to the same high standards when making our own designs. And all of our custom commissions are made in the same California workshops where

Making One’s Mark

The present day expression ‘making one’s mark,’ implying some special achievment, is based upon traditions that date back at least 700 years. In the Middle Ages, a craftsman producing a product marked that product with a special symbol denoting that he or his shop (or she or her shop –more on women metal workers of the middle ages later) made that product. The mark varied and could denote many things: Royal licensce, guild membership, purity,

Pearl Wisdom

5 Things You Should Never Do With (or to) Your Pearls: And a few reasons why. 1) Never Knot Your Pearls. There are two ways to knot pearls: One is good, one is very bad. The first (good) type of knotting consists of small knots tied between each bead (i.e., pearl) in a strand. This typically lengthens a string

By Brian Nagle

Originally printed in the Northern California newsletter in 1998 The close of the Renaissance Faire Season means that Fall is here. And right in back of fall, of course, is the holiday season. You know that means gift giving, or should I say mall wandering for most men? It’s become a tradition of sorts, seeing all those disgruntled