Let me help you

One of the few actual requirements of being Baronial Minister of Arts and Sciences is my quarterly report to the Kingdom. Local reports are incorporated in into the Kingdom’s report up to the Society. So, if I want to promote the arts and research being done in this Barony to the larger Society, one of the most valuable things I can do is include your work in my report.

However, with the lack of events and complications around practices and meetings, there are fewer opportunities for you to let me know about your work. I know that some of you post often to your social media accounts, but I am not on most social media, and few people are on all of the media that are available.

You have probably seen my posts here on the blog where I have tried to promote some of the projects that I know about. I have not been able to do that for every project I have seen in the last three months, and I know there are many more projects I have not even seen.

Please let me know through email or Discord about your recent projects. I only need a sentence or two for my report, but more is always welcome. Maybe I can also post about your work here for the whole Barony to see.

Finé’s Bycocket Hat Project

The bycocket (or chapel à bec) needs no introduction—a fashionable hat from the 14th to 16th century worn by men, women, and sometimes animals in period art. Bycockets come in many shapes, sizes, and colors with adornments such as feathers, brocade, colored liners, and beads. Finé ingen Fáeláin made her own bycocket using a wool felt hat blank using this tutorial on YouTube and a cloche hat blank from Amazon.

The basic construction steps (as elaborated on in the video) involve:

  1. Wetting and heating the wool with an iron
  2. Stretching the hat blank to fit your skull
  3. Creasing the folded brim of the hat with an iron
  4. Trimming the brim of the hat to your desired shape and height with chalk and some sharp scissors

One aspect of construction that is not explained in detail in the video is the forming of the skull-hugging portion of the hat. When pulling the hat blank over your skull, it’s important to pull from the sides of your head as well as the front and back. This ensures even stretching of the wool, and a head-shaped hat with a brim that doesn’t stick out awkwardly or sag away from the rest of the hat. Thankfully, if a hat is overstretched in one direction, more stretch can be added in the opposite direction to correct the shape.

Finé chose to leave herhat unlined and add a couple plague-edition pilgrim pins. Eventually, she would like to add at least a linen liner in case the felt dye decides to wander onto her veil or wimple, and perhaps also a contrasting brocade on the turned brim of the hat.

The finished (for now) product!

As fall approaches our Debatable Lands, fresh layers of warm garb are a welcome sight. This is Finé’s first felt project as well as her first non-sewn hat. It was a straightforward project that any beginner can make with household tools. Happy crafting!

Mellon Park Herb Garden

I recently received a flyer from the Point Breeze Organization about the Mellon Park Herb Garden:

The Elizabethan Herb Garden beds include culinary and medicinal herbs, a fragrance garden, a dye garden, a knot garden, a tea herb garden, a Shakespeare garden, and a rose garden. The Pittsburgh 250 Garden celebrates the 250th birthday of the city of Pittsburgh, and includes vegetables, fruits, and herbs that were grown at Fort Pitt (now Point State Park) at that time. This summer, a section with edible herbs and herbs native to Africa has been added.

Wikipedia lists the Mellon Park Shakespeare Garden/Elizabethan Herb Garden as one of only 34 such gardens in the world!

This garden is definitely worth a visit if you have the chance. Mellon Park is right along 5th Avenue, and quite near the practice site. On Sundays, you can park right on 5th Avenue!

Turlough’s Pouch Project

If you were able to attend the recent coronation event, or if you are an avid reader of Court Reports, you probably saw this item:

Her Majesty was very pleased by the Arts and Sciences display and wanted to recognize her choices for the day, Turlough Feolain and Douceline de la Hay, with rings from her hand.

Final Court of Maynard and Liadain Coronation, 25 September a.s. 56

Turlough is local to the Barony, but he and his spouse Finé (fee-nyuh) joined just before lockdown, so not everybody knows them well. Together they built the vardo camping trailer that you may have seen at the Barony meeting. So what was Turlough displaying at Coronation? I reached out to Turlough regarding this project and he sends:

This is a fancy kidney pouch with brass mounts and buckle. The body has “accordion” side panels that allow it to hold more than one would guess, a modern contrivance for cell phone accommodations. The fine black leather is layered with a second thicker leather for sturdiness. The pouch is decorated with red stitching and the closure strap has a simple tooling pattern for added visual interest.

Henry VIII – Friday Night

Greetings All!

It’s Shakespeare Movie Night! On Friday, August 20th we’ll show Henry VIII
(BBC Production) starting at 8:15pm, followed by a chat after the movie.
Due to the high level of community transmission of COVID in our area, this
showing will be online only. This is also the final Shakespeare Movie
night (for now).

He was a man of an unbounded stomach. This performance features the BBC
Production. We hope to see you there! Watch from the comfort of your living
room via the AEther or join us at Alaric & Elsbeth’s. Some come to take
their ease and sleep an act or two.

Here is the link to the schedule for the movie nights scheduled through
August (including the Zoom link):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EhlgwgRZ923RhRJrCPIXsHEhWI1eJJigCv2YRLEavrE/edit?usp=sharing

Please contact Alaric at alaric (at) pobox (dot) com for the Zoom room
information (or see the linked document). He can also be reached via DM on
Discord (Alaric#9264). Get your information before the movie starts, if
possible, as Alaric is also watching and might not see your request to join
right away.

Hope to see some of you there!

Alaric & Elsbeth

Arts & Sciences in the Park

Your A&S Minister has no organized activity lined up, but if people want to spend some time in the open air working on their own personal projects, I will probably be at the Washington Boulevard practice site some time before noon until some time in the afternoon.

Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to try to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.

Let’s Make Target Stands

Once more the passage of time (time flies like an arrow, they say) has wrought its depredations on our Barony’s archery target stands. Two years ago, the Debatable Lands A&S community and the Woodworking Guild banded together to make new target stands, and we are planning to do so once again this Sunday, July 18th!

Two of the new stands, at practice.
Two open archery target stands, with archery practice in the background.

Come learn or practice some basic woodworking skills while providing service to the Barony and its Archers! Join us at the Washington Boulevard site from 11am to 2pm, the same time as Archery Practice. Please wear close-toed shoes, and bring your protective gear like gloves, eye protection, and mask.

Captain of Archers Ronan is providing materials, Master Alaric is providing a good set of instructions, and I’ll be bringing tools. Feel free to bring your own tools if you have them.

See you Sunday!

Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to try to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.

Virtual Known World Arts & Sciences Display

I just heard about this today, so I apologize if this notice seems late. (Thank you Scheiny for posting someplace non-Facebook!). It seems that the staff of what would have been the Pennsic Arts & Sciences Display are hosting the display online this year since there is no Pennsic.

https://sites.google.com/view/kwasdisplay

They will be making online space available to host your photos and documentation, and scheduling zoom meetings for people to discuss their work with interested parties. Registration deadline is August First, so get your act together if you are interested! We normally have a pretty good showing at the Pennsic display, so I am hoping some of us have something ready to go.

Let me (ansminister {at} debatablelands {dot} org) know once your stuff is up, and I will post links here to direct viewers to your entry!

Sharpening in the Park

I was taking a close look at some of my tools the other day, and realizing that the last sharpening workshop was almost two years ago! Please join us at the Washington Boulevard practice site this Sunday (weather permitting) for a sharpening-themed A&S Practice, sponsored by the version of me that is also the leader of the Woodworking Guild.

We’ll bring sharpening stones, blades to sharpen, and other maintenance supplies, and trade information about the best way to take care of our cutting tools. If you don’t have anything that needs sharpening, but just want to know more about blade maintenance, just bring your curiosity! If you have no interest in sharpening, and just want to hang out for a while, that’s cool too.

Join us from 10am to 1:30pm, this Sunday, June 27th. Pandemic procedures apply for one more weekend, so please wear a mask and bring your own accommodations.

Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to try to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.

Arts and Sciences Practice – Sunday!

Let’s have another Arts and Sciences “practice” this Sunday (June 6th) from 10am to 1:30pm at the Washington Boulevard site. A&S will be over on the “Small Field” side closer to the river. We will finish up promptly by 1:30pm to make room for afternoon practices.

The theme of this gathering is “making progress”. Please bring a project you are working on now, or that has been on the back burner for a while. We’ll chat and enjoy being out in the (I hope) sunshine while we make progress together.

Attendance is limited to 25 people, and masks are required. We will give everybody the distance they need to be comfortable, so please bring your own seating, water, food, and shade if you desire it. Please note that the parking lot is smaller than it was, and be considerate of others.

Salve Accolens and see you Sunday!

Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to try to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.