Call For Letters: A+S Minister

Greetings Debatable Lands, from your Arts and Sciences Minister.

My term comes to an end this February. I am fully willing to commit to a second 2-year term, but I am required by courtesy and policy to request letters. If you are interested in being the next Minister of Arts and Sciences, please send a letter of intent to myself and the office of the Seneschal by January 31st, 2023.

This office is the best office in the Barony. There is all kinds of leeway to try new things in your pursuit of supporting arts, crafts, and research in the Barony. It’s still difficult to feel connected with the SCA at this point, so anything you have the energy to do to bring others together will certainly be appreciated. I have some things I’m still itching to implement, but new ideas are always welcome.

It has been my pleasure to serve you for the last year and ten months. I hope to continue and to up my game with more service for the next two years. However, more choice is always a good thing! Please submit your letters if you would like your chance sooner rather than later.

Kingdom A&S Champs This Weekend

Their Royal Highnesses, Arnthor Inn Sterki and Ceirech Na Hinnsi, are pleased to let it be known to all that they are looking forward to choose their Arts & Sciences Champions at the Kingdom Arts & Sciences Championship to be hosted by the the Barony of Rhydderich Hael this Saturday, October 22nd.

It’s too late to set up a virtual entry, but you can register an in-person entry if you show up first thing at the event.

The event is from 9am to 5pm, and it’s just a four-point-mumble hour drive up to Sanborn, NY if you want to day-trip it. More information:

https://aethelmearc.org/event/kingdom-as-champs/

Even if you aren’t entering, this is a great event to see what others in the Kingdom are working on, and some of the best arts and research the SCA has to offer.

Arts and Sciences at Barony Social

The Baron and Baroness really hope to see you all at this Saturday’s picnic, and I as the Arts and Sciences minister hope that you will bring your crafting projects with you to work on and show off. There will not be any official classes or display, but while we socialize we’d like to see what you’re working on and ask you questions about your particular craft. This is not the best venue for noisy or messy work, but anything portable and interesting is fair game, and it’s all interesting to us.

I know that we have some knitters, narrow weavers, and braiders coming out. I can’t imagine the calligraphers, illuminators, and painters will leave their supplies behind at home. Personally, I will be bringing some sharpening stones and similar implements to help others with putting a useful edge on their tools and weapons. The site has plenty of room for stuff and people, so please bring whatever you feel like working on.

See you Saturday!

Additional A+S at Iris Festival

In addition to the two activities listed in the previous Iris Festival Arts and Sciences post, here are two Arts and Sciences activities being run at this weekend’s Japanese Iris Festival event (June 4, 2022 – 121 Brady’s Run Rd, Beaver Falls, PA 15010).

The first (third?) is the Kingdom Equestrian Championship A&S Competition. This competition is required for anyone competing for the Kingdom Equestrian Championship. Only those participating in the championship will be judged towards that competition, though items can be cross-entered in the Iron Comet A&S Competition and Festival A&S Display.

The second (fourth?) is origami instruction from Lady Maire ni Cathal ui Conchobar. This is intended as a children’s activity, but Lady Maire will not be checking the IDs of participants, so all are welcome. If you or your companions want to try out some origami paper folding, please stop by the A&S pavilion.

The Festival A&S Display and Iron Comet A&S Competition are both still planned for this event. Performance entries for the Iron Comet competition are scheduled to be presented from 1pm-2pm in the A&S Pavilion.

Locals Receive A&S Recognition at War Practice

From the court report of Æthelmearc War Practice XXXI:

  • The Honorable Lady Shirin al-Sussiyya elevated into the Order of the Laurel
  • Lady Aurelia Argentia Prima inducted into the Order of the Fleur

Scrolls went out from the following local scribes:

  • Youth Champion scroll for Hjotr Sigvardison, calligraphy by The Honorable Lady Nichola Beese
  • Fleur promissory scroll for Baroness Elena de la Palma by The Honorable Lady Rachel Daliceaux
  • Award of Arms scroll for Natalia Nighteskias with illumination by Katrina Beese and calligraphy by Mistress Graidhne ni Ruaidh
  • Millrind scroll for Lady Aaliz de Gant by The Honorable Lady Gesa von Wellenstein
  • Laurel scroll for The Honorable Lady Shirin al-Sussiyya by Lady Rose O’Tierrany
  • Pelican writ to Sir Michael of Northwood by Master Kieran MacRae
  • Laurel writ to The Honorable Lady Ottilige Rappoltsweiler by The Honorable Lady Aurelia Argentia Prima

My apologies if I missed anybody. Please let me know and I will add items to this list for the permanent record.

Iris Festival Arts and Sciences

There are two Arts and Sciences activities being run at next month’s Japanese Iris Festival event (June 4, 2022 – 121 Brady’s Run Rd, Beaver Falls, PA 15010).

The first is the Iron Comet A&S Competition. The competition has no theme, and accepts all types of projects. The competition is mandatory for anyone in the Iron Comet Challenge, but it is open to everyone. Anyone can win, but only those participating in the martial competitions will receive tournament points.

The second is the Festival A&S Display. The display is also open to any type of project, but projects displaying arts of Eastern Asia are encouraged. There are no points awarded, no judging, and no winner. Please bring all your most interesting, most useful, most attractive, and most intense projects to show. Research and instruction are not required, but we would love to see any supporting documentation if you have it, and enjoy having you answer questions about your work if you’re not busy elsewhere. You can display as many items as you wish, but if you need a lot of room please consider bringing your own tables and possibly your own shelter.

Both activities will be under shelter, but this event is primarily outdoors so please be prepared to protect your entries from stray raindrops and errant breezes. By site policy, no glass bottles are allowed.

You do not need to register your entries or display items ahead of time, but if you want to send email to let event staff know what you are bringing or if you have any questions, please contact “ansminister (at) debatablelands.org”.

Missive from the Ice Dragon A&S Pentathlon Coordinator

The folks who are planning on entering special instruction categories need to contact me by midnight tonight [February 15th]:

Several categories have special preparation needs, especially this year Entrants are required to contact the Pent Coordinator before registering

These categories are:
 – Beverages
 – Culinary Arts
 – Curiosa
 – Performance Arts

They have until the regular registration deadline of March 1st to upload their documentation, etc. – today is only pre-registration to indicate intent of entering.

Everybody’s documentation and photos, etc in all categories except written word and the written part of Applied Research needs to be uploaded by March 1st.

You cannot keep finetuning your documentation and turn the final version in at the event. The judges will start looking at stuff on March 2.

Mistress Cori

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!