You must have seen these huge brooches on the kilts and sashes in Braveheart. These Celtic cloaking devices are the precursor to the safety pin; quite ingenious technology for medieval period garb. I was introduced to these pins when I became associated with the Society for Creative Anachronisms.
The SCA holds gatherings both small and large, each attempting to recreate an event (whether a baronial birthday or an all out war) with the most authentic gear possible. This Society has developed a world wide movement of medievalist and renaissance period re-creators that will (at the drop of a hat) construct a Faire at the corner of a parking lot, a duel in the commons or a Grand Ball in a local Grange.
Upon my first SCA Event, I was requested to produce a Penannular not of the normal shape but a piece that would fit into Medieval Scotland, and functional: like the real ones! Hence, my first creation was the Knot Work Penannular. A free-form knot shaping the C part of the brooch and the classic knotted spear for the pin head.
Following the first Penannular Brooch, I then developed other themes that were not period: grapes, sea horses, stars and more.
I wanted to introduce the Penannular to folks who only attend a renaissance fare one a year (if ever), thus I created a video that demonstrates the use of these Brooches now posted in my website. There you will see the Brooch in action as it is placed on a Plaid!
Penannulars may be used to clasp capes, cloaks and scarves. The pins I place on the larger versions are stout: designed for the heavy, loose woven fabric like wool. I also make lighter versions for finer cloth: like jackets. I have specially made Brooches for leather as well. The smallest Penannulars are for very light pieces and shirts, skirts and the like.
Whether they are simple or ornate, Penannulars make a great way to tack a loose scarf or cover an emergency missing button, making it look like you did it on purpose!
As always, if you want something specially made for you, just ask, I create everything in my site and only too happy to create it for you.
These Amulets By Merlin Penannular brooches are another example of your fine craftmanship. I love the celtic knot work design and it makes me want to buy a cloak so that I can wear one. You are right about the smaller penannulars being great for keeping a scarf in place…perfect for the ladies. The penannular brooch instructional video was very helpful in demonstrating how to use the brooch. Thanks for being a jewelry craftsman that creates video examples to explain your work…a truly original idea!
Keep up the great art.
This is so beautiful!
Another example of your beautiful work! I love penannulars and I am starting something of a collection, as I love shawls and ruanas (almost a cloak) for everyday wear and I wear my cloaks for special occasions. Penannulars are very practical as well as beautiful – and they hold up to the thicker woolens of ruanas and cloaks and knitted shawls much better than regular brooches which generally aren’t wide enough and when they are, they are too heavy.