Today’s article in our series on the Kingdom’s Virtual Queens Prize Tourney is about a gorgeous 14th c Inspired Wooden Elevation Box, made by artisan Éadaoin Ruadh. As we do not have the ability to converse with our entrants face to face, the Virtual Queens Prize Tourney now offers the opportunity to drool over images and read the documentation right there on the Kingdom Ministry of Arts & Sciences website – even to leave feedback! And to learn a little more about the artisan and their thoughts behind their entry, the organizers decided to broaden our traditional entry of object and documentation with personal interviews.
Could you tell me a little about you, your persona?
Éadaoin is a Irish woman who came over to Scotland in early 14th century, right in the thick of the First War for Scottish Independence. The thought is that she had no feminine skills to make her way, so she passed herself off as a young man and was taken in by Clan Mackintosh to fight with the Bruce. The box is meant to contain knightly accessories, so she wouldn’t have used it for that necessarily, but perhaps as she rose in status in the clan, she would’ve used it for other things.
What inspired you to make your entry?
A friend was being elevated to Order of Chivalry who has been an uncle figure to myself and other SCAdians in our area. This was in thanks for all of his help, friendship, and guidance he has given to me and our group over the years.
What is your intention with your entry?
The box was meant to hold various items that Sir Richard received upon his elevation. I sealed it up so it would be preserved in various types of weather when camping at events.
Did the entry throw up any unexpected issues?
I’ve done carving with hammer and chisels before, but I was still surprised by the amount of time it took. I had to work against a time deadline for the day of his elevation, so I fit the work into any opening that I could, including my half hour lunch breaks on the job (thankfully I work in exhibits and have access to a workshop). Some of the stains changed colors differently than I had originally seen on other test pieces, but all I could do to correct was add more of one stain in order to darken it and try to show a different hue than the others near it.
Did you learn something specific, something you would do differently, or would recommend others to do again?
Never underestimate the amount of time for hand tooling. Sharpened chisels are your best friends. I re-learned techniques to help guard against chipping in places where I didn’t expect, like cutting along lines before chiseling away at the wood I need out.
What motivated you to enter the Virtual Queens Prize Tourney?
Inspiration is definitely the main goal. I like to see pieces that are custom made for particular personae, and this was a combination of historical/SCA imagery. While I deeply appreciate and respect the historical research aspect of A&S, I am too widespread in hobbies and commitments to add that to my list. I want to show others that beautiful and inspirational period adjacent art is possible, and speak up to those who may be intimidated out of A&S for similar reasons.
Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you to all our Æthelmeartisans who continue to share their skill and create gorgeous works to share with us in these uncertain times. You’re inspiring in more ways than you realize. Please keep sharing for us social media gremlins who lurk but may not comment 🙂
Thank you, Éadaoin Ruadh, for sharing your wonderful work with our Kingdom’s artisans and populace!
If you would like to see Éadaoin’s entry, follow this link. And if you liked their work, have a question to ask, or a tip to share – please leave your comments with their entry! You can “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of the entry’s page. We have two more weeks to peruse, enjoy and interact with the entrants. Make use of the opportunity, if you can!