Collection: Fine Things for Pirates

These sets are a collaboration between Weird Sister Strands, Old Growth Alchemy, and Thistle Thistle. All three of us adore Our Flag Means Death to the moon and back and joined forces to offer an array of treasures inspired by the show. 

In the sections that follow, you can read about my inspirations for the strands, OGA's delectable tea blends, and the details of Thistle Thistle's gorgeous woodblock print of "The Revenge." 

 

I. The Strands (written by Leila, Weird Sister Strands) 

I, like so many, recently fell in love with “Our Flag Means Death”, and delighted in every moment of its unabashed queer-affirming first season, especially every minute where Stede and Ed interact. One of my favorite moments that they share is the one that occurs after they attend a raucous and garish dinner party that lays bare, among other things, both the superficiality and ghoulishness of the rich elites and Ed’s deep vulnerability and class-induced shame. 

Stede approaches a solitary Ed, who seems ashamed of his “ungentlemanly” (but more than justified) outburst at the erstwhile party. Ed is still in his evening’s finery (borrowed from Stede’s wardrobe), holding onto a fine piece of red silk he had claimed as an impoverished child. The scene flashes back briefly to a conversation between Ed as a young boy and his mother, who tells him — full of sympathy and resignation — that fine things like that bit of silk just aren’t for him and never will be. Jumping back to the present, Stede gently asks if he can see the silk (which Ed quickly dismisses as “tatty”), and Stede folds and tucks it into Ed’s breast pocket, looks at it and at Ed, and tells him in total sincerity (as sincere as his mother was to Ed as a child) that he “wears fine things well.” And an endearingly awkward “good night” ensues between the two, as they fall a bit more in love with one another without quite realizing it yet. 

This scene has stuck with me, and has gotten me thinking not only about the messages we get, day in and day out, about our assumed worth and worthiness, but also about how so many men in my own country (and in other countries around the world) are emphatically discouraged from adorning themselves in fine things and in color (as a mother of a child who, so far, identifies as a boy, I scour kid’s clothing sections for color because the offerings tend to come in shades of brown and black). Women have, for at least the last 70 years or so, been able to don garments typically coded as masculine (pantsuits, etc.) because, in the inherent sexist and patriarchal logic, they are donning the garments of the more powerful. For a man to wear “fine things” in this same culture is — so the horrid logic goes — an act of diminution. This is what we mean when we say that patriarchy hurts everyone, cis women included. 

So, bead witch that I am, I started to think about what kind of adornments I’d make for these pirate lovers to wear, either separately or together, in hopes that these strands (and all of my strands, truth be told) would be ones that anyone and everyone could wear. I landed on gold and tourmaline rutilated quartz — gold for Stede and tourmaline for Ed, and decided on using the same kind of labradorite (evoking that beautiful moonlit night in the scene I just described) in both to bring them both together. And, of course, pearls. What I didn’t expect, as I designed them, was the discovery that some of the tourmilated quartz has sandy-colored rutiles here and there, and that some of the gorgeous golden-rutilated quartz has the occasional black inclusion, which strikes me as so endearingly perfect--another way these two strands evoke not only their respective pirates but the connection the two men share.  

 

I. The Teas (Descriptions by Ashley, Old Growth Alchemy)

”His Name is Ed”

Description:

What's her name?"
"Ed...his name is Ed."

Tea Notes: Rich & Floral
Caffeinated Tea Blend

Celebrating the hit new series, Our Flag Means Death, this blend is crafted after Edward Teach, or as he is fearsomely known: Blackbeard. A dark brew of three different black teas swirls together with some yummy lavender to celebrate the softer side of our favorite pirate duo. Each jar is topped with a single red candy heart, reminiscent of the final reveal of Blackbeard's flag.

Recommend infusion of 1-2 tablespoon of loose tea per 8 oz of hot water and infusing for at least 5 minutes. The flavors and scent will change the longer it steeps, so be sure to take some time while your brew infuses to experience the journey.

Ingredients: Black tea blend and lavender.

”The Gentleman Pirate”

“Now presenting for his regional debut. The Brigand of Barbados. The Cream of the Caribbean.
The Gentleman Pirate.”

Tea Notes: Floral, Sweet, Tropical
Non-Caffeinated Tea Blend

Description: Celebrating the hit new series, Our Flag Means Death, this blend is crafted after Stede Bonnet, or the Gentleman Pirate. A light and floral brew, with a tropical creaminess of coconut, it blends delightfully with aromatic florals and bright citrus for a blend as regal and light as Bonnet himself.

Recommend infusion of 1-2 tablespoon of loose tea per 8 oz of hot water and infusing for at least 5 minutes. The flavors and scent will change the longer it steeps, so be sure to take some time while your brew infuses to experience the journey.

Ingredients:

Coconut, linden flowers and leaves, jasmine flowers, orange peel, chrysanthemum, and chamomile.

 

III. "The Revenge" print (description by Katie, Thistle&Thistle)

And last but not least, a highlight post about @thistlethistle’s marvelous print! All “Piratical Gentlefolk” gift sets will come with one of these offerings, and here is the maker’s original description:

“welcome to my first ever fan art ;; this is a print of a woodblock I carved because I can’t stop thinking about those dang gay pirates. go watch our flag means death i’m begging you.”

digital reproduction of original woodblock print of Stede’s ship THE REVENGE

cream or white card stock  with hand deckled edge

print measures approx. 9’’ x 7’’

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  • The Gentleman Pirate Gift Set
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