Monday, October 5, 2015

Inspiration from Fort Ligonier, Pennsylvania

Moat at Fort Ligonier
Inspiration for my designs comes from the strangest places sometimes. I had the opportunity to visit Fort Ligonier which is a British fortification from the French and Indian War and located in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. The history of Fort Ligonier began in September 1758 and was concluded in March 1766, embracing the period of the French and Indian War and Pontiac’s War. The story of this time period is told through the remarkable Fort Ligonier museum exhibits and a fully reconstructed and restored fortification.  Eight acres of the original site of Fort Ligonier have been preserved, with the subsurface features restored and the above-ground elements reconstructed.

Approach to Fort Ligonier 
As I approached Fort Ligonier, I couldn't help but be struck by the sight of the outer retrenchment, 1,600 feet long, that surrounds the fort.

One of the 3 gates into the fort

The inner fort is 200 feet square, defended by four bastions and accessed by three gates; inside is the officers’ mess, barracks, quartermaster, guardroom, underground magazine, commissary, and officers’ quarters. Immediately outside the fort is General Forbes’s hut.Other external buildings include the Pennsylvania hospital (two wards and a surgeon’s hut), a smokehouse, a saw mill, bake ovens, a log dwelling and a forge.

One of the bastions

Quarter Master Supply Building

Inside the quarter master supply building

It became very obvious that there were several distinct types of armed fighting men here. The King’s regulars were raised in the British Isles and paid by the Crown, although colonists also enlisted in the regular army.  Provincial troops consisted of volunteers recruited, equipped and paid by individual colonies. At Fort Ligonier, these troops were from Pennsylvania and Virginia, with detachments from the “Lower Counties” (now Delaware), Maryland and North Carolina. Local militia served at the fort in 1763.

Officer's  sleeping quarters

Commissioned officers formed a close elite group separated by a wide gulf from the other ranks, or enlisted men.  Standing between the two was a distinct class of managers: sergeants and corporals, who enforced work and discipline.  While the officer's slept in beds, the enlisted slept in tents.

Officer's Dining Area

The officer's had a well furnished dining area and got better rations than the enlisted.

Green Leaf Bracelet by Bay Moon Design
The fort and the surrounding area brought to mind the predominant colors of brown and greens.  Visiting this area in early fall, very few leaves had turned and there were lots of leaves.  When I made this fall bracelet I used a green ceramic leaf that has pretty light green and brownish red veins running through it.  I paired reddish brown beads, copper beads, and green and rust jasper chips.  I think that this bracelet  captures the color of Fort Liginoir in early fall.  I am sure in a few weeks there will be lots of oranges, pinks, and yellows.  

Leaves were also the focus of the jewelry retreat I attended here in Lingonier.  Heather Powers of Humblebeads taught to make a leaf out of 20 gauge copper and incorporate it into jewelry.

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