Today’s article in our series on the Kingdom’s Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney is about a beautiful entry titled Fabric Banners, made by artisan Richard Foxmoore. As we do not have the ability to converse with our entrants face to face, the Virtual Queen’s 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.

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Banners I have made for the people of the SCA from device/ awards pictures they sent me. I use duct cloth and embroidery thread.

Could you tell me a little about you, your persona.

I have not yet determined a specific time period. For the time being, I am more or less encompassing an overall “generic medieval” persona than anything else. Sometimes it leans more to Viking, sometimes Norman, and sometimes Pirate. I feel my entries falls sometime between the late 12th, early 13th century to the early 16th century modern days.

What inspired you to make your entry?

My journey in this field started as just wanting to learn a new skill. As with most things I do. I dove into it using the learn as-you-go along with the trial and error method. All this as I made my first banner for a friend. As the banner was seen by others, they requested their own banners, and so the ball started rolling.

What is your intention with your entry?

My intentions with this entry is to simply have it noted and to field comments I can use to improve my skills and my finished projects ( It is my hope that my work will be viewed by a laurel who would perhaps consider me as a candidate for apprentice). While I have made many banners as gifts or at cost for close friends, I have begun to sell them as well.

Did the entry throw up any unexpected issues?

Each banner or project I do is its own unique challenge. They are all so completely different and yet have commonalities as well. It is the combining of the unique with the common that makes the challenge of each banner its own journey. I have long had a love of doodling or drawing. I think this artistic streak in me helps make the creation of each project exciting.

Did you learn something specific, something you would do differently, or would recommend others to do again?

While traveling down the road that has led me to making my entry, I have learned that there are many arts within the SCA. In the past the bulk of my participation was as a fighter, however, as life progressed and time and age changed things, I have found there are still many venues and paths open to me to grow and expand my knowledge within the society. I suppose the motto is, its never to late to start a new journey on a new path.

What motivated you to enter the Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney?

I entered the VQPT to take a chance on something new, share my new skills with others, and hopefully inspire others to be open to try something new. Although I began learning embroidery about a year ago, I did not start making banners until 4 months ago. I will be the first to say the quality of my work is not ideal and can always improve. I don’t expect it to be the best work of art out there, but I do challenge myself to produce the best product I can and over the last 4 months , I have seen an improvement and refinement in my work.

Is there anything you would like to add?

My philosophy would be that if you see something that someone else has displayed at an event and like it, then try to make it for yourself. Your initial attempts may hit roadblocks and may result in failure. Also, remember every ” failure ” is really just a lesson learned and each such lesson improves your knowledge of your craft . With time you will see your effort pay off and it will result in something outstanding. You may even find yourself with a new respect for ” handmade ” things once you see exactly how much time, effort and work goes into making one. When you succeed you will have new skills to share with others, and a lifetime to continually improve those skills. Enjoy what you do and be most proud of all that you try.

Thank you, Richard of Foxmoore, for sharing your wonderful work with our Kingdom’s artisans and populace!

If you would like to see Richard’s entry, follow this link. And if you liked his work, have a question to ask, or a tip to share – please leave your comments with his entry! You can “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of the entry’s page. Their Majesties announced the winners in Virtual Court at the Æthelmearc Æcademy on July the 11th, and the winners are listed in the Virtual Queen’s Prize Tourney website.