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By Signora Ginevra Isabetta del Dolce

Sonnet 1

Whilst clouds did cover all the land with rain
Within our halls delights could scarcely hide
The arts of Æthelmearc bore bright refrain
And with their joyous leisure changed the sky
A fretted griffin did Rhiannon bring
To meet with pleasure paints which Jocelyn dared
Hrolfr wove red threads the Queen’s own dress to ring
And Kate and Ginny each a scroll prepared
Here Elska’s work like dragon’s treasured cave:
We tasted mead and conserve; belt we eyed
Eadaoin’s wassail gave us the drink we crave
Fearghus this hoard within his chest might hide
The woven trim was crowd’s quite favourite art
Most highly judged: the Wool was worlds apart

On Saturday, September 30, Anno Societatis 52, much of the Kingdom gathered in the Shire of Heronter on the shores of Lake Chautauqua for our annual Harvest Raid. I had the honor and extreme pleasure of organizing my favorite event activity: the Arts & Sciences display and competition.

I was astounded and delighted by the breadth of entries for the display and competition as well as the thorough documentation that many contributors included with their works.

We had two categories for entries. First, the competition that was held was for completed works in the theme of the harvest. This portion of entries was adjudicated.

Image 1

Harvest-themed offerings. Photo courtesy Baron Rhiannon.

Second was the open display, which was without theme or medium restrictions. Entries could be completed or works in progress. I enjoy having both categories available, as this gives all artists a chance to contribute work.

While all entries were beautifully made and presented, Fiber Arts won the day.

The Honorable Lady Elska á Fjárfelli won the harvest competition with her dyed wool and the Skjoldehamn belt into which it was made.

Image 2

The Honorable Lady Elska á Fjárfelli’s dyed wool and Skjoldehamn belt, made from her dyed wool, won the Harvest Competition. (This and all following photos by Signora Ginevra Isabetta del Dolce.)

The skills and artistry of Elska were much appreciated by all.

All members in attendance were welcomed to vote for their favorite among the entries, giving those without the theme a chance to shine.

Lord Hrólfr á Fjárfelli’s card-woven band for Her Majesty Queen Juliana’s apron dress, a beautiful Æthelmearc-themed trim inspired by the Birka Bands, was the highly marked favorite.

Image 5

Lord Hrólfr á Fjárfelli’s card-woven band for Her Majesty’s apron dress.

The other entries, in various media, were all worthy of our attention and showed myriad skills. I look forward to these artists’ next entries!

Image 6

Baron Rhiannon Elandris of Glyndrudwy’s fretted griffin.

Image 7

“Gus in Memoriam” cat scroll by Lady Catherine O’Herlihy.

Image 8

Lord Fearghus mac Eoin’s well-constructed Viking chest.

Image 9

Scroll blank by Ginevra del Dolce.

Image 10

The Honorable Lady Elska’s ginger-peach conserve.

Image 11

The Honorable Lady Elska’s oenomeli, or Concord grape mead.

Image 12

Eadaoin Gaelach Rua’s wassail (mulled cider), warmed over candles throughout the day, was very enjoyable.

Image 13

Eadaoin Gaelach Rua provided information on wassail.

Image 14

Lady Jocelyn of Hartstone’s paintings in various media. (I find it is often quite difficult to paint movement, but Lady Jocelyn surely captures it in every brush stroke.)

A very pleasing array of arts and sciences were offered throughout the day in addition to the competition and display. While many of Æthelmearc’s subjects gathered in the great hall throughout the day working on personal projects, there was also a small library, a scribal playtime hosted by Mistress Roberta, children’s activities including a Viking longship-building competition headed by Lord Lodthinn, and a games table hosted by Lady Maggie.

The arts are alive and well in Æthelmearc. What an honor it is to be a part of them. I look forward to seeing what you are working on the next time we meet.

In service,
Signora Ginevra Isabetta del Dolce
Minister of the Arts & Sciences for the Shire of Heronter