After looking at all of the historical purse frames that I could locate I decided to make mine from Brass. The majority of the purse frames that I found were some sort of copper alloy, so this seemed appropriate. I purchased the brass in the form of ¼ inch round rod. I determined the size purse frame that I wanted and sawed the rod into the proper lengths for the stretchers. These lengths were then roughly bent into “C” shapes (to make them smaller) and placed into my kiln to anneal. In period, the pieces would have been placed in a forge or furnace, but I don’t currently have access to either of these. The annealed brass was then hammered on an anvil to flatten and shape the rods. A metal hammer was used to forge the brass and a leather mallet was used to shape the brass. Whenever the metal became too hard I placed it back in the kiln to anneal it again. This process was repeated until the frame had assumed the desired shape, which is based on the Sutton Hoo purse. At that point I hammered the ends of the rod flat, perpendicular to the remainder of the flattened rod. They had been left in the round up to this point. I then rounded then with a file. Holes were drilled in the ends of the stretchers to accommodate the support rod.
– There’s more yet to come. Keep watching!