SCA kingdoms and branches

Artisan’s Village Event Promotes the Arts and Sciences Community

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-06-10 09:39

The Shire of Hartshorn-dale held its second Artisans’ Village event over the weekend of June 3rd – 5th. Artisans Village is an event entirely focused around the Arts and Sciences community.

The event featured 8 “villages” where artisans, led by a village coordinator, displayed their art and conducted hands on demonstrations of their crafts. Period blacksmithing, cooking, brewing, and music demonstrations were featured at the event, along with lampworking, bookbinding, the fiber arts, and more.

The event also featured two full tracks of classes, including classes focused on supporting the Arts and Sciences community itself. A round-table discussion about creating positive and supportive A&S competitions was held by Mistress Amy Webbe, current kingdom MoAS; a class on beginning A&S projects was held by Master Magnus Hvalmagi, current King’s Arts and Sciences Champion, and a class on writing effective A&S documentation was led by Lady Judith bas Rabbi Mendel.

This year, a new feature was also added to the event, the “Artisans’ Progress.” Attendees at the day’s events were encouraged to collect a bead from each village they visited. Those who collected 7 beads could then enter a raffle for a chance to win a basket full of gifts kindly donated by the villages and other artisans. The winner of the “Artisans Progress” was Melanie, who joined the SCA all of two weeks ago.

Thank you to everyone who came out to spend the day at the event, and to the teachers and village coordinators!

For more pictures or information about the event, please visit our photo gallery of the event and the event website.

For those on facebook there is another album available here 

Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Events

A Message From the Gift Coordinator

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2016-06-08 15:54

Greetings to the noble people of the East!

I am Mistress Eleanore MacCarthaigh and I have the very great honor to be the Gift Coordinator for Their Munificent Majesties, Kenric and Avelina, may They reign forever!

It is my function to coordinate incoming gifts to be used as largesse or as gifts for exchanges with Their Royal Cousins. Many special projects are in the works, but I wish to communicate a few needs and un-needs to the populace. If anyone should have questions regarding gifts, please contact me (info below).

Some thoughts on gifts:
1. No single person or group needs to make All The Things. It’s very nice, but we don’t need 50 of hardly anything.
2. If you or your friends (household, regional group, etc.) would like to make some gifts and have not done them before, please contact me with your plans and/or ideas.
3. Please remember gifts need to be easily transportable, sometimes on planes. It’s also great if they are actually useful in our Game.
4. Please find a way to include a tag or other kind of label with what the item is (if it’s not obvious), the maker’s name(s), where they are located in the kingdom and “East Kingdom”.
5. Please remember allergies are an issue for many these days. If your gift is scented it could cause discomfort!

At this time we do not need paternosters or soap, we thank those who have made what we have for their brilliant response and creativity, but we have enough for now.

Gift bags of a useful size are in need, big enough and pretty enough to hold gift packages and be used later by the recipient so that they may remember the glory and generosity of our Kingdom. Small lined or lightly padded bags for jewelry and bags big enough for a modern tablet would also be of use. Draw string or strapped are fine. Varied fabrics are fine as well; however I’d like to suggest thinking about kingdom colors and the Anglo Saxon theme of Their Majesties’ reign. Please contact me if you’d like suggestions.

Packets of period spices and dried herbs would be very nice, especially if they include suggested recipes (with the goal of promoting period recipes). Please make sure packets are sealed well to reasonably preserve the contents, which should not expire within the reign.

Specific gift needs: I am looking for a few illuminators/calligraphers who are willing to make some blank note cards and “thank you” cards, about 4”x3” folded with the arms of the kingdoms for Pennsic. Packets of 6 are desired in period (or period-looking) papers. Please contact me off line – I am going to be assigning these to match specific gift-giving occasions. We also need some for Their Majesties’ use as well.

Other ideas are available plus I’m accepting thoughts and suggestions. Several projects are already in process. I thank you all in on behalf of Their Royal Majesties, Kenric and Avelina – long may they reign!

Eleanore MacCarthaigh, OL, OP
East Kingdom Gift Coordinator

Filed under: Announcements

East Kingdom Rapier Seeks Marshals

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-06-02 21:24

Lady Alesone is coordinating Marshals for the rapier tent and war points at Pennsic this year. Consider helping her fill the calendar. Shifts are in 2 hour blocks. This is also a good opportunity for Marshals In Training to get experience. The Rapier Tent is open at 8:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm each day. Your hours will count towards the volunteer war point. Many hands make light work, so consider taking a shift.

Here is the sign up link.

Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic, Rapier Tagged: Pennsic, Rapier, volunteers

Greetings from Brigantia Principal Herald

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2016-05-31 08:10

Greetings from Ryan, Brigantia Principal Herald,

At the Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium on May 2nd, the Laurel Sovereign of Arms, the chief herald of the Society, announced that due to the increase in costs incurred by the College of Arms the fee paid by Kingdoms to the Society for each submission would be increased by $1.

At this time the College of Heralds of the East collects $8 per submission, $8CDN for submissions from the Tir Mara Region. Unlike some kingdoms where the College of Heralds is funded, in whole or in part, out of the general kingdom budget, the Eastern College is funded entirely from submissions fees. Therefore, this increase in price by to the Society would directly impact the operating budget of the College. After discussion with the senior staff of the College of Heralds of the East it has been decided that in order to continue to provide the level of service to which the East is accustomed to, we must pass on the cost increase, which will make the new cost per submission $9/$9CDN. This change will go into effect at Pennsic. Submissions received and paid for before July 31 st will be submitted at the current fee. For submissions received after that date, and all submissions received at Pennsic, the higher fee will be in effect.

On another topic, my time as Brigantia Herald is drawing to a close. My fourth, and final, year in this office will conclude at 12th Night, 2017. At this time I will be requesting, for the last time, letters of intent to serve the Kingdom as the 18 th Brigantia Principal Herald. Formal Letters of Intent should be sent to me, at, and to their Highnesses Brion and Anna. Letters must be received no later than July 15th to be considered.

-Ryan Brigantia


Translation by Lord Eginhard d’Aix la Chapelle

Salutation de Ryan, Brigantia Principal Herald

Lors du “Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium”; qui fut tenu le deux mai, le Laurel Sovereign of Arms, héraut en chef de la SCA, a annoncé que dû à l’augmentation des coût encouru par le College of Arms chaque soumission provenant des royaumes seront augmentées de 1$.

À cette instant le Collège des Hérauts de l’Est collecte 8$ par soumission, 8$cdn pour les soumission dans Tir Mara. En différence avec certain royaume où le collège des hérauts est financé en partie ou en entièreté par le budget du royaume, le collège des hérauts de l'Est est financé entièrement par les soumissions. Par concéquant, le montant exigé par la SCA influe directement sur le budget d’opération du collège. Après discussion avec les officiers séniors du collèges des hérauts, il fut décidé que pour maintenir le niveau de service que la population est accoutumée à recevoir, l’augmentation des coûts doit être transférer aux soumissions. Le nouveau coût pour les soumissions sera donc de 9$/9$cdn. Cette mesure prendra effet à Pennsic. Les soumissions reçu et payé avant le 31 juillet seront aux cours actuel. Pour les soumissions reçu après cette date ou à Pennsic le nouveau cours sera en effet.

Sur un autre sujet, mon mandat comme Brigantia arrive à terme. Ma quatrième et dernière années à ce poste ce conclura à 12th Night 2017. À cette instant, pour la dernière fois, je demande des lettre d’intention pour servir comme 18ieme Brigantia Principal Herald. Les lettres d’intention formel doivent m’être envoyer à ainsi qu’à leurs Altesses Brion et Anna. Les lettres doivent être reçu avant le 15 juillet pour être considéré.


Filed under: Announcements, Heraldry Tagged: brigantia, heraldry

Midrealm Crown Tourney Results

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-05-29 17:31

From the Midrealm GazetteThe new Heirs to the Dragon Throne are Duke Edmund and Duchess Kateryn. Duke Edmund defeated Count Cellach.   The original post can be found here.

Filed under: Tidings Tagged: Crown Tournament, Midrealm

A Call for Classes for Great Northeastern War

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-05-28 22:17

On behalf of Mistress Astryda Borowska, GNEW Class Coordinator:

Do you have a passion, knowledge you’d love to share, a skill you’d love to see spread far and wide? Come teach at the 30th GNEW — and maybe even win a war point for Malagentia or Tir Mara. Teacher forms are available at the GNEW website. The deadline is June 30. As this year’s university coordinator, I look forward to seeing what the East has to offer!

Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences, Events

More on Northshield’s First Same-Sex Heirs

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-05-27 12:53

The Æthelmearc Gazette posted an article earlier this week with more information on Northshield’s new heirs and how they will be approaching their reign.  The article can be found here.

Filed under: Tidings Tagged: Northshield

Calling all Pennsic Youth

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2016-05-25 16:30

Hear, Ye! Hear, Ye! Join Baron Tree of the Forest, Pennsic Mayor 46 in his search for cover art for the Pennsic 46 Booklet.
All youth who will be under 18 for Pennsic 46 are invited to submit one work of 2D art to Youth Point between Wednesday of Peace Week – August 3, and Wednesday of War Week – August 10.
These entries will be judged by some very important people. The plan is to announce the winner before the close of Pennsic.
Submission forms will be available at Youth Point.

Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic Tagged: a&s, Youth

Tidings from Sabina Luttrell, Kingdom MOL, regarding War of the Roses Inspection and Authorization

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-05-20 09:43

To all Rattan and Rapier Combatants that are attending War of the Roses, please pray attend.

There will be “Pennsic like” authorization and inspection points at War of the Roses this year.

The process will work the same as it does for Pennsic. Combatants will have their armor and weapons inspected by the marshals. Once that is done, they proceed directly to the MOL, where their authorization card is checked. They will then receive a sticker for their helm/mask. This will allow the marshals on the field to know who has been authorized and approved, and if there is someone who has not.

Please make sure to bring your authorization card with you to make the process as smooth as possible. The Points will be open during the published authorization and inspection times, and will extend during some fighting times as well. This process is going to help keep the combatants of the East Kingdom safer, and help the marshals do their jobs more effectively.

The Authorization and Inspection Point process is already planned for NRWC as well. We hope to do the same for SRWC, GNEW, and 100 Minutes War.

I look forward to a fun and successful summer. See you at Roses!
Sabina Luttrell, EK MOL

Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Tidings

King’s and Queen’s Armored Champions

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-05-14 19:09

The King’s Champion is Lord Gellyes Joffrey.

The Queen’s Champion is Lord Kenimathor of Lochleven.

The EK Gazette thanks Master Rowen Cloteworthy for reporting today.

Filed under: Heavy List Tagged: champions, King and Queen's Champions, Kings and Queens Champions

UPDATE: Sir Wilhelm’s Hastilude & Demo II / K&Q Champion of Armored Combat

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-05-13 10:27

It is with regret that the EQUESTRIAN Activities at this weekend’s Hastilude Event in the Barony of Dragonship Haven, Bethany, CT are CANCELLED.

Everything else is still a go!


Filed under: Announcements, Equestrian, Events

New Process for Accessing Electronic Newsletters

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-05-13 05:27

In response to requests from our membership, there is a new process for accessing the electronic newsletters!!

Go to: [ ]( )

Log in with the same login information that you use to renew your membership.

There is even an option to “remember me on this computer”, so you don’t have to enter in your login information each time!

The nuances of logging in are on the left side of the screen, including methods for getting help.

Once you are logged in:

At the top of the screen are the membership options.

Click the button for newsletter access on the far right.

This will open the directory of Kingdoms which remains unchanged.

Note that on the directory of Kingdoms, there is a folder marked Archives.

This is where the older issues of the electronic newsletters are maintained.

These files currently go back to March 2012 when we first introduced electronic newsletters.

If you have any difficulties or questions, please email [ ]( ). 

Include your Legal Name, membership number, and a brief  explanation of the problem you’re experiencing.

Kind Regards,

The Membership Staff

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:

SCA Inc.

Box 360789

Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email

Filed under: Announcements, Corporate, Official Notices

Kingdom Archivist Seeks Successor

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-05-07 16:07

Unto the populace of the East Kingdom, greetings,

It has been my pleasure to serve this realm as EK Archivist for these past 12 years. It is now time for me to step down and pass the office unto another gentle.

The responsibilities of the office include maintaining the accrued items that presently are in storage and to organize any new items that are passed onto the office. Presently the items are being stored in north New Jersey, but can be moved to where they are convenient for the new officer.

Anybody interested in the position should contact the Kingdom Seneschal or myself no later than June 30, 2016.

In service to the East,
Baronne Jehannine de Flandres OP, OL

Filed under: Announcements, Uncategorized

Æthelmearc has Heirs

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-05-07 16:00

The Æthelmearc Gazette reports that their kingdom has new heirs, Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite.  For more information, read the Æthelmearc Gazette article.

Filed under: Tidings Tagged: aethelmearc

The Grand Council – Its History and Activities

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-05-06 16:13

At last month’s Board of Directors meeting, the Grand Council was disbanded after a little over twenty years of service to the Society. After the decision was announced, it became clear that some members of the SCA weren’t aware of the Grand Council, its history or its activities. The Gazette thought it would be useful to provide this information. Our thanks to the former Grand Council and Board members who provided the information for this article.  Without a comprehensive written record of the SCA, it took many people to recreate our own history. – Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd For

The Grand Council was an informal committee created by the SCA’s Board of Directors in the mid-1990’s after a difficult time for the SCA. An Executive Director had been hired who wasn’t familiar with the organization, and his handling of proposed changes and the membership’s concerns were unpopular. The proposals included a “pay-to-play” policy that might have required memberships in order to fight, receive awards, hold an office, or attend events. In addition, the SCA was facing extreme financial problems, which took the membership by surprise. When members requested access to the books, the Executive Director and the SCA’s legal counsel interpreted the governing documents as not allowing members access.

Several things happened as a result of this. Members sued for the right to access the financial records and won the case. An “SCA reform” email list was created with hundreds of members that advocated for change. Three Board members stepped down. Ansteorra incorporated as a separate organization, although it remained affiliated with the SCA. The royalty of the kingdoms met at Estrella and eleven of the thirteen kingdoms signed the Estrella Compact. The compact stated that the kingdoms would recognize each other’s “laws, customs, traditions, ranks and titles in perpetuity, no matter what their affiliations and circumstances”. This would have allowed more kingdoms to incorporate outside the SCA’s corporate structure, while still preserving a connected game for its participants.

Several actions followed this activity. The non-SCA Executive Director left. The corporate financial records were made available to the members. The Board modified the “pay-to-play” proposal, removing some of the restrictions and adding a fee for non-members attending events.

In addition, the Board created two advisory groups – the Inter-Kingdom Advisory Council and the Grand Council. Each group was given a specific area of the SCA to examine and were asked to provide feedback to the Board. The Inter-Kingdom Advisory Council was assigned the “game side”, as in things that affected the historical re-creation and inter-kingdom activities. The Grand Council was assigned the SCA’s corporate and organizational structure.

It isn’t possible to describe the Grand Council’s activities as one static structure since they changed over the years. The following are some things that stayed the same and some that didn’t.

  • The Grand Council originally picked its own schedule and topics, although it was required to provide a quarterly update to the Board. Sometime around 2006, the Board required that the Grand Council review topics that they submitted also. The schedule also defaulted largely to quarterly reports.
  • The Grand Council was supposed to include members that represented each Kingdom and at-large members. Actual membership varied depending on whether or not Kingdoms had people interested in filling a seat.
  • Communication was originally via a newsletter in which comments were compiled and distributed electronically and in print. This format was changed to an email list.
  • Input to the Board from the IKAC diminished over several years, and it was disbanded. As a result, the Grand Council’s mandate grew to include matters that affected the SCA’s medieval re-creation.

Over the years, the Grand Council discussed many topics that they proposed themselves. Early topics included outsourcing the corporate office functions, direct elections of Directors, and the impeachment process for Directors. Later topics included the Ministry of Children and child care rules; ending physical newsletters; the pros and cons of a new Peerage; how to decide whether to create another peerage; participant retention; alternative revenue models for the SCA; improved policies for social media/social networking; a new communications policy for the SCA; and officer training at all levels of the Society.

Topics requested by the Board over the years included how to improve the value of membership; a mandatory Code of Conduct for the SCA; creating a policy for dealing with individuals who have committed crimes outside of the SCA; an official start and end date for what is the SCA’s time period; whether to require membership for awards or combat; improvements to TI or CA; topics to add to the Known World Handbook; what should be, or what are, the requirements for a successful SCA reign; a tiered membership format; officer retention and recruiting; and analysis of the demographics of the SCA.

The Board disbanded the Grand Council at last month’s meeting with thanks for their service. John Fulton, Richard Sherman, and Andrew Coleman were assigned to investigate the creation of a new vehicle which could facilitate communication between the membership and the Board. At this point the format of the committee is unknown. A preference has been stated by the Board for the Kingdoms to have representation on and control over most of the committee. In addition, it will be expected to use social media to connect with the membership and give them access to the committee’s work. The Society’s new President, John Fulton, has invited anyone with suggestions for the design of the committee to contact him at

Filed under: Corporate Tagged: Grand Council

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #9: Making green paint medievally with spring irises and fall buckthorn berries

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-05-02 09:03

Our ninth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Lady Adrienne d’Evreus, of the Province of Malagentia. She turns to the flora of her woodlands to learn ways that medieval painters made green pigments. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

Making green paint medievally with spring irises and fall buckthorn berries

Iris flower and buckthorn berries. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

Many medieval manuscripts explain how to make green for illumination with seasonably available resources. Excited to make green from my local plants, I used iris in May and buckthorn in September to make some beautiful green paint using instructions from an anonymous medieval treatise, De Arte Illuminandi. Even with some incorrect assumptions about materials, by using translated fourteenth century instructions as a guide with iris blossoms and buckthorn berries, beautiful green pigment was produced.

Iris blossoms and iris green
Buckthorn berries and sap green

According to Daniel V. Thompson in The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting, the primary medieval substitutes for verdigris in book illumination were iris and sap green (Thompson 169-171). I was inspired by his book and excited to make green paint using some medieval methods.

Iris blossoms and green

My love of iris began as a child in my father’s gardens as I learned how to grow with him. His observation that they tolerated and seemed to enjoy wet soil was driven home years later as a college student when I accidentally chose a tidal riverbed for a late night nap after dark and woke up with the break of dawn a few hours later getting increasingly damp in rising tidewater amongst these beautiful blue lilies! The place I chose for my iris at home is a garden spot that floods in the spring and stays moist but not sopping in the summer. They seem to be very happy and produce many blossoms every year.

Looking to medieval manuscripts to make recipes for iris or lily green (Thompson and Hamilton 2), instructions were found in Mappae Clavicula (Smith and Hawthorne 51), De Arte Illuminandi (Thompson and Hamilton 6-7) and a number of Mary P. Merrifield’s Original Treatises (Merrifield ccxix, 422, 504 and 678, 684), often as clothlets. On Merrifield’s page 678 and 684 she translates recipes from a seventeenth century manuscript. Those recipes inspired me to try fermented iris juice experiments too.

Clothlets are a means of storing pigments. The impregnated cloth could later be placed into a dish (Thompson 144) or clam shell (Thompson and Hamilton 17) and wetted with a bit of glair (egg white) or gum water, and it would release its stored pigment into the vessel, creating a transparent stain. The glossary of the British Library describes “clothlet” as “A piece of cloth impregnated with pigment (generally a vegetable dye)” and in The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting Thompson says:

“iris green… was made from the juice of iris flowers, sometimes mixed with alum and thickened… but more often prepared as a clothlet. Bits of cloth were dipped into the juice of iris flowers and dried, again and again, until they contained a sufficient quantity of the color.” (Thompson 171)

De Arte Illuminandi indicates that you should pound iris blossoms in a mortar and pestle then squeeze them through a cloth to extract the juice. Linen cloths pre-treated with rock alum should then be dipped in the juice and dried in the shade multiple times. These clothlets are then stored in books. (Thompson and Hamilton 7). Merrifield’s “Bolognese Manuscript” from the fifteenth century calls for dipping the cloths in rock alum first then iris juice and keeping these cloths in a closed box (Merrifield 422).

The recipes often consist of adding alum to the iris juice. I didn’t get the Dover edition of Merrifield’s Original Treatises until Christmas of 2015 so for the 2015 experiments I used alum acquired from a modern and traditional dye supplier—aluminum sulfate, Al2(SO4)3. What was actually indicated and used by the medieval craftsman was rock alum, defined in the Dover edition of Merrifield’s glossary as potassium aluminum sulfate, KAl3(SO4)2(OH)6 (Alexander xii, xxviii).

Taking the advice of Wendy Feldberg, I collected iris blossoms as they bloomed daily at the end of May and beginning of June in 2015 and froze them to try with the recipes when they were done blooming. Though there were not freezers in medieval Europe, this seemed like a reasonable compromise since spring inspires so many other activities and obligations. After freezing and thawing the iris blossoms, without the added work of ‘pounding’, they gave me 78.91g of gorgeous transparent blue liquid that I poured into a clean glass jar. I separated the juice into four portions, adding additional variables.

I wondered what would happen when you didn’t modify the juice at all or exposed it to alkaline materials (like clam or eggshell) rather than an acid like the alum suggested by the medieval sources so I tried it all: plain iris juice for a control, and iris juice with clam shells and eggshells for alkaline as well as iris juice with aluminum sulfate, an acid.

Four jars of iris juice and different variables. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

The aluminum sulfate and iris juice combination started turning a dark turquoise color. It was swirled to combine and allowed to sit undisturbed for approximately four hours. I decanted the aluminum sulfate saturated juice into a clean jar and used that solution to saturate three clean 8x10cm squares of linen. Then they were dried on a piece of parchment paper under a gentle fan protected from the cat and other disturbances. After waiting for each saturation to completely dry, this procedure was repeated five more times over several days.

Iris juice with aluminum sulfate on linen, wet and dry. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

After the first experiment with fresh iris blossoms, the bag of partially exhausted blossoms was returned to the refrigerator. Several weeks later the blossoms had fermented. Intrigued by the slightly post-1600 recipe ideas that used fermented iris (Merrifield 678, 684), I used the blue liquid squeezed from them too. After letting the white slimy precipitate settle I poured the cleanest juice off for new trials. These used clam shells and eggshells with and without aluminum sulfate, as well as three linen clothlets soaked in a 10:1 aluminum sulfate solution first, which follows the original medieval recipe procedure in De Arte Illuminandi (Thompson and Hamilton 6-7). These second clothlets were only soaked three to four times because I ran out of juice. As they were soaked they had a beautiful blue-green hue. They were dried, as before, between each soaking.

Finished iris clothlets; the clothlets on the right were made with fermented iris juice. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

All clothlets and jars with variables were reserved on the refrigerator away from the cat and as cleanly as possible while drying under a fan.

The trials of iris juice with the addition of aluminum sulfate, from both ‘fresh’ and fermented iris juice, in an alkaline substrate like clam shells or not, all produced green results. A small brush was used to combine distilled water, Winsor and Newton gum Arabic, and prepared pigment from iris to paint out resulting materials onto Strathmore 100lb vellum surface Bristol board.

From left to right: iris juice with aluminum sulfate from a glass jar, iris juice with aluminum sulfate from a clam shell, more-concentrated iris juice and aluminum sulfate from a glass jar, all on Bristol board. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

The plain iris juice, plain iris juice in a clam shell or eggshell without aluminum sulfate resulted only in browns whether fermented or not. I was a little surprised that the juice didn’t stay blue at all by itself after drying.

Plain iris juice in a clam shell on the right; iris juice with a pinch of alum in a clam shell on the left. Photo by Adrienne d’Avreus.

There were no iris clothlets prepared without aluminum sulfate. Both fermented and non-fermented clothlets made with aluminum sulfate produced pretty green linen yielding delicate green ‘paint’ when combined with some distilled water and gum Arabic. The fermented iris juice clothlet produced a slightly more brown-green than the non-fermented. The bacteria and fungus in the fermentation process may have caused the iris green to deteriorate slightly resulting in a more brown-green than pure light green produced from the clothlet prepared with non-fermented juice.

Pigment from fresh iris juice and aluminum sulfate clothlet on the left; pigment from fermented iris juice and aluminum sulfate clothlet on the right. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

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Buckthorn berries and Sap Green

In the fall it took me what felt like forever to find Rhamnus spp. berries for the sap green. I searched the fields and ditches near my house, and even went to “Buckthorn Lane” in my local neighborhood. I found other trees with other fruits but no buckthorn! Even though my dad had taught me about many plants and how to garden, he never taught me about buckthorn. Non-native invasive species were to be eradicated in his experience, not fostered or encouraged.

Finally someone said “look for tall trees, usually somewhere wet” so I went back to my stomping grounds as a teenager in Westbrook, Maine and found spindly trees with small berries in what used to be a wetland for protected turtles. “This?! Is this it?!” I begged my friends to confirm cell phone pictures of my find. The leaves looked right from the National Agricultural Library’s invasive plant website (NAL 2015) and Mistress Isabel Chamberlain’s blog (Siconolfi); the berries were dark and the bush was spindly and taller than I might have guessed, growing somewhere wet. “Yes!”, they chorused, “that looks right, try it!”

Sap green from buckthorn berries (Merrifield ccxviii) is defined by Pigment Compendium as a flavonoid dye coming from buckthorn, Rhamnus spp (Eastaugh et al. 338). De Arte Illuminandi and Original Treatises have recipes to produce it, just like the iris green. The identification of the berries and when to gather them is described in De Arte Illuminandi (Thompson and Hamilton 43) which points to Cennino Cennini for their identification (Thompson 32n). Once identified, the buckthorn berries should be combined with lye and rock alum dissolved under heat to make green (Thompson and Hamilton 7). Recipes to make the green were also found in Merrifield’s Original Treatises (420-428, 662, 706, 708-710, 786, 808). The recipes after page 640 in Merrifield’s books are from manuscripts written after the sixteenth century. They were not as interesting to me but I feel that these other sap green recipes are relevant to researchers of the earlier sources due to their material and procedural similarities.

According to De Arte Illuminandi the green from buckthorn could have been prepared and stored as clothlets, like iris, or sealed in a glass bottle (Thompson and Hamilton 7). I decided to experiment with the second method.

On September 4, 2015, 100.00g of buckthorn berries were added to a 12oz glass jelly jar and crushed with a plastic fork. They were sticky and smelled slightly winy. They ranged from almost black and squishy through reddish to green and firm.

Buckthorn berries. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus

The recipe in De Arte Illuminandi contains lye as I previously mentioned. Lye or ley is defined in the new Dover edition as an alkaline solution made from mixing wood ashes with water (Alexander xxiii). In an online conversation with Geffrei Maudeleyne, he explained where in De Arte Illuminandi to look (Thompson and Hamilton 36-37) and Asplund confirmed that potassium carbonate, K2CO3, is what the medieval craftsmen would have made and used. Since I didn’t have the Dover edition with its glossary until Christmas 2015, I relied on the sage advice and resources of these online friends and fellow pigment makers.

In a Corning Ware sauce pan (to emulate the “glazed porriger” of De Arte Illuminandi‘s instruction) 11.60g of lye, K2CO3, was mixed with 100g of distilled water. Adding 5.05g of aluminum sulfate, Al2(SO4)3, resulted in immediate bubbling. The reactions at this point had increased the temperature a little to 80 degrees F. Warming the mixture on a simmer burner on low, I hoped to dissolve more of the alum. After about ten minutes the bubbling had mostly stopped. The temperature had risen to 120 degrees F and the solution had a pH of 6 and a milky appearance. Heating it up to encourage the aluminum sulfate to dissolve, a little mass and volume was lost by evaporation and in the sink when it was transferred into the jar with crushed berries. A little residue remained in the pan, and the total weight of the solution decreased to 87.07g. Pouring the liquid into the berries caused an immediate color change like I saw in the spring with the iris! Turquoise again!

Crushed buckthorn berries mixed with aluminum sulfate and lye. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

The lye/aluminum sulfate solution was mixed into the berries with the plastic fork. The following day the solution had bubbled out of the jar a little. The jar was relocated into a glass bowl in an undisturbed corner for two more days. The third day after the addition of aluminum sulfate and lye, a clean square of cloth was used to strain the juice into another jar. The jar was capped and closed when not accessing this liquid for paint experiments. It produced another pretty green liquid! This is most likely the sap green I was hoping for.

A small brush was used to combine distilled water, Winsor and Newton gum Arabic, and prepared pigment from the buckthorn to paint out resulting materials onto Strathmore 100lb vellum surface Bristol board.

Sap green, concentrated and dilute, applied to Bristol board. Photo by Adrienne d’Evreus.

Both iris and buckthorn berries produced green pigment using the fourteenth century instructions from De Arte Illuminandi, despite using aluminum sulfate rather than potassium aluminum sulfate. Moving forward with the “correct” alum will be interesting next time. I wonder if it will produce the same green or a different one. My father would be satisfied that I made lovely green paint from the plants I grew and found using science. My science teachers would have been happier with better note taking and more pictures so I will attempt that with fresh and correct materials in 2016. There are so many colors achievable from other berries and more invasive and native plants and weeds using historic European recipes from hundreds of years ago. I can’t wait to see what else is achievable! What are you inspired to learn, experiment with, and achieve?
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Alexander, S. M. Glossary of Technical Terms in Medieval and Renaissance Treatises on the Arts of Painting. By Merrifield xi-xxxiv. New York: Dover, 1967.

Asplund, Randy. Personal communication on Facebook and in e-mail, 2015.

Broecke, Lara. Cennino Cennini’s Il libro dell’arte, A new English translation and commentary with Italian transcription.  London:  Archetype Publications Ltd., 2015.

Brown, Jamin. Accessed December 2015.

Brown, Michelle P. Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (J. Paul Getty Museum: Malibu and British Library: London, 1994). 

Clarke, Mark. The Art of All Colours. London: Archetype Publications, Ltd., 2001.

Eastaugh, Nicolas, et al. Pigment Compendium A Dictionary of Historical Pigments. Boston: Elsevier, Ltd, 2008.

Feldberg, Wendy. Personal communication via blog comments and e-mail, 2015.

Maudeleyne, Geffrei. Personal communication, August 2015.

Merrifield, Mary P. Original Treatises: Dating from the XIIth to XVIIIth Centuries on the Arts of Painting, in Oil, Miniature, Mosaic, and on Glass; of Gilding, Dyeing, and the Preparation of Colours and Artificial Gems; Preceded by a General Introduction; with Translations, Prefaces, and Notes, In Two Volumes. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1849. (The new Dover edition with a glossary also suggests some of her dating of the manuscripts is not correct.)

Medieval and Renaissance Treatises on the Arts of Painting, Original Texts with English Translations. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1967, 1999.

National Agricultural Library. Accessed September 2015.

Siconolfi, Claire. Accessed September 2015.

Smith, Cyril Stanley and Hawthorne, Daniel G. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society held at Philidelphia for promoting useful knowledge. New series Volume 64, part 4. Mappae Clavicula, a little key to the world of medieval techniques. 1974.

Thompson, Daniel V. The Craftsman’s Handbook. “Il Libro dell’Arte”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1960.

Thompson, Daniel V. The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting. New York: Dover Publications, 1956.

Thompson, Daniel Varney and Hamilton, George Hurd. De Arte Illuminandi, the Technique of Manuscript Illumination. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1933.
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Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

Crowning a Princess

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-05-01 17:01

Yesterday in Tir Mara, Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon won the right to make his consort, Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon, Princess of the Eastern Kingdom.  He first made her a princess just over thirty years ago, and they ruled as the 34th Crowns of the Kingdom of Atenveldt.  They have twice before ruled as King and Queen of the East.

The Gazette thanks Sir Simon Gwyn for the use of his photos.



Filed under: Court Tagged: Crown Tournament

The New Prince and Princess of the East!

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-04-30 16:27

Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon defeated Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbruck to become the Prince of the East, and Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon is now Princess of the East.

Many thanks to Mistress Ygraine of Kellswood and Mistress Tadea Isabetta di Bruno for all of the on-site reporting!

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Crown Tournament, spring crown

Crown Tourney – Finals / Les Finalistes du Tournoi de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-04-30 15:48

The finals will be best of 5 with rotating weapon forms.

En Français:

Celle-ci sera déterminée de la même façon que les demi-finales.

Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon for the honor of Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon


Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrucke fighting for the honour of Mistress Vienna de la Mer

Filed under: Heavy List Tagged: Crown Tournament, spring crown

Crown Tourney – Semi Finals / Demi-Finales du Tournoi de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-04-30 15:11

The four combatants remaining in the tournament are as follows. Five wins will be required to advance. This means an undefeated fighter will need two wins; a fighter who has already lost a bout will need three wins.

Duke Brion and Sir Ivan need two wins, Duke Randal and Sir Wilhelm need three.

En français: Les quatre combattants restants dans le tournoi sont listés ci-dessous. Cinq victoires seront nécessaires pour avancer à la prochaine étape. Ceci veut dire qu’un combattant n’ayant subi aucune défaite devra obtenir deux victoires, tandis qu’un combattant ayant déjà subi une défaite devra obtenir trois victoires pour progresser

Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon for the honor of Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon


Duke Randal of the Dark for the honor of Duchess Katherine Stanhope


Sir Ivan Ivanov syn Dimitriov vynuk Tzardikov fighting for the honour of Baroness Matilde de Cadenet.


Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrucke fighting for the honour of Mistress Vienna de la Mer

Filed under: Heavy List Tagged: Crown Tournament