Laurel’s Prize Tourney: Garb Display Report

OK, it is late, but here is my report on the Laurel’s Prize Tourney.  I took lots of pictures. I tried to get the name tag and the artisan together in my images. PLEASE, if I have erred, DO comment and set me straight! After all, there were nearly 60 artisans with displays.

I shall start with a lovely dress, hats and the artisan Murienne Corbeau: murienne-corbeaudiscussing-headgear-at-laurel-prize-tourney-murienne-corbeau-and-mistress-kaitlyn    hat-with-furwig-dressed-murienne-corbeauPhotos by Anna Maleine

This is the display of Isabelle de Calais.  She was very kind and sewed my bun into place as was done in my period. It stayed so well that I had quite a time getting it taken out again!  Just shows that the ancients knew a thing or two about how to do hair. As you can see, she has some lovely pieces of clothing included in her wider display.

p1000261p1000260     Photos by Anna Maleine

Staying with the theme of clothing: Here is Masina de Ferrara. She had researched and recreated a dress. She had run into difficulties which she discussed with a Laurel who specializes in garb. The Laurel was impressed with her attention to detail and believes she is going to be someone to watch.  I thought her hair decoration was particularly lovely so I include a photo that shows it better.

p1000324p1000327p1000333         photos by Anna Maleine

That doublet was quite something! Wish I had gotten a close up.  Here is the display of Simona della Luna. Sadly, I did not get to study her display over-much, and all I can say is that her period is much later than my own. 🙂  She even had her own card!

p1000180p1000179p1000182    photos by Anna Maleine

SHOES!!  The artisan Daire de Haya, and a display of shoes. He included his mistakes as well as his successes to demonstrate the learning process. I was able to sit down with this fine gentleman and talk about his work.  I found him courteous and patient with my questions. I was able to handle some of the display and see how the pattens, those wooden things they slipped over their shoes to protect them from the mud, were hinged. My main thought was that when we get rain here, the mud is too deep for those to be of much good– so maybe that is why the Dutch had wooden shoes to completely cover their shoes?

p1000257p1000316p1000258 p1000317p1000318   Photos by Anna Maleine

I recall one or two other instances of garb which for reasons of busy crowds, I seem not to have gotten any images of them. Here is a gown by Lady Marie de Girau, whose display was mostly food, and so in another blog post. Following the gown, I have several pictures of a display, and a close up of a book, and the artisan–but missed her name. Beautiful work, and probably not in the right blog post.

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Here I end my first report. Pray tell me if I have erred on names!

 

 

Creating a Persona: Chunks of Time

History is chunked up into periods of time. Usually, when doing an over-view, it is broken down into centuries (like the 13th) or into large scale movements (Renaissance) or into governments (Reign of Basil II) or into cultures (Roman, Eastern Roman).  Last week I discussed several possible starting points for persona development.  This week, let us talk about Centuries as a means of measuring history.

Start with a century, say the 13th. Much happened during that century. And, because the division of time into centuries is random in relation to events and movements, there may be elements that begin in the century before, or begin in the 13th and end in the following century.

A person living in a particular place and time is shaped by the culture, government, religion, and even by the food supply. All of these can be studied by themselves, and when hunting books on these topics, most will cover a lot more time than your one century. In fact, you may find only a paragraph or two that directly addresses the 13th century!

This is when we learn to look to earlier periods, knowing that if we can document, say, a particular food, as having been grown locally or imported, and eaten 100 years before, there is a good chance that our persona may know of it and eat it.  But if the food, say Brussels Sprouts, did not develop until the 15th century, you can safely say your persona did not eat it in the 13th century.

Or, considering Byzantine garb, looking at fabrics that might work, we can document roundels that line up in neat rows both vertically and horizontally, to the 10th century, but offset rows of roundels do not show up until late 11th or 12th century.  Our 13th century Byzantine could be found wearing either.  Museums are fabulous for researching this.

Books will not usually focus on your century alone. Most books on a narrow topic will cover a wider time period. However, getting the bibliographic information and a photocopy of the sections useful to you, stapling them and hole punching for a notebook, is a fast way to start your documentation.

Many people have chosen a century and had a wonderful time developing a persona based on that narrow bit of time.  Perhaps you are one of them who will.

Creating a Persona: Starting Points

Persona Development– where to begin? The answer to this question is amazingly diverse.  It begins with, “what do you like?” and “what do you want?” and everything else will follow.

Case: a lovely member of the SCA is into spinning and weaving. She finds a particular period in which the methods and materials are well documented and dives into a new aspect of her passion for spinning. She learns to card weave to produce her own trim, which she is careful to match fiber to fiber so that everything shrinks at the same rate. She studies period methods of dyeing the fiber. She gets a small period correct loom. She makes some garb to go with this persona.

Case: a gentleman takes up the practices of Chivalry. He goes to fighter practice, loves it, and makes his own armor.  He stays with it, wearing the same simple t-tunic he sewed first. However, he discovers a book by Dr. Timothy Dawson titled, ARMOUR NEVER WEARIES SCALE AND LAMELLAR ARMOUR IN THE WEST FROM THE BRONZE AGE TO THE 19TH CENTURY.  He is hooked on lamellar armour.  He creates his own armor and that requires some new garb. He discovers Sartor, a fabric company that recreates period fabrics and gets a piece of brocade from his period and culture and uses it to trim his “court garb”. Suddenly his persona has begun to develop!

Case: a young college student comes to a garb session and sits down with some books that trace clothing styles through various time periods and cultures.  She spots a dress. THE dress, that dress that she wants bad enough to buy linen instead of cheaper cotton, and spend hours sewing.  The DRESS sets her time period and culture. From there she learns about the foods available and how they were preserved and joins the cooking guild. She even hunts down some herbs that were commonly used by her persona and grows them in pots on the window sill of her apartment.

murienne-corbeaudiscussing-headgear-at-laurel-prize-tourney-murienne-corbeau-and-mistress-kaitlyn

The photos are by Anna Maleine and were taken at the Laurel’s Prize Tourney in Ansteorra. This is the artisan Murienne Corbeau discussing her work with Mistress Kaitlyn.

My last case is me. I am fascinated by the writings of Early Christians.  In grad school the course was Patristics. The Cappadocian Fathers were incredible to read and fascinating to learn about. I wanted my persona to read, and to live where she could read early Christian writers like these.  So, Eastern Roman, 10th century during the reign of an emperor powerful enough to secure the borders and create peace enough for a reflowering of learning and art.

Geography, Culture, Art, Clothing, Armor, Method of fighting (rapier is later period), Equestrian, Fiber Arts, Ethnicity, Gardening, Cooking, Metal Working, Wood Working, Chivalry, Knights, Education, Books, Authors, Artists….the starting points are as varied as the amazing people who enter the SCA.

Have fun!

 

Resource for 11th Century Byzantine Garb

I do 10th Century, however, there are others, whose blogs I admire, who do earlier and later period Byzantine, and there is a lot to be said about knowing what came before and after my time period.  A NEW RESOURCE just became available over at Anachronistic and Impulsive: Thesis Recap: Moving Onward.

In addition to spectacular photos of the GARB she created to illustrate her thesis for her MA, she has made her dissertation, with the glory of footnotes and Bibliography, available on Etsy for $8 (USD).  It is an electronic download and prints out nicely even if you only have a black and white printer. Color could only be better.

I am all for great reference material to add to one’s collection of Byzantine documentation.

Now if only she would take everything she has done, and perhaps a tiny bit more, and create a book, with Late Roman, Early Byzantine, Middle Byzantine and Late Byzantine sections, illustrated with drawings, sketches and photographs.  She would have the definitive volume on Women’s Garb for the Roman and Byzantine persona in SCA period.

We can only hope. Meanwhile, go read the rest THERE.

Awesome Byzantine Related References

Ate with Society for Creative Anachronism friends this weekend and had marvelous conversations with wonderful people. References came up during our conversations which led to my promising links and book references to each of them.

I will begin with the blogs for Byzantine clothing I like best.

Anachronistic and Impulsive: Anna’s Rome: A View of Ancient Rome and Byzantium in the Current Middle Ages

This is an absolutely awesome garb blog by a member of the SCA (a Maunche) who has just completed her dissertation on Byzantine Garb.  Her focus in her garb is just past my period, but she also does Ancient Roman, and knows her stuff.  I can say that because I have read so much that I know that she knows her stuff.  So, for Roman or Byzantine, this is the blog I send friends to read.

Then there is the blog by another knowledgeable lady of the SCA. She is an EARLY period Byzantine, so her persona and work tend to pre-date my period of Byzantine, but again, I send friends to this blog because she knows her stuff. Even more fun, she goes beyond garb into arts and sciences.

Konstantia Kaloethina

Konstantia Kaloethina is a Herald in the SCA, and makes jewelry. Really pretty jewelry that she generously describes and shares about on this blog.

Both of the above blogs are my favorite garb and etc. Blogs for Byzantine. I read them as soon as they post!  You can also find both these ladies on Facebook where they share a page they call BYZANTEAM.  I prefer the page BYZANTINE ARMY because the scholars there are amazing at sharing references (academic papers)  I would never find on my own, which I print out to read later, and am filling notebooks with, so I don’t lose them. They also are wonderful at locating the artwork and images for everything imaginable. I get more general clothing information from BYZANTINE ARMY,  than I do from Byzanteam.

I think I have shared these two blogs before on my blog. But I wanted to put them in the same post.

A Third website I like is better for male garb than female, is LEVANTIA.  This web site is general, and not as deep as I would like. His books are better than his web site. Still, he has interesting ideas, and strongly held opinions based on years of re-creating the culture for demonstrations and SCA.  His is one of those blogs that fits my short list of those I send people.

Lastly, there is this blog: 10th Century Byzantine.  I write here. I need to write more, to have greater discipline and to spend more time sharing my findings so others can benefit. But I like my blog, and its focus.  Someday I hope people will recommend mine with the same zeal I recommend the two blogs above–but I am not there yet. 🙂

These are where I start. Have fun!

 

Sable Sparrow for Garbing a Child

A friend, Lady Dianna as she is known in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), was awarded an Ansteorran award for garbing a child. MY child to be exact. My child seeks to learn to do Rapier fighting in the SCA and so needed garb appropriate to that late period activity. Lady Dianna Blakely dove right in and created this garb:Version 3IMG_2193

Two pair trousers, vest, doublet, hat, tabard, shirt, and a fighting cloak not shown. Also not shown, gloves, hood, and gorget!  She is working to add one more shirt to round out the wardrobe.  She made each item carefully to allow for changes in height and breadth.  THIS is a top flight example of garbing a child.

The Sable Sparrow is an award given for a one time service that is above and beyond. I would say this was a very beautiful example of a well deserved award!

The garb is late period because rapier (fencing) is a late period activity. In the 10th century the fighters would have been Chivalric in nature (in the SCA these are the medieval knights with the heavy armor) and dressed very differently, but that is one of the wonderful qualities of the SCA. A family does not all have to dress alike.

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Also, the Tabard clearly informs the educated SCAdian to which group this child is attached and to whom you return them if they are found where they ought not to be.

And that, dear readers, is an example of children’s garb.

My gratitude to the good Lady Dianna!

Children’s Clothing for SCA Events

Children’s Clothing for playing in the modern middle ages, AKA the Society for Creative Anachronism(SCA), is an ongoing problem. The other day as I explored the Ansteorran web page, seeking information, I ran across this excellent article: Children’s Costumes at SCA Events by Ælflæd of Duckford (the author’s SCA name).

The article is good, with pictures, patterns mentioned, and other useful and practical ideas about clothing children for events. She did a far better job than would I!

So, while my basic kids garb, influenced by the Metropolitan Museum where their online pages have two extant items (child’s hooded tunic, Child’s dress, similar to adult) that suit my period, is easily done with a t-shirt, linen, and a bit of trim; practical and simple to make but not all that varied in design, this author wrote on all sorts of fun options, with photos of her own children fully garbed.

So, in addition to Children’s Costumes at SCA Events, you can dive into the many options at Stefan’s Florilegium.

Go, follow the links, and enjoy!

 

 

Oh FUN! A doll ideal for period clothing

I wanted a fashion doll for my kids to enjoy but wanted a healthy, intelligent looking doll. Facebook to the rescue, someone posted about a new company called Lammily.  This led to my purchase of two. I can hardly wait until they get here!  I need the doll in hand so I can begin to create medieval clothing for the doll.

I learned some of my early sewing skills by making clothing (very badly done) for my Barbie doll. But nothing really fits the body of a Barbie.  It just will not look right!  But this new doll, I can easily see this one allowing for exploration of various periods of garb at much lower cost than doing clothing full scale for myself.

The truth is, I like exercising my urge to make garb for a doll, and then only when I decide I really really want something like that for myself do I put in the effort to make it for myself.

Sort of the same reason why I like making garb for my children. Less fabric, and I can work out the shapes I need to cut to copy something from a museum photo, all at less cost to myself.

The result is a kid with garb, a doll with garb, and I had fun.

Isn’t that what this hobby is all about?

REAL silk in a period pattern brocade

I am drooling. Simply drooling. Over THIS.  What is more, this company will make to order.  And I have this pattern from an extant bit of silk, from a book on silk in my period, and if I had a bit over 3K, yeah, US over three grand, I could have them do their minimum order.  The problem is that I do not need 50 meters, and near as I can tell, I would need to price it around $80 a meter to break even selling the extra– and who can afford THAT?

OH, but I think it would be marvelous.

Yes, they do cheaper if you go silk and rayon. But I would rather do silk and cotton if there is to be a less than totally silk version(and I would make a lot of mundane clothing out of it just because I won’t be able to afford to dress myself if I spend that kind of money on fabric just for garb).  The problem is that SILK is the perfect fabric and only slightly more costly than the silk and cotton.

Then there is a silk version with real metal threads in the pattern. sigh. drool.

If I DID lose my mind and ended up with 50 meters of a pattern based on extant 9th and 10th century fragments, would there be anyone out there who might buy some of it off of me?

WOOL!

I attended a meeting where we worked on garb and discussed our next SCA event. With encouragement, I cut out two tunics, one in blue wool to be my cold weather garb, and a child-sized tunic, patterned after a extant tunic in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in NY and listed online with photographs.

The wool is blue. I washed it and shrunk it thoroughly. It has just enough yardage to make a left opening tunic. I got the idea from an article by Timothy Dawson that had drawings to accompany it.  I liked the design and thought it would make a good wool garment to use for those occasions when it is simply too cold for my usual layers of thin fabrics alone.

I have just enough left over for a rectangle to put around my shoulders when I don’t need but a little warmth. Next to get clasps and a cloak pin to close these things.

You shrink fabric before cutting so that later you can wash the resulting garment. I shrink in hot water, dry on high heat, repeat once, then I can use my machine’s cold water hand washing cycle if I need it.  This is going to be used like a coat, so will be unlikely to be worn very often so will rarely need washing.

If you ever want to do something worthy with disposable income, memberships to museums often will bring magazines, discounts for museum stores, and help to keep wonderful things available for everyone.