From my earliest days in the SCA, I have always loved Paternosters. There is just something beautiful and soothing about the beads; patterns and symmetry… I am always surprised by how under-represented these special items are in the society.
I acquired the bone beads to construct this Paternoster some time ago. This summer, I found the perfect pewter cross while at Pennsic – from none other than Billy & Charlie’s.
This is my new favorite thing.
Over the summer, I spent time collecting beads and working on creating several new Paternosters. More and more, I’m finding enjoyment and meaning in working with prayer beads.
At the An Tir/West War, I was truly fortunate to participate in a Paternoster class taught by Chris Laning, the author of Paternoster Row. It was really quite the thing to be able to see and hold many of her amazing Paternosters in person.
I made these two Paternosters for friends. The top one was made for Baroness Kara and the bottom one, a ‘Tenner’ was made for Baron Godric. These beads reflect the colors of their Arms, black and gold. (I chose bone beads which were closer in color to yellow than white.) I used glass beads (of black) and bone beads for the gauds. The cross on the end of each Paternoster is a pewter Maltese cross, which is the device image for the Company of St. Ulrich.
It took awhile to find all the elements I wanted to use for these Paternosters, but in the end I was quite happy with them.
About a year ago I became interested in the idea of creating a paternoster or two. I had seen them in a variety of period illuminations and noticed that some of them are quite beautiful. With a common thread of religion and/or faith in the middle ages, it seems likely that many women would have carried some form of prayer beads.
Since college, I have enjoyed making beads and making projects with beads. This seemed like a great new challenge. I began looking around online, and quickly found an excellent site called Paternoster Row.
After more reading and research, I decided to make a paternoster. There have been some interesting issues as to what to string the beads with. Because the paternoster rubs on my belt, the cotton threads have broken on me twice. You can imagine beads flinging everywhere in the middle of an event. Talk about embarrassing. Finally, I decided to combine the thread with a stronger clear filament. So far, it seems to have worked.
This paternoster made its debut at 12th Night 2008. The tassles are a much deeper color than this picture indicates, a rich purple.
I like the idea of carrying prayer beads.