The BMDL Fiber Guild was invited back to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh MAKESHOP on April 29, for a medieval embroidery demo. (This is our sixth demo for the museum!) MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.
The goal of the demo was to introduce children and their families to medieval embroidery and basic techniques. As it can be a complex topic, there was a lot of fine tuning to make sure the program would be useful to the children who have never done any embroidery and to the more experienced adults. This required the talent and resources of many people to produce a successful presentation.
Mistress Ts’vee’a bat Tseepora Levi, Lady Gesa von Wellenstein, and Lady Rivka bat Daniyal generously donated their time and skills to the demo by teaching the stitches, drawing designs, and assisting with the kids’ take home projects.
Lady Rivka and Mistress Tsvia demonstrating skills to the children.
THL Renata Rouge sent us her embroidery stitch cards, which guided the kids through commonly used stitches using a “connect the dots” method (and the cards rhymed, too). They were so successful, that after the demo the Museum requested to keep a set. Mistress Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh of Coppertree donated a big box of embroidery floss, and we used a lot of it!
Embroidery stitch cards from THL Renata Rouge.
We also had a wonderful display of medieval embroidered items – the Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands Hilda and Brandubh loaned their embroidered heraldic hoods, Mistress Antoinette de la Croix lent us two amazing embroidered dresses, Mistress Tsvia brought her Elizabethan blackwork embroidery, Lady Gesa brought several traditional embroidery items, and Lady Rivka submitted her embroidered Ottoman Turkish coat.
Embroidered items display
Children and adults enjoyed the display, took home the embroidered designs they made, and learned about the use of embroidery in the Middle Ages. Great fun was had by the attendees and the demonstrators! We are looking forward to the next demo in the fall.
Photographs taken and article submitted by THL Luceta di Cosimo.
It may be winter, but the Æthelmearc Equestrians have not been idle. On March 2, as part of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands’ demo which was conducted at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA, the equestrians of Æthelmearc set up and displayed the tools of their trade. The Coordinator for the equestrian portion of the demo was Isabel Johnston who organized the various portions of the display. She and her husband, Tomas, also constructed several clever devices to facilitate displaying various components of the display and creating a fun and inter-active game for participants.
Tomas solved one of the difficult questions that faces equestrian artisans when trying to properly display “barding” or “caparisons” which are used to cover and decorate the horse. These historical “garments” had a variety of uses and functions in period. Because most A&S type events are not conducive to bringing in a horse to model the barding, it is difficult for the artisans to display these items to full effect. Tomas came up with a portable and life sized “dummy” to display a set of Mistress Gozen’s full barding which completely covers the horse from head to —- hoof.
A life sized display of tournament equipment.
The other interesting creation of Tomas was a mock horse that moved. Constructed of a wooden saddle rack and securely mounted on a sturdy wooded platform with wheels, this device was outfitted with saddle, bridle and barding complete with bells. Attendees to the Science Center’s Over 21 Event were treated to an opportunity to mount the “horse” armed with a sword, and attack a series of mounted heads while being pulled through our mock tourney field. This replicated a popular game on the SCA equestrian tourney field commonly called “Behead the Enemy.” This activity was extremely well received, with a constant stream of participants most who waited patiently in line for several minutes for an opportunity to “take a few swings.” Participants included SCA demo participants as well as the young and quite elderly visitors to the Center. Several of the equestrians worked hard in this area of the display including Isabel, Lady Rowena Macara, Lady Leah of the Debatable Lands, and Jackie Caulkins, one of our newest equestrians. They pulled the attendees through the course on the “horse.” Spouses and friends took many candid photographs in this area.
Besides this fun activity, attendees were treated to a display of arts and sciences by Mistress Gozen including a display of barding types in miniature as well as a display of the items needed in a tournament by a mounted rider. This included a medieval styled saddle, bridle, full barding, banners, surcoat and helmet mantle. Lady Gesa set up a display of jousting equipment. Participants were very fascinated by all these period recreations and asked many good questions.
The evening was an excellent opportunity to introduce these people to the wonderful world that is the SCA. Some folks came in garb, some wearing things from their cosplay experiences while others said they had the clothes from prior Halloween costumes. The Science Center allowed the SCA to display various crafts and activities on all the floors of their Center. On the Lower floor, where the equestrians were located, there was also heavy fighting and a local Steel Sword Fighting organization. All the areas were well attended and appreciated by the attendees. We, the equestrians of Æthelmearc were grateful to the Center and the Barony, especially Lady Zianna who coordinated the entire project, for the opportunity to bring our craft to the populace of Pittsburgh!
Article written by Mistress Gozen and the photographs were taken by Baron Friderich Swartzwalder and Isabel Johnston.
The Center’s official press release about the demo can be found here.
The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands – the Barony of bridges… We have so many bridges in our great lands that connect our populace. We have many little villages with vast cultural diversity. There is another saying in our lands. Some people have never ever left their village because they will not cross a bridge. This was NOT the case when it came to a recent demonstration at the Carnegie Science Center for a Science After Dark Over 21 Event.
The Carnegie Science Center of Pittsburgh, PA (photo courtesy of the Center’s Press Photos)
One of our residents reached out to our Chatelaine with the option to be involved in an evening demo that wanted to showcase what Pittsburgh had to offer in regards to all things medieval. There was a small little catch to this offer – it was only 20 days away! That is really not a lot of days to figure out the details for an event and a venue that you have not been in before. I accepted the challenge when asked to organize the demo. I figured – alright – I can get enough people and display items to man a table at this event. I should be able to do this no problem.
First step: Meet with the main coordinator for the details. He is with the local HEMA branch and found out that he was trying to pull everyone in that he could – he wanted armored combat, role playing, Ren Faire, SCA, and anyone else that we could think of to fill the Science Center. I only had one question at the end of the meeting – How much can I bring? His answer – Bring it all! And we did!
The Display even included a ballista! (Photo courtesy of Baron Friderich Swartzwalder)
Step Two: Put the call out for volunteers. Talk it up at the event we had that weekend. Spread the word! At that event I had both merchants commit to the demo! I had several people say, “put me on the list.” I made a Facebook event and started using the Barony’s social media outlets. I went to the Barony’s business meeting to make sure everyone was aware of the demo.
Step three: Be humbled by the overwhelming out-pouring of interest. One post – one email – one message – over and over people wanted to be there and bring “all of the things.” People that I did not know – people that did not know me – offered to work together. Not only was this within our Barony, it was with neighboring lands – up to four hours away! There were a total of 111 people representing the SCA at this event! Working with other local interest groups was amazing. Although we had similar interests and cross over with our members, working together for events was not that common. We worked on building those bridges. We want to keep the bridges strong.
The bonds were growing – but there were many logistical questions to be answered. Who was going to be doing what? Where would be the best places for everyone to be at the Science Center? Did everyone have what they were going to need? We shared resources – we shared ideas – we worked together even up to the last few hours figuring out where a new interest group could fit in. There was no competition for space or times. We made it work. I personally had not worked with the Science Center before. A few of the other interest groups had – and they took us right into the fold. We were just all one giant family working together to put on a great event.
The day of the event was glorious! Every person from every group united to engage the 1500 people in attendance – more than the venue had ever provided before. We hung banners – we shared radios – we shared dollies and helped everyone that needed help. The attendees were provided with so many options, confronted with choices such as, “Do I fight or do I talk about swords? Do I talk about A&S classes or thrown weapons?” I saw people moving from area to area talking to guests. There may have been 12 different groups at the event – but we melded into one. We shared our passion and our talents to guests that now have been given the tools to build the bridge from their village to ours.
As Banners of Scarlet rang out from all four floors at the end of the evening, I couldn’t have been more proud of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, of Æthelmearc, and of the SCA. We crossed and built new bridges – we strengthened new and old bonds – we united as one voice. We are Æthelmearc!
Article written and submitted to the Gazette by Lady Zianna.
(The Photographs used in the slideshow were taken by Baron Friderich Swartzwalder, Luceta di Cosimo and Lady Isabel Johnston.)
The following article was written by Lady Luceta di Cosimo about the Fiber Guild of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands’ recent demonstration in Pittsburgh:
On March 5th, the Fiber Guild of the Barony-Marche of Debatable Lands (BMDL) conducted a demo at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. This was the second demo conducted at this site by the Barony within the last three months. The theme this time was medieval weaving and was held in the Museum’s MAKESHOP. MAKESHOP is a partnership between the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). It is a space dedicated to making, reusing and designing things, using everyday materials and real tools. It has regular programs and special guests.
The Guild members were honored to be invited to be the guest artisans for the weaving program. Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi of Sunderoak and Lady Beatrix of Anglesey of Ballachlagan demonstrated medieval weaving techniques to curious kids and their grown-ups, assisted by Lady Luceta di Cosimo of the Debatable Lands.
Lady Beatrix of Anglesey and Lady Luceta di Cosimo setting up the sprange frame. Mistress Mahin is in the background speaking with an attendee.
We displayed a full size warp-weighted loom, a tablet weaving set up, and a sprang frame, as well as pre-made samples. The kids and adults who wanted to take something home could make little cardboard looms and weave with bits of yarn.
There were dozens of visitors, weaving samples, playing with the looms and asking questions. One of the MAKESHOP staff artists was a tablet weaver himself. He was particularly interested in learning how to weave letters and Mistress Mahin taught an impromptu tablet weaving class.
It was wonderful to be back at the Museum, and we are looking forward to more skill demos at this location. Thanks go out to the Museum staff for inviting us and sharing their MAKESHOP space, to Mistress Mahin and Lady Beatrix for sharing their skills, and to Sydney, Jacob, and Karl of Sunderoak for warping the looms for the demo, even though they couldn’t be there the day of the demo.
Mistress Mahin teaching tablet weaving.
Additional information regarding the Children’s Museum WORKSHOP can be found here and here.
A related article written by WORKSHOP staff member Colin Williams can be found here.
Lady Beatrix of Anglesey demonstrating weaving on the warp-weighted loom.
In the SCA, we need to stay focused not only on retention of our membership but also on recruiting new people. Sometimes in group dynamics, we think “Well, hey… we have 15 people, I have played this game with them for the last five years… why do we need anyone new?” Without new people, a group becomes stagnant and members tire of trading officer positions and autocratting duties between such a small number. This leads to people being overloaded, and suddenly you find older members fading away.
By having demonstrations (“demos”) and recruiting new members, the work can be passed around, resulting in less burned-out veteran SCAdians. As a former canton chatelaine, I will share what I have learned about doing SCA demos.
Before you schedule your first demo, look at your group. What is your SCA group’s composition? Is it mostly people working 9-to-5 and/or over three dozen people with small children? Or is it a lot of college-age people with variable schedules? The reason why you need to ask yourself this question is that you probably should not attempt scheduling a demo at 1 pm in an elementary school if 99% of your populace is at work and won’t be able to get time off.
Questions to ask your group
The best way to avoid having to cancel a demo is to ask these questions at an SCA meeting:
How many people can do a demo during the day or evening?
What is an impossible time to have a demo on a weekday?
Which times are best?
How often should we hold demos?
In this busy world where there can be an event every weekend, plus sewing circles, dance practices, heavy fighting and archery practices, people will burn out quickly if they have three or four demos a month. Some groups only wish to demo once a month; others twice or three times. It’s also best to agree on bad dates, such as Pennsic war week, the week between the holidays of Christmas and New Year’s, etc. It is also a good idea to ask how on short a notice can your group organize a demo? A week? A month? Twenty-four hours?
Should we charge for the demo?
That is a question best decided by your group. I know that in my canton, if we do a demo at a movie theater, it usually gave us free tickets. That was pretty cool, very visible, and got us media coverage. It made for a great exchange of services. We did demos for some non-profit organizations where we opted for either a greatly reduced fee or none at all. If the event is for the sole purpose of making money (such as a Renaissance fair), or a wedding coordinator or event planner wants to hire your group, then you should receive some compensation for your services. Once again, this sliding fee scale is best determined by your officers and populace.
How to get demo requests?
How do we get demos if no one requests one? Well, most likely no one knows about you. The best way to solve this problem is to find out who is the event coordinators at the local library. If you have a small library, it’s properly the librarian. Send a letter, maybe a few pictures and let them know your group is a non-profit organization dedicated teaching people about the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. They will put the information on file and the next time they have an event such as Chaucer’s birthday party or a Shakespeare week, you may well get a call.
You will want to do the same for local theaters, colleges, and schools. Your letter has to be simple, to the point, and able to give them the basics. It’s also advisable to send informational letters to bookstores and fabric stores. Some fabric stores offer classes on how to make things, so they may want a person to come in chat about what clothing of the Middle Ages looked like, how to work with what patterns are out there, how to select fabrics. Most of the time, people will just want basic Renaissance fair stuff, but occasionally you will encounter some one who genuinely wants to learn how to make good period clothes… that person could be a potential SCA member. Remember, in sending those letters, be very careful you never sell your group as a “Renaissance-fair-in-a-box.”
What is a “Renaissance-fair-in-a-box?”
If you use this phrase, people will assume you are promising your group as entertainment. Many people think we are an extension of a Renaissance fair, with fire-eaters, jugglers, and jousting with horses. If not corrected, this misconception can lead to misunderstanding and a unsatisfactory demo for both parties. In order to avoid this, keep a pad of paper by the telephone and when you are called, ask these questions:
Who are you? If they don’t identify themselves, how can they be reached later?
What is the organization, the date of the desired demo, and amount of time you’re expected to be there? You might want to repeat this back to the caller to verify everything.
What is the location (with cross streets or identifying markers) in order to direct people there? This is important because if the demo falls in another SCA group’s lands, you should direct the person to that group as a matter of courtesy.
What do they expect? If they just want a few craftspeople and a display of fighting weapons, then don’t talk them into fencing, fighting, and dancing. A simple, well-organized demo is better than an elaborate one requiring a ton of people.
Indoors or out? Don’t go into the demo blind; ask ahead of time whether it will be indoors or outside. What will the fighters be expected to fight on? If it’s July and will most likely be 90 degrees out, I suggest talking to the fighters first to see if they are willing to do a demo on asphalt. If it’s a location with a wooden floor, you may have to ask that no one falls over dramatically or goes to their knees in armor.
What facilities will be available? Will we have tables for arts and sciences displays, or does our group need to bring them? Are there showers on-site that the fighter can use after battle?
Use SCA terms they will not understand without also providing an explanation. Words like: garb, seneschal, gold key, chatelaine. Say, “I will need to talk to our seneschal, which is what we call our chapter president.” Or “I am called a chatelaine, it’s our term for the event coordinator or welcome wagon.”
Say derogatory things about other groups, even if they are not SCA. If the person adores the Renaissance fair, reply that while those are a lot of fun, we are not entertainment performers. We recreate or demonstrate. Never let your personal bias creep in to make you sound negative. Be firm on what you can do but never slam roleplaying groups or Renaissance fairs. This person may interpret you as a snob and you may lose an opportunity to hold a demo.
Never commit your group to something right off the bat. Take the information and tell the person you will get back to them.
What if what they want is not what we do?
If they ask for something outside your group’s scope, then politely tell them what your group can offer: a display of medieval arts & sciences crafts, fencing, or heavy fighters. If no one in your group dances, then don’t mention it. Also, if the demo is supposed to occur over several hours, make sure you discuss how long the fighters can fight and how often they’ll need rest breaks.
During the first contact, repeat what you have been told and make sure you understand the person correctly. Let’s say our fictional demo is a Shakespeare week kick-off party at the main library on a Saturday that doesn’t conflict with a major event. They want people in Elizabethan clothes and fencers to do a fighting display in the main entrance with 20-foot tall ceilings and a 25-foot-square roped-off area with a marble floor. Hopefully, they would like someone to talk about life in the age of Queen Elizabeth for children between the ages of eight and 12.
At this time, tell the person you need to talk to your group and you will call them back in a given time frame (week, day, whatever) to confirm. This gives you the time to get on your group’s discussion list/Facebook group/etc. or go to a business meeting to present the demo and ask whether there is interest, how many people can participate, etc. You will need a marshal, authorized fencers, and people with Elizabethan clothes. Does anyone want to do the children’s class? Hopefully, there is a show of hands, and the date is good, and you call the person back and commit.
What to do if there’s no interest
What if the group is lukewarm at best and no one wants to do the demo? To put it simply, call back the person and say you cannot do the demo.
If the demo is just too good to pass up, you might want to check with the baronial chatelaine (if you’re in a canton or shire) or with the chatelaines from nearby baronies to see if recruiting people from those groups will make it possible.
What if they are asking for nothing like what we agreed on?
This why you have your notes of your group’s decision. Refer to what was agreed upon — the time of day, what activities you’re providing. If you arrive at the demo and the person says, “But where’s the live steel demonstration?” you can reply, “I talked to Joan on July 7th and I told her at that time we use rattan in combat. We agreed to three 15-minute displays over a three-hour period.” In the years I organized demos, I rarely had a complaint because when you have your notes as reference, it tends to help people remember things more correctly.
I also suggest that when doing a demo for a Renaissance fair or an event planner, send them a copy in writing. An example would be:
October 3, 2016
Weddings ‘R’ Us
Attn: Tara Lyn Colby
123 Main Street
Anyplace, NY 13902
Thank you for allowing the Society for Creative Anachronism, Shire of Sterlynge Vayle, to organize a demonstration at the Broome County Renaissance Fair. We will be on site by 10:00 am as agreed on February 8, 2016.
We will have two period pavilions in place. From the hours of 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, we will hold one 15-minute set of fighting either with rattan weapons or fencing. We will take an hour lunch break at 12:00 noon. We will have people wandering the fair in clothes of the Middle Ages to contribute ambiance, and we will have a tent with our crafts displayed.
We appreciate your offer of room to camp overnight and use of the gymnasium showers. We understand that there are no ground fires allowed, and we must be careful when setting up our tents to protect the sprinkler system. A groundskeeper will be on-hand to help us.
We also agreed on a fee of $50 to be delivered in a check made out to “SCA – Canton of Edgewater,” to be given to me at the end of the demo on the February 9.
Event Coordinator for the SCA Shire of Sterlynge Vayle (Chatelaine)
SCA Name: Peg the Alewife
123 Bythway Road
Anyplace, NY 13902
When it’s time for the check, there should be no misunderstanding of amount, time commitments, or just what you agreed to provide.
It’s the day of the demo – now what?
Try to get there ahead of the participants. That way, you can be a traffic manager and get people set up the way they need to go.
It’s also important to interact with whomever you’re doing the demo for and make sure you’re still on the right page. Contact them before, during, and after the demo. If they’re happy, they will tell a few people; if they’re seriously unhappy, they will tell a lot more people.
You also will want to set up a table with SCA information for interested people to take home with them. You also will want a sign-up board so you can e-mail or send information to those folks who sign up on it.
There’s a guy here from the TV or the press
You or the seneschal should talk to them to give them the basic information about the SCA and why you’re there. If people are interested in you, tell them how to contact the SCA. Remember that any time you face coverage by the media, the seneschal needs to be informed (and your media officer, if you have one).
At the end of the demo, be sure to thank all the people who helped, and stick it out to clean up if needed. Follow up with the person who requested the demo to make sure they are happy. Then go home… and hopefully you have made new contacts for your group.
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.
Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy & Gabrielle II, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Majesties’ Court at the Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival, 20 June Anno Societatis L, in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai.
Their Majesties called forth the children in attendance and presented them with treat bags that they might have something to amuse themselves through Court.
Sir Hauoc the Wild was invited to speak of the day’s bear pit tournament, and he announced that THL Murcadh Dal Cais, aka “Uncle Pat” had bested all others and proven himself victorious.
THL Murcadh Dal Cais, tourney winner. Photo by Lady Christina Mary Lowe, aka Jinx.
Meghan of Beck the Innkeeper was Awarded Arms for her diligence in promoting the Society, most importantly through the Sunbury Renaissance Initiative and the Lake Augusta demo. Scroll illuminated by Lord Angellino the Bookmaker and calligraphed by Lady Ylaire Sainte Claire.
Lady Meghan of Beck the Innkeeper. Photo by Jinx.
Lord Nicodemus ben Mordecha was inducted into the Order of the Keystone for his years of service to the shire as cook, fencer, teacher, and autocrat, including being the autocrat of the day’s festival. Scroll illuminated by Maria Adriane of Delftwood and calligraphed by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai.
Lord Nicodemus ben Mordecha receives a Keystone. Photo by Jinx.
Raven Hilde re Novgorod was Awarded Arms and elevated to the Order of the Golden Alce for her relentless pursuit of skill in heavy weapons, both in and out of Æthelmearc. Scroll by Master Jonathan Blaecstan.
Lady Raven Hilde re Novgorod is inducted into the Golden Alce. Photo by Jinx.
THL Margeurite d’Honfleur was issued a Writ of Summons to contemplate elevation to the Most Noble Order of the Laurel for her mastery of the art of the clothier, making our Society a more beautiful place through the garb that she creates. Writ by Mistress Alicia Langland.
THLady Marguerite d’Honfleur receives a Writ for the Order of the Laurel. Photo by Jinx.
Don William Parris and THL Fiora d’Artusio were summoned forth to receive Her Majesty’s token of inspiration for their creation of the balloon rapier target for the day’s youth activities, allowing those children present to participate in the art of fencing that they both so truly love.
Don Will Parris and THLady Fiora d’Artusio receive the Queen’s token for inspiration. Photo by Jinx.
Those who had donated time and effort towards the scrolls given out that day were invited to stand forth and be recognized.
There being no further business, Their Majesties’ Court was closed.
In Honor and Service,
Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Just about every Shire, Canton, and Barony in Æthelmearc has a website, as do many other groups like the scribes, heralds, and marshals. Many have useful resources, interesting information, or fun photos or stories. Here are some highlights:
Barony of Thescorre: known as the “Industrious Barony of Thescorre,” their website includes a wonderful manual on how to present various types of demos, many aimed at school children. Three gentles from Thescorre, Mistress Daedra McBeth a Gryphon, Mistress Sadira bint Wassouf, and Lady Cerridwyn of Raventree, call themselves the Academic Demo & Educational Presentations Team (or ADEPT). Their manual covers all kinds of demos that the SCA can present, including Displays, Bardic Circles, Talk Panels, and “Taking a Persona to School.” The ADEPT Handbook can be downloaded as a single file or viewed by section on the baronial website.
Barony of Delftwood: The Barony known for its Windmill has a beautifully designed recruiting brochure that does a great job of explaining what the Society is and does. They also have a page called A&S Handouts that includes articles on various topics like “Turnshoes” by Sir Óláfr Þorvarðarson, “Plying Your Homespun Yarn” by Lady Genevieve de Chaumont, and many articles on costuming by Meisterin Felicitas Flußmüllnerin.
Shire of Coppertree: this shire, located east of Delftwood, has a storied past and is populated by many notable peers of the realm. Speaking of stories, on the shire website there’s a humorous one about the origins of the name of their Shire herald, the Red Squid Pursuivant.
Shire of Sylvan Glen: The southeastern-most shire in the Kingdom has a wonderful page for the Sylvan Glen Scriptorium with an enormous array of useful information for scribes, including links to sites with period manuscripts, or instructional materials on how to paint in various styles or do various calligraphic hands, as well as line drawings that can be used to create scroll blanks.
Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands: the Meetings & Activities page has links to separate pages for each of the regular activities offered in the Barony – not just when and where practices and workshops are held, but photos and detailed information including things like videos of choir performances, information on how to build youth combat armor and weapons, and links to related websites on heraldic resources or scribal standards from the baronial signet.
Kingdom of Æthelmearc: of course the Kingdom website has all kinds of useful information, including the Kingdom calendar, lists of Kingdom officers and royalty, links to local groups, and contacts for polling orders and mailing lists. But to my mind the most useful page is the Online Award Recommendation Form. If you know people who are doing great things for your group, whether in martial arts, service, or as artisans, then you should recommend them for appropriate awards. You don’t have to possess an award to recommend someone for it.
Æthelmearc Heralds: before you write that award recommendation, check the Order of Precedence on the Kingdom’s College of Heralds website to see what awards the person already has. Under Tools and Links, you can find a link to the Awards of Æthelmearc which can help you understand which awards to recommend your friends for. The Roll of Arms is a great place to find the registered names and Arms of the citizens of AEthelmearc, so if you’re handy with needle and thread and want to give a friend a gift, consider making them a banner using the image on the roll of arms!
Æthelmearc Rapier Combat: you can read the Kingdom Rapier rules, see a list of the White Scarfs of Æthelmearc and learn about the history of the order, find out who the past Kingdom Rapier Champions are all the way back to the founding of the Kingdom, and access links to all things rapier-related.
Æthelmearc Earl Marshal: for links to all things martial, whether heavy weapons, rapier, thrown weapons, target and combat archery, equestrian, youth combat, or siege, this is your best starting place.
Æthelmearc Archery Scores: want to see your current Royal Round average, learn how to run an IKAC, or find out who the Grandmaster Bowmen of the Kingdom are? This is your site. It’s actually a “child” site under an SCA-wide archery site, but the scores for Æthelmearc are maintained by the Kingdom Archery Scorekeeper.
Æthelmearc College of Bards: this site lists bards from all over the Kingdom, the history of bardic arts in Æthelmearc, lyrics and audio files of original songs about our Kingdom, and links to sites of bardic interest.
Æthelmearc College of Scribes: this site offers an array of resources for calligraphers and illuminators, including a list of current scribes, links to resources for scribes, the policies of the Kingdom Signet, and the Red Book that provides guidelines, advice, and scroll wordings for scribes.
Map of Æthelmearc: this site superimposes a map of Æthelmearc on a map of the U.S. You can zoom in and click an area on the map to see a pop-up window listing the name of the Shire, Canton, or Barony in that area, along with its region and a link to its website, if available.