Laurel’s Prize Tourney: Armor, Weapons, Battles and the Horse

This is a broad category filled with some of my favorite displays. I placed only four artisans in this category. I wish I had been able to spend more time with them as their work is exciting!

Bridget Rede of Dunvegan’s display was located right at the door so there I began my day. A horse crazy gal from infancy, I have read and read and geeked out over horses my entire life so her display of all the things she had found that claimed to be period but she had shown were not period not only caught my eye but proved delightful. She had a nice selection of period literature and other documentation as well. I would love for her to dive in and MAKE a set of period tack so she can display what IS correct.

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Aubri de Baudrecourt had a display, complete with maps, of the battle of Lepanto. The degree of detail and his application of the techniques used to rapier showed a great deal of thinking had gone into this. I wish I had been able to talk with him more about his documentation and sources. He also was familiar with Chesterton’s epic poem about this battle and I rarely meet anyone who knows that piece.  Lepanto was one of those historic battles that saved Christian Europe from being conquered and nobody hears about it in history classes.

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Galen of Ockham displayed some lovely tools of navigation.

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Karl Thorgeirsson  displayed much of woodcraft, ranging from crossbow and musical instruments to chairs and drinking vessels. I did not get to ask him if he made every thing there. It looked like it. I also didn’t get to talk to him about the instrument. I wanted to pick it up and try it but without permission that wasn’t possible.  I’ll let the photos speak:

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Finally, someone researching ancient roman armor. He had GREAT sources, fabulous documentation, eamples done period style and more of the substitute metal in which his project would be done. Only thing, I failed to get a name.  I love what he is doing. So, somebody tell me his name so I can friend him on facebook and pick his mind on books!

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Laurel’s Prize Tourney: Heraldic and Scribal Arts

Scrolls galore!  I saw so many gorgeous, colorful, detailed and magnificent scrolls that my head spun and I could not have kept them all from blurring together with out the aid of my magic casket and its ability to store images.

I think I will begin with a single, random, framed, illumination displayed by Osama van der Linden:

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Aibhlin inghean Daibhidh is another artisan of the Scribal Arts, among other things:

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Biau-dou de la Mere is another artisan whose name uses the one letter my keyboard will not do– so my apologies.  I was fascinated by the many tiny bottles of colored inks, and the beautiful details in each illuminated page. I cannot imagine the patience it must take to create your own colors from what can be known from history.

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Elena Kirchenknopf does calligraphy, and illumination, but I found the calligraphy particularly handsome on this piece.

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This young lady, Deanna della Penna, has done a very nice job writing her icons. I do object to Our Lady of Guadalupe with lighter brown hair, icons are conservative and would be properly done with a very dark brown or black, but she had to use what her instructor gave her. I particularly like her tryptic in progress with the accompanying angel panel and the central panel of the Virgin Mary with Christ Child, already completed. She shows a talent for the work.  I hope very much to see where she takes it.

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Elena Wyth is another calligrapher whose work in color is lovely:

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Francisca Sastre de Arellano had a lovely abundance of beautiful scrolls to display. I particularly liked her documentation. I hope I did her work justice with my images:

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Hillary Rose Greenslade is the last of the scribal to share here. She showed many beautiful pieces:

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I am not certain where to categorize this beautiful work in glass. It glows with light, as does an Illumination. It is a story written in glass which in the West did a similar job of catechizing that the Icon did in the East. So I am including the work of…. uh-oh, I seem to have failed to get his name card! Please let me know who he is if you know! The work is lovely.

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Laurel’s Prize Tourney: Fiber Arts Part II

There were so many beautiful displays of fiber arts that it took more than one post to cover them all. Even so, I may have managed to miss someone. Stellar Event!

This artisan was absent from her table when I arrived to take photographs, but Jean Marie Laverriere’s delicately beaded linen caught my eye. I didn’t get to ask about the pretty pieces but it was easy to get a photo or two without anyone blocking my path.

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HL Miriam Armstrong attended with her mother. I liked the drum in the midst of the lovely stitching.

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Bertina Battista had a basket of colorful yarn that I so badly wanted to sink my hands into!! Lovely colors and they looked so soft.

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Emelisse de Loupey had displays about dyes and their effects. I failed to do a close-up of the framed portion of the display. I humbly apologize for that failure.

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This is the last of the artisans I collected as Fiber Arts. Short post, but the other was as long as I ever make them. So here, is the last, the work of: Ealasaid Mac al Bhaired (al Aeryn)

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This wraps up the Fiber Arts– unless I find pictures that I haven’t already put into one of the posts.  My eyes a blurry from staring at so many images, trying to guess which fit together and which artisan goes with which name.  As I said before, if you see an error, please let me know.

 

Laurel’s Prize Tourney: Fiber Arts Part I

Fiber Arts: such a vast array of arts are encompased by this name. There are those who begin with the wool, but a few begin with the sheep! Still others begin with the yarns, dying them to produce colors typical for the period.  Whether you grow the fibers or begin with a thread all ready to weave, the artists in this category make so much of the atmosphere of an event. Let us begin!

Here is Czina Angielcyzka whose rows of lovely woven trims stood out for me. Having tried my hand at making trim, my respect for those who have done multiple projects with a loom have my highest respect!

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This fiber arts table had a lot to offer. Sadly, I only managed a couple of close-ups before moving on. From lovely stiching to dyed wools, this colorful delight is the display of Aislynn ni Cahill:

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I caught this very colorful display by Eireann Hviturhrafn without the presence of the artisan. This is sad because it is both a fiber display and it seems some sort of food display.

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Judith de Saint Clare had another bright display. I especially liked that the table-cloth made all the items on it stand out, including her name tag.

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Safiya Spizega’s display of trims was delightful. She has some nice details in her work:

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Elsa von Schmmach displayed some lovely socks! I always love the period clothing that is difficult because it so rarely gets a mention in the records!

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This artisan must be known by her tag on her table for I fear there is a single key on my computer which refuses to work, and it is in her name!  Hetilda Corbett I do apologize for the error in your name.  Your wire work and weaving were lovely!

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This gentleman had a nice array of wool. I love wool. I took pictures of his wool. I took pictures of him with his wool. However, I failed to take a picture of the green tag with his name!!

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Eleanora Elizabeth Caley presented both clay pots and woven pieces. I did not know where to look! I took several pictures and I hope you enjoy them.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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!

 

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!

 

A TENT!! I took the plunge and purchased a period-ish pavilion.

Camping in the Society for Creative Anachronism is a widely varied activity. Some people going for high degree of authenticity in their set up and others merely camping out with modern tent and equipment. At last, I took the plunge and purchased a period-isa pavilion!

Like most, I began with a modern tent– large, inexpensive, light weight, and leaky. It had a nice mesh top that, with the rain tarp removed let out the heat which was nice, but it was not great. To improve the entire situation I found I could buy a better rain tarp, and get even less period, or I could buy a new tent– and there are modern ones that are less obviously modern that cost about what I spent on my pavilion, but I wanted more of a period look.

I sat drooling over the tents made by Panther Primitives but simply cannot justify the cost, not on my budget nor with the amount of use the tent would get. They make very good tents though and you can get the poles and other hardware with the tent.  Go visit their web page and see how many gorgeous tents they make and then do a bit of research and you will find most owners rave about how nice their tents are. But over $2000 for a 12′ eve pavilion? I cannot justify it on my income. Drool and dream but not actually do it.

I really want a period pavilion, and if I cannot afford the one I drool over, I needed to find a less expensive option. Enter the solid and more economical Midwest Tent.

Midwest Tents makes a sturdy 12′ round pavilion that will do the job. I will have to make my own hub and poles which is going to be a learning experience for me. I know the canvas, heavy though it is, isn’t the higher grade sun-forger of the Panther Primitives, but it is a good quality heavy canvas. Even better, they now make them with stripes SEWN ON!

This tent is going to get both mundane AND SCA use. Which is how I was able to justify spending the money to buy a “period” tent. I also am looking at my camping gear with an eye toward period looks. I want to be able to camp with the Enchanted Ground people! I want to get into persona and PLAY.

Mine will be white, with blue stripes on the roof and walls. I opted for the less period removable walls because I cannot carry the whole thing in one piece! I was given several choices on the valence and opted to not have the vertical stripes on the valence. This will give me a nice band for painting patterns onto it! I am excited. My looking at art from near period, my choosing stripes is probably not ideal, but I like them, and add the paint to the valence with period designs and it is going to be a wonderful tent to use both for Mundane camping events and for SCA events.

I will be sure to do pictures once I get the tent UP!

Penn Museum Online Collection: Roman items

The Penn Museum online Collection is small but nice for the anyone looking to see Roman lighting and glass. They have a nice example of a glass stopper! This should give you the documentation for a similar stopper. There is an example of pressed glass in the mediterranean collection, and several blown glass flasks and pitchers, which look modern and elegant, and as they are very early A.D./C.E., it could be argued that similar pieces were likely possible throughout our SCA period, at least for the Eastern Roman Empire.

Also useful and interesting is their collection of oil lamps. I had not seen an oil lamp with the wider end curved up. The other examples had tiny molded handles but not all pierced. One interesting bronze version is also present. Something I like is at least one had a comment on the method by which it was made.

These items ranged in date from the 1st century through the 5th as far as I took note in my quick viewing. Quite nice, definitely another museum to keep on a list of places to visit and online collections to check when thinking early period glass and lighting.

I didn’t have time to explore the online collection any further before posting– so if you spot something particularly nice in their online collection, do mention it in a comment.