One of the best experiences on this job was having the actors turn up on set in costume and see them blend into the world you created. Being able to tell the actors the history of each item and how they would use it makes them feel like a part of an authentic world.
On the first day of shooting, I gave Jamie, the lead actor, a WW1 British army clasp knife, an item he would have used every day in the trenches. I gave him a piece of string and told him how it would be tied around knife and belt and kept in the left pocket. During filming, he started using it for several purposes, not mentioned in the script.
In his toolbox, I hid the medals he would have won in war, Silver War Medal and the Victory Medal (“Mutt and Jeff”).
Shauna, the lead actress, asked questions about the many different kitchen devices I prepared. For example the spurtle, a stick to stir the porridge with, and the girdle, a device hanging from the fireplace to make scones with.