Lady Scholastica Joycors, the Dean of the College of Performing Arts for Pennsic 47-50, bring us the schedule for the performing arts pavilion! Enjoy this inside sneak peek at all the great performances to be seen!
By Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France)
Grimmy loves his new coat from Baroness Helene. Photo by Baroness Ekaterina.
Come on, you know you want to join the Æthelmearc Artisan Exchange!
You, creating that awesome, intriguing, engrossing, fun, beautiful art form.
Sign up to make it – whether an art form you’ve been developing for years or something you just started delving into, whether woodworking, sewing, brewing, metal smithing, leather working, cooking, etc. – for someone else.
Then reap the joy of that person receiving it, while you receive a personalized gift in return from another talented artisan in our kingdom.
What is the Artisan Exchange?
Unlike A&S competition, displays, classes, or other common artisan-oriented activities that are often competitive and scary to new artisans, the Exchange encourages artisans of all levels and abilities simply to practice an existing skill or explore a new one while creating something within roughly three months’ timeframe (and with a $25 limit on materials, not including shipping costs) for a fellow artisan in the exchange, at the end of which they will receive a gift in turn from another artisan. As in modern Secret Santa exchanges, only the Exchange coordinator knows which artisans she has matched up until the gifts are mailed and the effusive thanks begin. Artisans of all ages, skill levels, genders, etc. participate and the created items do not all have to be documented period items.
History of the Exchanges
Originally created as a Noblesse Largesse swap in Calontir by Lady Konstantia Kaloethina and HL Aline Swynbrook, those founders encouraged gentles in other kingdoms to use and expand the idea. Baroness Oddkatla Jonsdottir learned about the East Kingdom’s Swap (and then Exchange) while a resident of that kingdom and enjoyed participating in 10 exchanges over four years there: knitting shawls, painting and embroidering messenger bags and a Norman cloak, and sewing a silk banner and a Skoldhammim hood.
When she and her husband, Baron Friderich Swartzwalder, became citizens of Greater AEthelmearc a few years ago and began playing in the Nithgaard/Abhainn Ciach Ghlais area, she wanted to join our kingdom’s Exchange, which had been coordinated in 2013 by Janice Mullins Wagoner.
“I saw the amazing art being made in the East’s group, and knew that AE had or has many very talented artisans,” Her Excellency explained.
Block-printed feast gear bags from Mistress Fredeberg to Baroness Helene. Photo by Baroness Helene.
When Janice stepped down and offered the Exchange to Baroness Oddkatla, she talked to the Calontir founders for guidance with the process and forms and began coordinating the project in Fall 2015, which finished by Kingdom Twelfth Night in January 2016.
“The first exchange was very well received, and we had about 40 artisans participate. I try to have a new exchange start within about a month to six weeks after the previous on ends. Most of the time it works out to be two exchanges a year. Someday, maybe I can get a third one in or have two different exchanges running at the same time.”
At the beginning of each Exchange, Her Excellency asks participants to join the project’s Facebook group and fill out a survey detailing the participant’s home group, persona, color preferences, favorite activities, and art interests. After receiving all the surveys, Baroness Oddkatla randomly matches each artisan with another and privately sends each artisan the survey information for their matched artisan. She checks in frequently with the artisans via the Facebook group (and private emails, if necessary) on the progress and nudges everyone into mailing or personally handing every gift by the Exchange deadline.
The Exchange is primarily coordinated on the Facebook group, but Her Excellency notes that artisans do not need to be a Facebook member to join the Exchange; they can participate via email.
What outcome did you hope for the Exchange – just a fun Secret Santa gift swap or something more?
“When I first thought about starting an Exchange in AE, I had the dream of getting people together in a fun way to make and share art, whether the participant was a new person to the SCA or a Laurel who had years of making and creating art. The fun part (in my mind) was the fact that no one knew who was making the art for you. When I was taking part in the East Kingdom exchange, one of the best parts was anticipating what might arrive in the mail at the end of the exchange.”
How has the exchange changed/evolved since you began this?
“The exchange has grown by leaps and bounds since we first started. The Facebook group has 296 members with more artisans asking to join every swap. The first swap had 40 artisans and the more recent exchange that finished in December 2017 had 70.”
So far, 50 participants have joined the one that is in the survey stage right now. Baroness Oddkatla is hoping for 70 participants.
Woven belt/trim by Lady Zianna for Lady Catherine O’Herlihy. Photo by Lady Catherine.
What has gone well and was has been a challenge?
“The amazing creativity AE artisans have (has gone well)! A challenge has been getting the gifts delivered in a timely manner. One of the things about the exchange that dismays me is the need for extra time at the end of the exchange, as some need more time to finish. One of my goals is to have everyone mail their gifts on the scheduled mailing date. Usually, the extensions are given as an artisan has a “fail” and needs more time to finish. Please don’t misunderstand, most people mail on the date, and only a few need extensions.”
What have been some of the themes of past exchanges and what is the current one?
“Themes in the exchange have been varied. The first one was a Twelfth Night theme, with the gifts being something fancy that could be worn or used at Twelfth night. Themes since then have been “Spring/Camping” where each artisan was asked in the survey if they would like to receive a spring- or a camping-themed gift. The theme of the exchange that we just completed was “Heraldry,” and each artisan was asked to make a gift using their recipient’s arms or colors, or if the artisan did not have heraldry, the recipient’s household or Kingdom arms were used.
“This new exchange is a repeat of a past exchange called a “RED/WHITE” exchange. What this means is that the artisan can pick either the RED or WHITE part of the swap. RED gifts must be made with period methods, have documentation, and the dollar amount for supplies can be more than $25. WHITE gifts stick to the original rules of $25 being the top end of the amount each artisan can spend on supplies and no documentation or period methods necessary. Other than that nothing special needs to be done.”
What are some of the most notable gifts you’ve seen made?
“Every gift that is made is very special! I have a few favorites, from all the different exchanges. Some memorable ones are the amazing painted box Abigail Kelhoge made for Anna Leigh, inspired by an illumination; a blackwork embroidered coif Rhys Penbras ap Dafydd made for Elisabeth Johanna von der Flossenburg; and the angel gift Rynea von Lingen made for Astridr Vigodottir, known as Ashling.
Painted box by Lady Abigail Kelhoge for Countess Anna Leigh. Photo by Countess Anna.
“There are many, many gifts I love, way too many to list here!
“You’re probably wondering what an Angel gift is? An Angel gift gets made when an artisan cannot complete their gift. I put out a call for someone to make a gift, and then when I get an angel, I send them the information they need and they make a gift for the artisan that did not get a gift due to their artisan not being able to finish their gift.
“I make sure that everyone who joins to make a gift gets a gift. I feel that every artisan needs to be able to have something to show for the hard work they have done.”
How much time each week during the exchange do you spend coordinating this and what is involved on your end? Is anyone else involved in the coordination?
“There is a fair amount of work that I do to get the exchange up and running. Starting with writing and developing a survey all the artisans must take to be included in the exchange. After the surveys have been taken and it has been closed, when I have the number of artisans that I need to run the exchange, the real work begins. I take each artisan and give them a number, and then using a blind draw, I assign artisan to artisan. Then I send each artisan an email with their recipient in the email. I ask each artisan to send me an email back so that I know they have received their artisan’s name and survey information.
“At this point, the progress of the exchange is up to the artisans. My part slows down a bit as I just make sure I am a cheerleader to keep people motivated and working. I let everyone know that I am here to answer their questions. One of the rules is that no one contact their recipient. If they need help for something they would like to know, they need to contact me either by email or private message on Facebook.
“I put in about 20 to 30 hours at the beginning getting the exchange started and then about two hours a week answering questions from artisans. When the gifts are due to be mailed, I do a bit more making sure that artisans have mailed their gifts. I ask that they send me a photo of their mailing receipt, so that I know their gift has been mailed; there’s a bit more work if anyone asks for extensions. By the end of the exchange, I’m usually putting in anywhere from four to six hours a week. I am the sole person running the AE Artisan Exchange. I have had people ask if I need help, which I usually thank them for, but decline. “
What are your future plans or hopes for this exchange?
“I hope the exchange will continue to grow, and that AE continues to show how talented her artisans are. “
Quiver by Lord Wladislaw Poznanski.
When is the deadline for the current one?
“Deadline to mail this Exchange’s gift is April 15, 2018. Deadline to withdraw from the Exchange is March 1, 2018, barring last-minute major project failure, for which an extension may be granted. If for any reason you need to bow out of an Exchange it must be done via the Gmail account, not Facebook message.”
What do you say to artisans who are intrigued but unsure about participating?
“I tell people who contact me about participating in the exchange, that they may have doubts about playing with us, but each and every one of us can art. We each have special talents that I know are there, and that all they have to do is fill out a survey, and ask questions. I turn NO ONE AWAY!!! Everyone is welcome, and I will make sure they have help if they think they may not do as well as others that participate in the exchange.”
Anything else you’d like to add?
“This is a lot of fun! I have made many new friends, and encourage all that may have an interest to come and join us!”
All are Welcome on this day to enjoy music and song and dancing, good food, and good friends!
What is a Debatable Lands Twelfth Night like? Here are the top 12 things to do!
1. Bring some food to share. Our event is free, even the food! It’s a potluck. All kinds of food are welcome! (Mmmm, cheese balls)
2. Bring and/or taste some cookies! A perennial favorite, Master Urho runs our favorite cookie competition of the year. Bring some to enter, or just munch on the entries and vote for a populace choice winner!
3. Bring your A&S project to display! The event features the Debatable Lands’ Arts & Sciences Championship and Display. There are no limitations, bring your projects, old or new, finished or in progress, to display. You can even request feedback from our top artisans. And if you’re from the Debatable Lands, enter the competition!
4. Bring some beverages. Wet site. Nuff said.
5. Snowball fight! Jasmine of Clan Tarn has her elves working overtime making stuffed “snowballs” for an epic tourney for young and old alike!
6. Get ready to laugh. The Best Commedia dell’Arte troupe in the Knowne World – I Genesii – will be *cough* performing *cough* …multiple times. Don’t miss the most beloved court of Misrule.
7. Bards welcome – the Debatable Lands Bardic Championship is also taking place. Only Debatable Landers are eligible for the Championship, but all are welcome to perform. The theme is the Old and the New.
8. Speaking of performances, the Barony’s own Debatable Choir will perform at 5pm. Let their dulcet tones wash over your ears and hearts.
9. Stuff and cash, cash and stuff… our Twelfth Night Auction of Forgotten Treasures ™ will delight you with the garb, gear, stuff and do-dads available at this silent auction. Have stuff you don’t need? Bring it to donate! But wait, there’s more! We also have a few fine merchants.. peruse their artwork, chainmail, and more!
10. Courts and vigils and courts, oh my! The event features Mistress Graidhne’s vigil and induction into the Order of the Laurel, as well as many other awards, Kingdom and Baronial.
11. Stay for the dancing! After evening Court, our event always has one of the best dances of the season in the entire Kingdom. Don’t worry, we’ll teach you!
12. Bring a donation for Paladin’s Pantry! The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank needs food items, blankets, and more. Read more here!
Doña Gabrielle de Winter invites gentles from throughout Æthelmearc to join the good folk of the Shire of Silva Vulcani at some upcoming demonstrations.
California University of Pennsylvania is full of demo opportunities this April. I thought it would be an excellent time to give you the low-down, in case you are free and would like to participate.
Diada de Sant Jordi, April 27th, 10:00-3:00 (Thursday)
Saint George’s day is a very important holiday in Spain – a day of books, roses, and romance. Last year, we had dancing, arts and sciences, and fencing, and were considered one of the most important aspects of the event. This year, we already have wonderful scribal talent from the Bog, fencers, and dancers have already signed up to come, but we would be thrilled to welcome more people. High school students will be bused in, so the age range is high school to college.
A Trip Through Time, April 29th, 11:00-4:00 (Saturday)
This is a major reenactment event, advertised to schools, public libraries, VFWs, and more. The age range is open – anyone with an interest in history is invited. We already have a Civil War Encampment, Scottish dancers will be joining our medieval ones, people portraying French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, hands-on demos of primitive food preparation, and fencing. I would love to add anything to this mix – to introduce the people coming here to the wide range of reenactment and living history opportunities.
There are reasons why these came so close together. Several people were given minor grants in order to have events on campus to help assist with bringing people to Cal U and recruiting new students. Unfortunately, all of our timelines came together (I started planning mine in November). It also means that I had to grab what space I could, and so had to pick a rather unfortunate date that coincided with Blackstone Raids. I understand that there is a lot going on, but I could not pass up any opportunity to both bring the SCA to a new audience and show the University how useful and awesome the College of Silva Vulcani (known to them as the Medieval Club and the Fencing Club) is and how we support the university. If you can come to any of these, I would be grateful, because the more support we have, maybe the more people we will recruit? In any case, it will be lovely to see you.
Interested in an evening of dancing and a delectable Spanish meal this weekend?
Baroness Oddkatla Jonsdottir shares below her menu for Nithgaard’s An Evening of Fine Food & Dance, an event that runs from 4 p.m. to midnight this Saturday evening, March 4, with dance masters from around the kingdom.
See the event announcement here. The Facebook event page is here.
An assortment of Spanish cheeses
Bread & butter
Membrillo (quince paste) (from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century, trans. Charles Perry)
Roasted red peppers, garlic & basil, marinated in olive oil
Clarea De Aqua (honey water) (from Libre del Coch Ruperto de Nola)
Armored hen (Libre del Coch Ruperto de Nola)
Potatje de porrada (leek pottage) (Libre del Coch Ruperto de Nola)
Golden sops (Libre del Coch Ruperto de Nola)
Pork Belly with French mustard and apples
Chickpeas and honey with pomegranate (A Drizzle of Honey)
Stuffing lamb with cheese (An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century, trans. Charles Perry)
Fresh [green] beans (An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century, trans. Charles Perry)
Macrones in almond milk with cheese (An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century, trans. Charles Perry)
Recipe for honeyed rice (rice pudding) (An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century, trans. Charles Perry)
Pottage called peach (Libre del Coch Ruperto de Nola)
It was a very blustery day. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet left their homes in the Hundred Acre Wood and… Oops, wrong story. It was a very blustery day. My wife and I left our home at dawn to drive to the State University of NY at Fredonia to start setting up our demo for the first Fredonia Maker Faire.
Baron Jacob of Dunmore.
It was originally planned that we would be outside the new science building so fighters and fencers could fight on the lawn. A couple of the officials decided it was too cold and windy and rainy and just too darn blustery. So they got a couple of volunteers to help us re-pack our stuff and transport it all to the Williams Center and help us re-set up. The volunteers all wore bright yellow t-shirts to identify themselves. Naturally, the exhibitors promptly renamed them Makers’ Minions. With their aid, we were fully set-up before the faire opened.
The faire was originally supposed to be just the Science Building, but they got so many exhibitor responses that they extended the faire into the next building and there were exhibits in both the Science Building and the Williams Center. Nearly 100 exhibits in all. We got the second floor of the Williams Center all to ourselves. The main hall in the Williams Center is two stories tall. The second floor wraps around it like a ring with pillars forming niches all along the balcony side. The organizers put up an extra sign announcing “The Shire” was upstairs.
A&S display at the Maker Faire.
We draped banners off the balconies to hang down into the central hall. We set up an armor display in the first niche along with a chainmail making demo. In the second niche, we set up miscellaneous display objects including embroidery, garb, heraldry and a medieval cookbook. In the third niche, we set up a calligraphy and illumination display with a illumination demo. When the fencers arrived, they took over the fourth niche for their weapons and gear.
Master Otfrid Ammerthaler.
Master Otfrid Ammerthaler and m’lady Artemisa da Manarola arrived from the Rhydderich Hael just before the official opening. Lord Coinneich Mac an Leigh and THL Clarissa da Svizzera from Thescorre came shortly afterward. The doors opened and we had a slow but steady stream of fair-goers. We announced the teaching of a few simple country dances, and Artemisia, the Hael’s dance mistress, led the audience through them.
When our fencers, Lord Bjorn Einarsson and Baron Jacob of Dunmoore arrived and armored up, I announced from the balcony that there had been a falling out amongst the king’s musketeers and matters were to be settled by the sword. This was not choreographed, nor rehearsed nor pre-determined. Skill alone would decide the winner. Within two minutes nearly everyone from the hall below was now upstairs packed solidly from wall to wall awaiting the combat. Jacob and Bjorn gave a wonderful display of skill. When they stopped, we had dozens of people by our tables, trying on jackets, helms, coifs, surcoats, gauntlets, swords and bucklers while we talked about the SCA.
At 4PM, the fair closed and we started packing up. We had brought 40 flyers. We had 8 left. We had been interviewed by the Chautauqua Star, who had come to write an article on the fair itself. The issue came out Nov. 4th and is still available. Check your local grocery store for a copy if you live in Western NY. A tired few headed for home with our deepest thanks. The majority of us headed up to Dimitri’s in Dunkirk for Greek cuisine for a meal before going home to plan for next year’s Maker Faire.
All photos and video by m’lady Artemisa da Manarola.
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on a wet but fun Æthelmearc War Practice:
War Practice started auspiciously enough, with a sunny and pleasant day on Friday to welcome campers setting up tents, shooting archery, and throwing weapons. The evening saw the traditional Gage Meet ‘n’ Beat, in which many fighters tested themselves against members of the Grant-level fighting award in one-on-one combat.
Gage Meet ‘n’ Beat. Photo by Crystal Clark.
In the next field over, 15 fencers competed in a ribbon tourney in which combatants could wager ribbons on the outcome of a bout or a series of bouts. The winner of that tournament was Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill.
Rapier Ribbon Tourney. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Rapier Ribbon Tourney. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Alas, late Friday night and Saturday morning turned chill and drizzly. The weather cleared for a little while late on Saturday morning through the early afternoon, but went downhill again into intermittent hard rain by mid-afternoon. However, many gentles refused to let the weather dampen their spirits and persisted in having fun!
The Kingdom Youth Combat Champion’s Tournament pitted six combatants in a round robin, with two additional youth fighters joining later for melees and a bear bit. The victor and third time Kingdom Youth Champion was El Tigre of the Shire of Hunter’s Home. The most chivalrous youth fighter was Daichi, who was one of four fighters to authorize up a division that day.
Their Majesties address the youth fighters before the Champion’s Tourney. Photo by Arianna.
Youth Combat Melee. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
The 10-Man Melee tournament featured five teams including fighters from numerous households like Sable Maul, Woodland Watch, and Stormhaven, along with teams from various local areas. It was won by Æthelmearc 10, consisting primarily of fighters from Region 3.
The Rose and Baroness’ Rapier Tournament included 19 fencers, each sponsored by a Lady of the Rose or a Baroness. The victor was Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne.
Before the start of the rapier tournament, however, Their Majesties called forth Master Lodovic of Gray’s Inn and Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc, and gave each of them a Writ of Summons to consider elevation to the Order of Defense.
Don Clewin receives a Writ for the Order of Defense. Photo by Lord Ursus.
Master Lodovic receives a Writ for the Order of Defense. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
Master Bataar. Photo by Arianna.
The Kingom Archery Champion’s Tournament was also held at War Practice. Before the competition, Their Majesties bestowed a Golden Alce upon Master Bataar Sogdo for his skill as an archer.
The Champion’s shoot, designed by Lady Katherine Täntzel, was based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, including 50- and 100-yard shots that showed the Black Beast of Arrrrgh and its animator. Of the 13 archers who competed in the qualifying rounds, four advanced to the semi-finals: Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka-san, Master Bataar Sogdo, Lady Anorra of Steltonwald, and THLord Cynwulf Rendell.
After shooting at the Taunting Knights in the semis, THLord Cynwulf and Yoshitaka-san advanced to the finals, where they were faced with two targets: a 45-second timed shoot at the “Black Knight” and the Knight who says Ni! The new Kingdom Archery Champion, Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka-san, is serving as Champion for the second time.
The Kingdom Archery Champion’s Shoot, Yoshitaka-san in white. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
In the early afternoon there was also a tournament to determine the new Kingdom Thrown Weapons Champion. The format was qualifications with specialized targets, pinpoint, spears and Royal Rounds. The finals consisted of Royal Rounds, reverse Royal Rounds and then a specialized target where you were not to hit the arms of the King and Queen or Æthelmearc’s arms A large number of gentles scored very similar high marks, but in the end, the victor was Baroness Aemelia Soteria, who receieved the regalia of office from the outgoing Champion, Lord Sean Delamort.
Thrown Weapons competition, Baroness Aemelia Soteria at right. Photo by Crystal Clark.
After the morning’s tournaments were completed, the heavy weapons and fencing combatants turned their thoughts toward war. The heavy fighters fought a series of open field battles and bridge battles under the watchful eyes of the Warlord, Duke Tindal, and Their Majesties.
Heavy weapons field battle. Photo by Lord Ursus.
Heavy weapons bridge battle. Photo by Lord Ursus.
Duke Tindal addresses melee strategy with the fighters while Their Majesties look on. Photo by Lord Ursus.
The fencers also fought field battles and worked on targeting their skills at kill pockets under the guidance of the Rapier Warlord, Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe.
Rapier melee. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
Rapier melee. Photo by THLady Aaliz de Gant.
While all of this belligerence was happening on the battlefield, many gentler pursuits were held in the Great Hall or in the classroom tents. Class offerings included topics like brewing, music, fiber arts, scribal arts, cooking, autocratting, herbalism, costuming, and dancing.
Artisans’ Play Time. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Artisans’ Play Time. Photo by Crystal Clark.
Friday night saw the inaugural Grand Ball, organized by THLord Sionn the Lost, with live music for the dancers.
On Saturday, there was a combination A&S display and hands-on classes at the Artisans’ Play Time in the Great Hall, including tracks in scribal arts, fiber arts, and cooking. In additional, Edelvrouw Lijsbet de Keukere ran the first Scarlet Apron Cooking Competition with the theme of illusion foods. There were numerous entries that were both tasty and beautiful. Lady Elska Fjarfell was chosen as the winner for her marzipan and sugarpaste chicken and eggs entries, with her son Simon Fjarfell winning the youth category with a lamb made of crystalized sugar. Maestra Tomasia da Collevento was the winner of the populace choice with her peacock pie.
Court on Saturday night featured the induction of Lord Aidan Gunn into the Order of the Millrind, Lady Ottilige Rappoltsweiler and THLady Cassandra Matis into the Fleur d’AEthelmearc for their work as cooks, and a Writ for the Laurel given to THLady Alfrun ketta for her skill in fiber arts.
In addition, Maestro Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato gifted Their Majesties with a custom-made fire ring to be used in Æthelmearc Royal camp at Pennsic. Their Majesties thanks Master Giuseppe and requested that their new Pennsic Chamberlain, Master Janos, take the ring into his keeping until Pennsic.
On Sunday morning, the annual Pick-A-Prize raffle was held by the Tribe of Tuatha Firen. The Chieftain of the Tribe, Master Caleb Reynolds, announced that the raffle raised $1,120.09, to be split evenly between the Kingdom’s Pennsic expenses and Their Majesties’ travel expenses. He further announced that next year will be their 25th and last year running the raffle, but that the Tribe is hoping another group will step in to run a Kingdom Fundraiser at War Practice the following year. Over the last 24 year, Tribe of Tuatha Firen has raised over $10,000 for the Kingdom.
Brunch was served by members of the Shire of King’s Crossing on Saturday and Sunday. Also on Sunday morning, Their Majesties held Their first Curia, where topics including a restructuring of the Marshalate and possible changes to Youth policy were discussed.