(Mira's note:  If you have questions about this article and photos, please contact the tentmaker, Rannveig (Jennifer Bray) directly at jennifer.bray@ttpcom.com I would like to express my sincere thanks to her for sharing her experiences and photos on this web page.)

Here's a whole bunch of pictures, there are three tents involved.

1) large green tent made by Vanaheim -there's a photo of me spinning in it with one side hitched up (I'm not miserable really I'm just squinting because it was sunny!), and a close up of the heads which are painted in a copy of the gopkstad ship tents. The black bits should be carved, the yellow bits are painted where the original was painted. The tent is reinforced with bands of tablet weaving: I finally found a way to use up all the grotty coarse weaving I produced at demos! There is also a photo of the frame of this tent shot at a diagonal angle off to one side

2) a red & blue tent made by Vanaheim. (Mira's note:  Shows up in these pics as red and white). One photo shows it as a tent one as a sort of sun canopy, it's using some spare timbers I made to prop up my tent, but we used them to prop up the red & blue because it's larger than my tent. The other photo shows it in tent mode.

3) My tent, this is the one with carved heads in one of the close up shots, I thought they were copied from the tent on the Gokstad ship, then I got the original archaeologists report & found they're actually from a bit of furniture instead. Ah well, too late now, and it makes for a bit more variety in the tents. There is also an end view of the frame, and you can just see it in the background in the view of the red & blue tent set up as a sun-shade. Like the big green tent my tent's reinforced with coarse tablet weaving left over from demonstrating (yes, I did a lot of demonstrations to get that amount!)

Vanaheim is a group of Viking re-enactors originally from Manchester England, though I now live in Cambridgeshire on the opposite side of the country from the rest of the group.

All the tent timbers are pine, I believe they should be Ash, but we got a load of almost knot-free pitch pine from a warehouse which burnt down, and it turned up just when we were saving for tent wood, so we couldn't ignore it! The covers are all wool, this is for two reasons: (1) because Nicolaysen's original report on the excavation of the Gokstad ship mentioned a woolen tent cover (2) there was a shop in Manchester selling really REALLY cheap wool when we were making the tents.

The tents are all hand sewn because wool doesn't react well to being sewn with cotton & you can't get even fine worsted thread through a machine. The wool is reasonably waterproof, it will stand up to an hour's thunderstorm & wind, or a night of drizzle in a sheltered spot. More than that & things inside get slightly damp, but not intolerably so.


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