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On Target: Backyard Backstops Part 2, or The Arrows Stops Here

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-09-27 22:29

Before I begin, I want to thank all of you who reached out to me with your condolences at the passing of my Dad. He got me started in shooting over five decades ago. I’ve never met anyone that had as much experience shooting as he did.

This month I want to do a backstop that’s hanging in the air. Once again, we take five sheets of cardboard and zip tie them together.

Next, add a thin piece of Coroplast, because the cardboard will rip without it.

Now, attach D-rings or carabiners so you can easily clip the target to a rope going from tree to tree. This also allows the backstop to go easily on and off the rope.

I’ve discovered over the years that no matter how hard you pull on the rope, after a while the rope stretches and there is slack, so on the far end of the rope, hang a counterweight to keep it tight. In the picture, that’s roughly 40 lbs. of concrete blocks.

As you can see here, two of the backstops come up out of the ground. The third one hangs in the air. Now it’s a triple-layered backstop.

Next, I have two videos that show how well-layering backstops work. You can see how they absorb the kinetic energy as they catch the arrow and rock back-and-forth.

Finally, another thing you can do for safety in your backyard is use flu-flu arrows. The extra large fletching causes drag that slows the arrow down.

I’ve also been asked about shooting without tips. If you shoot without a tip, it will not penetrate the cardboard, and could throw the balance of the arrow off and break the shaft, which would be very unsafe in your backyard.

This month’s safety tip: marshals and shooters, beware of distractions on the line. In these photos*, the shooter is it at full draw when something behind her gets her attention. As she turns to look, she swings the loaded bow around and has it pointed in the wrong direction. Remember, where the eyes go, the body goes, and the body will bring the bow with it. Never hesitate to call a Hold.

*Thanks to our model, Lady Thalia Papillon, who graciously staged these photos.

In Service,

THL Deryk Archer


Categories: SCA news sites

A Research and Documentation Primer

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-09-26 20:23
An Introduction to Research & Documentation

By Euriol of Lothian, O.L., O.P.

Please don’t run away! I know that Research & Documentation may scare many of you. No need to fear, I know it is a bit frightening… like a young child coming face to face with a junkyard dog. But if you give me a chance, perhaps we might be able to make this journey less intimidating and more enjoyable. Believe me, this dog will not bite.

Take a deep breath. You alright? Ready to take your first step? No need to worry, I’m here beside you to help you on your way.

I cannot recall how many times I might see something and think to myself “That is so amazing, I wish I could learn how to….”. We are very fortunate in the current modern age that we have so much information at our disposal. Sometimes it is too much information, and we don’t know where to start. The purpose of this article is to offer guidelines, suggestions really, on where you might start your own research journey and how to document it to a desired audience (e.g. classroom notes, newsletter articles, competition documentation for judges).

Research vs. Documentation

What is the difference between Research and Documentation? Research is the investigation of a subject to discover or revise information on the subject. Documentation is an artifact that is derived from the research. Research can include looking at primary, secondary and tertiary sources of information including expert analysis and opinion as well as practical hands-on experience. Examples of research may include the following:

  • Online articles and pictures
  • Personal attempt to create an item that is the subject of your research
  • Books, Magazines and Periodicals (Printed and Online)
  • Viewing a painting contemporary to the time period of an item (secondary source)
  • Archaeological notes from a university publication (expert analysis & opinion)
  • Examining an item on display at a museum (primary source)

Many of us are not fortunate to have access to many primary & secondary sources of information, but most of us have access to online articles and pictures as well as our own personal experience in attempting to create an item.

How far you go with your research is completely a personal choice, but sometimes when you start following the breadcrumbs of information, you might not anticipate where that journey might lead you.

Resources

Now that we have made the decision to start researching a subject, where to begin? There are several starting points at your disposal.

Do you recall where you first heard or saw something about the subject you want to research? Perhaps it was at a class? Perhaps you saw someone wearing or working with the subject? Go to these individuals, and strike up a conversation about the subject. I can tell you that people really do enjoy talking about subjects that are of interest to them. Ask them if they have any information of how you can learn more about the subject and get their contact information.

Perhaps the subject was something you learned about while watching a TV show, movie, or some other video. Perhaps it was an article online or in a magazine.

You had to learn about the existence of the subject somewhere; if you can. make a note of where you first learned about it.

Additional starting points may be:

  • Search engine (i.e. Google)
  • Wikipedia
  • Online Communities for the Subject (i.e. Facebook or Email Groups)
  • SCA Arts & Sciences Websites
  • Personal websites by Amateur Scholars
Notes

As you begin your research you also want to make sure you are keeping some sort of notes of your research. These notes are to help you keep a record of the sources you investigated and the information you learned from these sources. Pick a method of keeping notes that is most comfortable for you. Some methods that may be used are:

  • A blog or personal website
  • A notebook or journal
  • An electronic notepad (Word Document, One Note)
  • Idea board (Pinterest)
  • Email folder

Below are some samples of a note entries:

Type Book Title Harvest of the Cold Months ISBN 9780571275328 Information Learned Ice was used to cool wine in Italy during the 16th century.

 

Type Online Article Title The Garden of St. Francis Website http://www.medievalhistories.com/the-garden-of-st-francis-formed-a-contrast-to-the-semi-urban-cultivated-landscape-of-13th-century-italy/ Information Learned The garden was specifically embellished with an inner sanctum – a smaller garden – meant to hold a flower-garden, uniquely kept to provide olfactory and visual pleasures

 

Type Personal Experience Title How to Crack Honey without Thermometer Date June 14, 2017 Information Learned I was finally able to get the honey to get hot enough that in cracked like peanut brittle when the nucato was cooled. You will get a whiff of smoke as the honey is boiling, and then immediately take it off the heat. Reminder, not to put the nuts nor spices into the honey while it is being heated, otherwise the spices and nuts will burn. Documentation

Documentation can be as simple as taking all your notes and putting them together in a manner that is directed for a specific audience. There are several different types of documentation you can create based on your research. Examples of documentation can include the following:

  • An article for a newsletter or a blog
  • Class notes
  • How-to guide
  • An article for a magazine
  • A periodical issue
  • Documentation for a competition

Knowing your audience can help you determine the type of documentation to create. There are templates available for creating documentation. I also suggest having someone not knowledgeable in the subject matter review your documentation so anything that might not be clear can be identified and addressed.

Some of the details you might consider discussing in your documentation are as follows:

  • Introduction
    • Introduce the reader to the subject and set their expectations for what they might gain or learn from the document
    • What about this subject has inspired you to research it?
  • Historical background
    • Tell the reader about the subject and how it relates in context to a time period or through several time periods
  • Materials, Processes, Tools & Techniques
    • If the subject is an item that can be crafted, discuss the materials, processes, tools and techniques used to make the item.
    • Discuss any differences between historical practices and how you made the item.
  • Supporting your Research
    • For further information – Give the reader information on where they could learn more, this could include your contact information.
    • Footnotes or Endnotes – Give credit where credit is due by supporting what you have learned by where you learned it from.
    • Bibliography – Now you have all your notes, you can create a bibliography based on all the information you have gather.

Thank you for taking the time to let me guide you on these first steps to Research and Documentation. I have only scratched the surface on these topics. Hopefully it is not as scary as it was once before. If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact me at euriol@yahoo.com. For your convenience, I have many links on various articles on research and documentation on my website at:

https://sites.google.com/site/eurioloflothian/resources/documentation


Categories: SCA news sites

How to Make A Point… or 12

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-09-26 17:05

By Laird Coinneach Mac an Leigh

Points are the short (generally a foot long) ties used by Elizabethans for many clothing purposes: attaching sleeves to doublets, holding jerkins closed, and lacing doublets to hosen, among others.

During that time period, points were sold in bundles of a dozen. From this we may deduce they were a “manufactured” item, not something made to order for each customer. Many Scadians use short shoelaces or bits of ribbon for points, but here is a way to make them.

Tools and Materials. All photos by THFool Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake.

I make my points from brass tubing and braided cotton cord. It’s really quite simple and results in handsome points (if I do say so myself) that don’t break the bank.

Start with a length of small brass tubing. I have used 3/16” tubing with good results. While 5/32” works, I found it difficult to insert the cord. Cut the tubing into approximately 1” lengths, two for each point you want to make. These are your aglets.

If you decide to use the whole length of tubing (it’s commonly sold in three-foot lengths) you may want to cut the last two lengths in half; any errors in the lengths of the aglets will accumulate at the end of the tubing, and cutting the last two aglets in half will result in one point per batch having shorter but even tips.

Cutting aglets with a tubing cutter

The best tool for cutting the tubing is, surprise, surprise, a tubing cutter. You can also use a hacksaw and a mitre box, but that will leave you with rough ends that need to be smoothed with a file or sandpaper, with no guarantee of a square cut, unlike the tubing cutter.

Measuring the cord

Once the aglets are cut, it’s time to cut the cord. I use braided cotton cord such as Venetian blind cord, about 9/64” in diameter. Cut about a one-foot length and pull the core from the braid.

Pulling the core

Roll the cut end between your fingers and carefully push it into an aglet. You can ease the aglet onto the cord by twisting and pushing, and you may find waxing the end of the cord helpful.

Inserting the cord into the aglet

Once the end of the cord is even with the other end of the aglet, pinch the aglet with a crimping tool such as those used for connecting terminals to small wires.

Make sure the end of the cord is even with the aglet

Crimp near the cord end of the aglet, then repeat the process for the other end of the cord.

Crimp the aglet

Congratulations! You have made your first point. Now all you need to do is repeat the process until you have all the points you need.

You can also use different materials for the cord. Period portraiture often shows ribbons with aglets used as points. You can do this simply by substituting half- or three-quarter-inch ribbon for the braided cord. Lucet cord would also work, but you may need to use a different diameter tubing; take a sample of your lucet cord to the craft store and find tubing that fits. I do not recommend using leather lace; I have found that crimping leather crushes the fibers and causes the aglets to break off.


Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic 46: Annual A&S Display

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-09-25 18:40

By THL Elska á Fjárfelli

Hannah’s art at the Display. All photos by Elska.

August 6 marked the 20th annual display of the talents and knowledge of the Known World’s artisans and craftspeople at the Pennsic War.

As in previous years, the variety and scope of work was amazing! From the tiny beaded flowers by Lady B’Gen van der Sterren of the Middle Kingdom, the intricately detailed Elsa snowflake jewelry box by Fredis Sjona of the Kingdom of Atlantia, and the delectably edible sugarpaste playing cards by Baroness Tatiana Ivanovna, if you could not make it to this years’ display, make sure to mark it down for next year!

While the A&S Display is not a competition, this year’s display also featured A&S consultation tables. Each entrant could voluntarily request feedback from practiced judges to help prepare for the higher degree of expectations that happen at more competitive levels. Even if an artisan does not plan on entering competitions, they may use these tables as great opportunities for low-key constructive feedback.

Because of several conflicting meetings, I only had a few hours to sit at my display and capture the work of my fellow artisans. While I always intend to immortalize all present, my excuses beforehand to the few I might have missed… From my documentation it seems that from the 70+ entries the Kingdom of the East had the most artisans, with a whopping 23 displays. The East was followed loosely by Atlantia and the Middle, with 11 artisans each, then Æthelmearc with nine, and a handful of dedicated Northshield, West, Ealdormere, Meridies, and Calontir artisans.

I met the following Æthelmearc artisans at the Display and enjoyed their works of art. Thank you all so much for sharing!

  • The Goldhaube Project by Freiherrin Helena Mutzhasen
  • Embroidery by Mistress Gillian Llywelyn
  • Illustration and The Memento Mori by Hannah (Youth)
  • Pick your Poison & The Hand of Glory by Lady Maggie Rue
  • Illumination by THL Mary Elizabeth Clason
  • Gems of the Cheapside Horde by Brahen Lapidario
  • Lampwork Beads by Lady Aranwen verch Rys ap Gwaiter
  • Tablet Weave warp weighted weaving by Lord Hrolfr á Fjárfelli
  • Alumen faecis, a most unusual Medieval ingredient by THL Elska á Fjárfelli

The A&S Display is an amazing spectacle of artistic talents and scientific skills. As the display is not a competition, it is possible to bring completed items as well as works-in-progress, research, and discussion material so that you may share, inspire, and enrich our Society. This way we can all see what others in our field are working on, discover a new passion, make new contacts, and most importantly, have fun! And maybe for next year, why don’t we try to show up those Easterners…


Categories: SCA news sites

2017 Battle of the Nations – Barcelona ~ Así es la vida

PainBank - Thu, 2017-05-11 20:51
La Monumental

As I sit here on the plane and reflect on my 6th year of campaigning in Europe at medieval tournaments, I ponder where to next and how shall I commit.  I am over traveling alone.  I have not the drive to do it myself any more.  Having someone with you to just talk with, assist you when confused on how things should work in an unknown place or even to decide on where to eat is an immeasurable bonus and happiness.  Then there is the question of what happens should you get hurt, who can assist you with the heavy stuff and getting to the airport or perhaps even home from the hospital?  These are the things to consider, which you might not even think of, until it is too late.

Trying to travel with armor sucks.  How do you pack? Where does it all go?  This makes things very difficult. What if you have a pole ax or halberd?  What is the length of the poles?  Can you buy a pole to put it on at the site?  Or do you get (my current usage) a snowboard bag and attach then axe head on site?  Then can you get it off, should you need to, for getting it home?  Is it now long enough to compete properly, 6.5 foot or 7 foot?  Of course, there is always the questions that occur from the airlines when you check it in!  What is this?  Sports equipment… then there is some waving of hands and attempts to explain it to them.  Of course, there is always questions, but usually they let you go.  I also pack in about 1/3 of my armor in the snowboard bag as well.  Of course, that is now two bags, so there is a cost to take it over, then one to bring it back.  So now you are looking at about a $200 extra cost for flying and returning. 

Then there are the emotions.  What is the greatest about fighting is also the worse.  The highs are followed by lows to the same degree.  Expectations, anticipations and preparations, which having lead one to the tournament, build you up to a climax that is an amazing experience.  This is something that is slightly different for every person and every tournament.  It is part of the sport and I am yet unsure how to suggest one cope with it.  Ride the emotional wave and enjoy life.

Then there is the fighting.  Every tournament except Battle of the Nations (BotN) seems to be pretty lax on armor and weapons requirements.  (I’m not sure about Dynamo Cup) And weapons for that matter, although they still check those out pretty well.  The actually marshaling to address safety concerns seems to be at a fairly high level all around.  There always seems to be some kind of issue that gets raised or set of issues at and I suppose there always will be until the sport matures to a professional degree.  Something like where you check in/out your arms and/or armor or some such.  But the logistics of that is pretty significant.  They were up to the old ways of running things some.  late rule changes, odd enforcements both in the list and out of the list for registration.  There are definitely some improvements to be made, but overall it is getting better a little by a little.  My #1 suggestion to improve this is for them to schedule things more sooner and to let teams supply volunteers to join in in making some of the stuff happen.

I would say one the biggest disappointment I have seen from BotN is the lake of catering to the fans or new fans of the sport.  They price the event out of the range of average folks that want to enjoy the show.  They could have probably filled 10k+ fans into the arena in Barcelona, however, by charging 30 euro per session or half day, per person, that made it 60 euros for someone to watch just one day of action.  Yup, not many families or other coming out.  What is the right price, maybe 20 euro for the day.  In Belmonte, the price being 30 euros kept the crowd pretty low, compared to the IMCF championship where the price was like 10-20 euro for the day, which had a huge crowd.  Until this sport is completely filling arenas, we should be keeping those ticket prices good for all.   

Barcelona was a wonderful city to visit, which I wish I had more time to explore.  Maybe one day I’ll return just to enjoy the city.  Walking through the gothic quarter it was easy to image what walking through Diagon Alley in Harry Potter might have felt like or perhaps walking through Waterdeep.  I’ll be back, but not sure how much I want to go to Battle of Nations again verse attending other potential tournaments, as there could be a lot of fun at smaller ones as well.  It all depends upon where my travel companions wish to go and have fun at.  Look for me in the list though as I will be there again.  I’m also leaning toward doing more singles fights too.  Hell, I’ll fight in as much as I can.

Categories: SCA news sites