The motivations for this shirt are complex, but the execution was straightforward. I bought a blank red sweatshirt from the craft store, block-printed the Yama Kaminari clan mon in the center of the back and at the front left shoulder in white, then painted the kanji for my SCA name on the back beneath the mon. I had to re-paint the white by hand, which is almost always necessary when trying to paint white on dark color, but it’s pretty easy once the graphic is established. I used Jacquard Textile Color on this instead of heavier acrylic paint, since it soaks into the fabric more and changes the texture of the garment less. I’m really starting to like the Textile Color quite a lot.
Anyway, this came in very handy on the chilly first night of War Practice this year, and on the chilly morning of pack-out at that same event.
This lantern is mostly made from some surplus 3/4″ oak I had in the garage. It uses the same mortise-and-tenon frame I’ve used for the other lanterns, except for the two diagonal braces just under the top rails. The suspension mechanism is also a little different, just some 1/8″ nylon rope inserted through drilled holes, and a brass ring.
The exterior is some Warlon Taf-Top shoji “paper”. This paper is coated with polyester fibers, making it water resistant and more durable than paper. It’s good stuff, and not that much more expensive than regular shoji paper. The paper is just wrapped around the outside and held in place with double-sided tape.
The top part of the garden light drops into the top of the lantern and rests on the diagonal braces. The top part has the solar panel, battery, and bulb; and is itself sealed against weather. This makes it the ideal lighting unit for this kind of project. The bulb is actually a cob of dozens of LEDs that play a little flame animation. It’s very realistic.
At Pennsic, the group we camp with likes to hang lanterns out in front of camp. Solar lanterns means we don’t have to worry about burning anything down or changing batteries. I’ll need to make a bunch more of these lanterns before Pennsic returns next year, if Pennsic returns next year.