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Artifacts of Life III

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-10-03 20:19

The third Artifacts of a Life was held Sept. 30, 2017, in the Barony Beyond the Mountain. This very special arts and sciences competition format encourages participants to present items which a person from our period of study could have possessed. There were categories for entries which covered “elite” displays of 6 to 9 articles, “typical” collections of 3 to 5 items, and “team” or “village” entries by a group of participants (though there were no entries in that category this time).

Throughout the day, visitors and judges admired the presentations and discussed them with the seven entrants.

Lord Brendan Firebow

Lord Brendan Firebow’s display was of various items found on his person at the time of his untimely death (possibly in a duel) in the late 1500’s. Presented were glasses, a knife sheath, a belt, and a pouch. Decoration on the pouch, the edges of the belt, and the leather frames of the glasses, was chemically stained black with an iron solution. The strapless pouch was worn against the body and held in place by the belt. His research into the leather framed glasses led him to discover that these were important 16th century trade items.

Lady Aibhilin inghean Ui Phaidin

Lady Aibhilin inghean Ui Phaidin

Lady Aibhilin inghean Ui Phaidin presented glass bead jewelry as found in the Deer Park Farms Settlement site in County Antrim Ireland. Beads, such as those in the strung grouping of 11, were found scattered in the bedding in one of the homes of the site, and a glass-topped pin like those shown was found in another structure. The beads Aibhilin reproduced were among the most common types found throughout the site. The description of her experimental bead furnace was fascinating. Her research into the beads has ignited her desire to learn much more about medieval Irish history.

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan’s artifacts were discovered while repairing WW2 damage to Maison Draguignan. An old box was found under broken floorboards. It contained a few playing cards, a pewter token, a padlock key, a fire-damaged pendant, a toy horse, a gravoir (a hair parting tool), and several handwritten notes and letters – items that would have been lovingly treasured by her 14th century persona. Participating in Artifacts of Life allowed Baroness Ysabella to explore art forms she had never attempted before.

Lord Bartholomew of Northampton was an archer on board the Mary Rose when it sank. His personal possessions include his yew longbow, arrows, wooden comb, embroidered purse, bracer (arm guard), wooden plate and bowl, bollock dagger and sheath, and a leather jerkin. It takes a special technique to pull a 104 pound bow.

Lord Bartholomew and his longbow

Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe

Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe

Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe was the widow of a Master Broderer who left the service of Queen Elizabeth to start his own shop. Her will leaves the contents of the shop to her son-in-law and daughter, as he was in the trade as a journeyman and pattern drawer. Presented were merchandise, supplies, tools, patterns and work samples of various forms of Tudor and Elizabethan embroidery.

Lady Tola knitýr

Lady Tola knitýr was a 14th century Swiss noblewoman. She made two knitted purses, likely to be used as reliquary bags in her church. Spools of her handspun silk thread survive, on her spool stand. The tiny scale of the knitting, and the complex patterns, are evidence of her skill. She is looking forward to continuing her explorations of natural dyeing techniques.

Lady Rosamund von Schwyz

Lady Rosamund von Schwyz presented the tools and technique of bobbin lace. Her pillow includes a roller, to facilitate making lengths of lace, and she made several of the many bobbins in use.

 

These skillful entrants demonstrated both breadth and depth in their explorations of medieval life. Their enthusiasm for their work was readily apparent. In Baronial Court, the event stewards, Mistress Elizabeth Vynehorn and Baron Jehan du Lac, thanked the entrants and judges, and announced the results:
Lord Bartholomew of Northampton was the winner in the “elite” category.
Lady Tola knitýr was the winner in the “typical” category.
Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe received the stewards’ choice prize.
Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan was honored with the Baron and Baroness’ choice prize.

Information and rules for Artifacts of a Life III can be read here:
http://sca-artifactschallenge.blogspot.com/

Event staff requested that this report announce that the next Artifacts of a Life will be held in the Fall of 2019, so artisans and researchers should start planning their entries NOW!

Photos provided by Baron Joseph of the Red Griffin and Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood. Article written by Mistress Ose Silverhair and Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood.

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Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Events Tagged: Arts and Sciences, events

Harvest Raids, the Making of Knights, and the Bonds We Share

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-10-03 19:57

By Lord Christian Goldenlok

Sir Thorsol is knighted. Photos by Baron Steffan.

In relation to each other, the rubber band of geographical life is made from unequal parts time and distance. When it stretches, all too often we have too much distance between us and not enough time to spend when we are together.

The opposite is also true. While it’s nice to visit with old friends around the fire, hearts become restless to look out to the horizon and build bonds away from home. In a perfect world, we could all live within walking distance. Until then, we have to use our time effectively. I am terrible at time management, mostly because I spent half my raids hugging people. It’s a rough life.

At Court at Harvest Raids, an Æthelmearc event in Western New York, my King and Queen made the first set of knights of their reign. Two men were presented, two men with whom I have very different relationships.

The first man to be brought forth was His Lordship Thorsol Solinauga. The Thorsol and I have been friends for years. He sought me out from the VERY beginning of my journey and has never once not made me feel welcomed at an event. He is either a saint or an incredible actor.  We have fought against and beside one another, and we have shared laughter, a love for this society, and many good conversations and will continue to do so. Thorsol is a popular man and inspired me to strive to build up people outside of the household and shire that I could love.

I have always measured my goodness based on his example. He is the gauge of inclusiveness to which I try to measure up. I have never heard him raise his voice in anger. Besides his deeds on the battlefield, I am sure that his diplomacy is something others should emulate. He can and will out-humble you. He is a dirty hippie. Sir Thorsol was the first man my King knighted. He is absolutely worthy of the station.

If he lived in Pittsburgh, we would throw pottery together, sing and play guitar together, or play boardgames together. He would be a part of my life because I would make him do so whether he wanted to or not. I love The Thorsol, and the beauty of the words spoken for him by friends I also know told me what I already knew for years: that many people are joined with me in sharing in my love for him. Thorsol spoke words of fealty on the Sword of State, he received his last unanswered blow from King Gareth, and he made his way, humbly and happily, to be with his new Chivalric brothers.

His ceremony was fantastic, and I wept happy, ugly tears for my friend, a man I wish I had more time with and less space away from. My house is a Bon Jovi-free zone.

After Sir Thorsol got the hell out of the way (Thorsol, GIT!), the crown proceeded to its next point of business and called forth Baron Dominic I-don’t-even-know-his-last-SCAdian-name. (Editor’s Note: Morland)

Sir Dominic is knighted.

 

Down the isle processed a handsome man with his beautiful wife whom I can’t recall I’ve ever met. As he and his retinue processed I thought to myself, “I don’t know her, nope, don’t know that guy, nope not him, nope don’t know her.”

The stranger knelt before my King and Queen, the King and Queen I know better than ANY other SCAdians, are masters of the fighting house to which I belong, and with whom I have spent countless hours. As the seconds passed, dichotomies between Dominic and Thorsol and the differences in my familiarity with the Royals and my familiarity with Baron Dominic began shooting through my mind.

As the introductory words were spoken, I searched my memory and couldn’t remember a time I had ever interacted with this man save a handshake or two, maybe a pat on the back in passing. Dominic and I have NEVER had the opportunity to sit and talk together. Earlier, as I had passed his vigil tent, I actually couldn’t recall any of the people who were standing guard for him or in that general vicinity. I’m Christian (expletive) Goldenlok and I know everybody… yet an entire group of people were unintentionally foreign to me.

Dominic’s heraldry is stunning, however.

To my delight, as the moments went on, I started to become slowly, intensely connected to these people, the man being knighted, and the ceremony.

Other people I didn’t know stood before the crown and offered their endorsements of Dominic. I started to feel a connection between their love for this man in relation to my love for the people that I hold dear. Tears streamed down the faces of many friends of Dominic, the majority of whom I have never become acquainted.

I began to feel the spirit of reverence that emanated through the ceremony. Words like honor, mental toughness, and graciousness poured out of the mouths of his friends, and I began to see that the same kinship that exists between me and Sir Thorsol absolutely exists between these fine people and their fine friend and brother, Dominic.

He began to tremble while kneeling before Their Majesties. You could visually comprehend that all his sacrifice, all his time spent in harness, all his time serving his friends, family, and the kingdom he calls home were about to manifest into becoming a Knight of Æthelmearc. He was aware of all this and, I imagine, was reacting to it. I empathized with the weight he was feeling. You could see he was humbled at being exulted by his friends. His dream, and the dreams and hopes and expectations others had of him, seemed to turn into a heartfelt, tangible reality with every word that filled the hall of that great Court. With the mounting of spurs, the clasp of cloak, and the fitting of the belt, he was being reworked, remade.

And then I started freaking ugly crying.

 

With so much strife in the modern world, it isn’t surprising that we occasionally need to be reminded that there is so much positivity and so much commonality that transcends the boundaries of time and distance in the SCA. As we struggle, as we toil in the fields, we must be reminded that there will come a time for harvest because of our collective dedication. It was obvious to me that many placed stones for Sir Dominic to walk on in his path to knighthood, and it was truly inspiring to see the love his friends showed him.

 

In closing, we must learn to become even more inclusive, to become even more open and honest and caring, and to realize that there is so much love in this world to be seen if only we fix our collective eyes to see it. I felt that love for you, Sir Dominic, and I hope we have time in the future. I’m grateful for both of these men, their separate retinues, their relation to us all, and their example to me.

 

Harvest Raids was fantastic!


Categories: SCA news sites

Editor’s Note

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-10-02 11:24

Five years ago, Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd For, along with a staff of editors, brought the East Kingdom Gazette to life.  During that time, Mistress Catrin managed the site, staff, and content, and brought the Gazette to where it is today.  As of Saturday, October 1, 2017, Mistress Catrin has stepped down, and Lady Tola knitýr stepped into the role of Site Management and Content Editor.  Mistress Catrin will remain on the Gazette staff as the Massachusetts editor.  Lady Tola has been on the Gazette staff for four years, and is looking forward to the challenge of filling Mistress Catrin’s shoes.


Filed under: Announcements

Court Report: Under the Grenewode, August 26, A.S. 52

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-10-02 11:10

From the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of  Æthelmearc, as recorded by Dame Kateryna ty Isaf, Jewel of AEthelmearc Herald as conducted by Lord Arias Beltran del valle at Under the Grenewode hosted jointly by the Barony of Blackstone Mountain and the Shire of Port Oasis on August 26, Anno Societatis LII.

Their Majesties called for Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria to speak about the Arts and Sciences competition that had gone on throughout the day. In this competition, while all submissions were praised for their craftsmanship, two gentles did rise above to earn recognition. Lady Katarina of Twin Moons was named both the choice of the Populace and Their Excellencies of Blackstone Mountain for her blackwork chessboard, and Baroness Cerridwen de Skene was named Royal Choice and Heir’s Choice for her wool embroidery and silverpoint.

Lord Sasson with A&S competition winner Baroness Cerridwen

Their Majesties then gave Lord Sasson a different task: to convey the children’s toy chest from Their presence for the children of the Kingdom to begin their search. After allowing Lord Sasson the traditional head-start, the children were then sent to find him and receive a toy from those offered.

Their Majesties called for Their subject Rhiannon Borror to appear before Them. They noted this gentle’s long history of service to the kingdom as chatelaine and demo coordinator, and for this were They were moved to award her Arms and create her a Lady of their Court.

Rhiannon receives an AoA

Lady Aine ny Allane was next summoned to Their presence. Lady Aine had shown herself to be a presence at many events, recording the events of those she attends in picture form for those who could not be there themselves, and giving of her time to make sure the work of the Kingdom and Society is done and done well. For this did They induct her into Their Order of the Keystone. The scroll is a work in progress.

Lady Aine receives a Keystone

Their Majesties next demanded the presence of Lady Katharine McClung before Them. They spoke of this Lady’s long history of serving her Kingdom and Barony as a scribe and more recently as Onyx Pursuivant and Millrind Herald. Believing her work to be worthy of greater renown, They did then summon Their Order of the Millrind, and bid her join the ranks of the Order as its newest member. The scroll was created by Lady Juliana Ravenshaw.

Lady Katharine receives a Millrind

Their Majesties bade the Order to stay a moment longer as Their business with them was not yet finished. They invited Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta to attend Them as well. Citing his service to the kingdom as a vocal  herald, as the Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald to Their Royal Parents, and as a leader in the organization of Their fencing army, They did also name him to a place in Their Order of the Millrind. The scroll was created by Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria.

Maestro Orlando receives a Millrind

Next did Their Majesties summon Lord James Freeman to Their presence. Having succumbed to the exertions of the day in organizing certain activities, he was sent for. While the court waited, Their Majesties asked his mother to come forward that They might praise her for having raised such a hard working son and so that They might confound said son to the merriment of all. Once he appeared at speed, Her Majesty named him Her Inspiration for the day and bestowed upon him a Golden Escarbuncle, for She had seen the fruits of his labors throughout the day and noted the success
of the tournament format in entertaining the populace.

James Freeman receives a Golden Escarbuncle

Their Majesties then invited all those present whose work had contributed to a scroll handed out on the day to rise and be recognized by the populace.

There being no further business before Their Majesties, Their court was then closed.


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