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Requested Documentation from Coronation

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  • Lord Valdis of Gotland
    It was requested by numerous people from Coronation that I post my documentation. I have privately E-mailed it to a few that gave me their addresses, but for
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2000
      It was requested by numerous people from Coronation that I post my
      documentation. I have privately E-mailed it to a few that gave me
      their addresses, but for those others that requested it, here it is.
      In the words of some at coronation, this is a must read.
      For the A&S display at coronation, I had a piece of pink quartz
      sitting on the table...looking just like the day I found it. If you
      read below you will find out why. Enjoy. Feedback welcomed, for
      their will be a few others like this coming from the voices in my

      Yours In Service,
      Lord Valdis of Gotland
      Virgin Maunche of the East...so...please be gentle

      Sidenote - Bufar and Luna with the blessing of the other great
      artisans in our realm have opened their arms and accepted me into
      their fold as a Maunche. I was also graciously appointed by Our new
      reigning Majesties as the woodworker of the realm...does this mean I
      pay higher taxes?

      Now for our feature presentation....

      Lord Valdis of Gotland
      August, 2000

      Theophilus 'On Divers Arts'

      Using strictly period techniques directly from Theophilus's book on
      divers arts, I will explain process's used. Theophilus Presbyter has
      been described as a Benedictine monk, there are theories that Roger
      of Helmarshausen is the same person. Roger of Helmarshausen was a
      renowned metal worker, whose skill is attested to by a bejeweled book
      cover in Nuremberg and two portable altars that are preserved in
      Paderborn. The only record of his life was in the papers, that his
      monastery conveyed a cross and a reliquary-altar to the Bishop of
      Paderborn, in exchange for a church and its tithes on August 15,
      1100. This is further supported by the fact that Roger of
      Helmarshausen is very familiar and goes in great detail in his
      writings on metal working, whereas he seems to strictly document
      other techniques that he is not familiar, with vague detail and
      inaccuracies. We will take one of these techniques and put it to the
      My persona being a Viking artisan, worker of wood, bone, ivory and
      semi precious stones, I will attempt to follow as best as possible
      the details given in the above stated book.
      As most A&S competitions cover strictly the arts, I will take you
      through the science in the paragraphs below, please do not try this
      at home.
      Upon the wishes of Roger of Helmarshausen and for familiarity we will
      use the name Theophilus in the below text.

      Carving Rock Crystal

      Rock Crystal was believed to be water hardened into ice, which then
      hardened through many years into stone. We will call this quartz, as
      I believe this is what the author was referring too.

      Preparing the quartz according to Theophilus:
      Theophilus tells us to take a two or three year old goat and bind its
      feet together and cut a hole between its breast and stomach, in the
      place where the heart is, and put the crystal in there, so that it
      lies in its blood until it is hot. At once take it out and engrave
      whatever you want on it, while this heat lasts. When it begins to
      cool and become hard, put it back in the goats blood, take it out
      again when it is hot, and engrave it. Keep on doing so until you
      finish the carving. Finally, heat it again, take it out and rub it
      with a woolen cloth so that you may render it brilliant with the same

      Application by Lord Valdis:
      Using cows blood from the local market I soaked the rock crystal (we
      shall call it quartz) in the blood for an hour at which time I took
      it out to try and carve it. The quartz was cold to the touch and did
      not take the blade or file well. I did not see any difference in
      continuity of the quartz after soaking.
      Second attempt with the cows blood found me heating the cows blood to
      a simmer and dropping the quartz into the blood. I waited another
      hour with the same results as above, however the stone was warmer to
      the touch. Note - the stench and mess of blood running down both
      arms is starting to get to me.

      Conclusion - The blood of a goat was significant in softening the

      From the local auction I secured an old goat that was inexpensive due
      to its age and health. Apologizing to the old goat and trying to
      rationalize that it was being done for the sake of historical
      accuracy...science. This did not make me feel any better about what
      I was about to do. I cut its belly open from sternum to groin with a
      skinning knife. Not being familiar with the anatomy of a goat I
      immediately found myself with a lap full of intestines and other
      organs. Pulling these to the side I reached in to find the heart,
      again my unfamiliarity forced me to place my face in close proximity
      of the smell and sight of this aged goats insides. I found what I
      believe to be the heart and rested the quartz up against the organ
      and quickly went to bath myself.
      After an hour I gingerly approached the atrocity that was once a
      goat, I reached inside, holding my breath and retrieved the quartz.
      I quickly took it to the blade and file, neither of which had any
      effect than if it were cold.

      Conclusion - The goat was too old or had some sort of blood disorder.

      After disposing of the last goat I went to the auction house again
      and tried to explain why I needed a goat between the ages of two and
      three years. After being escorted out by security I decided to
      approach a local farm with no questions asked and none given. The
      farmer was happy to sell me a healthy looking two-year-old goat. Not
      knowing which sex to get I picked a female for this test since my
      aging goat before had been a male.
      I was able to get into the chest cavity with the quartz with a little
      more ease this time. I let it sit for three hours until the stench
      started to make it an issue for my neighbors. Taking the quartz out
      and trying my file on it I found it as hard as ever, although it was
      a beautiful red color. Note: Be careful at this point because the
      stone is very slippery and you are liable to cut yourself. I
      concluded that I must continue with the next step Theophilus
      described, so I stuck the quartz gingerly back into the room
      temperature flesh. I should point out that this work is being done
      in a little workshop and the stench of flesh made it impossible to
      finish other projects. Night came and passed with the morning being
      unbearably hot and humid, I started out towards my workshop. As soon
      as I opened my back door I realized that I may not have the resolve
      to see this project to the end. The odor was unbelievable, I quickly
      donned a painting mask and quickly entered the workshop and took out
      my quartz. I hurriedly grabbed my files and headed out the door
      again. No luck, still hard and now very sticky.

      Conclusion - After reading Theophilus's description again I realized
      that perhaps he took the heart out for he says to place the quartz
      where the heart is. With revived enthusiasm I head out to search for
      another goat.

      I purchase a male goat, three years of age from another local
      farmer. I concluded that the male being larger would have a higher
      blood volume and hence a higher concentration of whatever it was that
      made the quartz soft.
      Being an old hand at gutting goats by this time I quickly cut out the
      heart and place the quartz in its place. It took me a better part of
      an hour to clean the quartz from my last endeavor, but I was leaving
      nothing at risk. I quickly rolled the goat into a piece of tarp so
      as to keep the smell contained. After an hour I went to check on my
      passion only to end up doubled over outside my workshop losing my
      dinner to the soil. Now with an empty stomach I approach my work
      again and successfully take out my quartz and prepare for a
      successful attempt. Placing the tarp back over the carcass I quickly
      exit to try my hand at carving my quartz once and for all. Putting
      my blade to the quart I found it as hard as ever, trying the file I
      made a few scratch marks.
      At this point a local Sheriff's Deputies car pulls into my driveway.
      I was standing there with blood up both arms and across my front, my
      knives and files laying around me and with me holding an object that
      looks similar to an organ with its bright red color and dripping
      blood between my feet. I will not mention the look of desperation I
      had on my face at not being able to carve the quartz with the look of
      panic coming over it when I recognized the car that pulled in and
      what it must look like. To make a long story short, the sheriff's
      department kindly removed the carcass's for me and cataloged
      everything in my workshop for me, while giving me free room and board
      until I could talk with the local judge who just happened to be at
      the Pennsylvania Ren Faire that weekend. Monday morning finds me
      explaining Theophilus before a captive audience with people taking
      frantic notes at my every word. I have never seen such an interest
      in medieval history as I experienced in that room that day. I was
      released that afternoon and told to hand over my copy of Theophilus
      On Divers Arts to the deputy that followed me home.
      All is quiet at my house now, I have just ordered the Theophilus On
      Divers Arts from online and am waiting to try and harden steel in the
      urine of a small red headed boy, according to Theophilus there is no
      better way to harden steel.

      Conclusion - I have had plenty of time to think about this now and
      with many a discussion with my therapist, that the courts so kindly
      provided, we have concluded that perhaps the artisans that told
      Theophilus the details of their trade were either protecting their
      technique or just pulling a joke on him, not realizing that it would
      turn my life upside down some 900 years later.
      My personal feelings are that I need a goat that is from Europe and
      has eaten the same diet as they did in the 12th century, but I will
      refrain from experimenting with that one for a while, at least until
      I am no longer under house arrest.

      Theophilus On Divers Arts
      Dover Publication
      ISBN 0-486-23784-2

      Note: No animals were hurt during these tests, the tests were purely
      a writ of fiction. The quotes from Theopilus is true and the
      description that he gives for carving quartz is accurate. My
      personal conclusion was that it was a joke played on Theophilus for a
      good laugh and to protect their trade (trade secrets). Much of what
      is written by Theophilus is accurate, some techniques are harmful by
      today's standards and should be handled with care. Please feel free
      to stop by my merchant booth to discuss A&S. I hope you enjoyed the

      Yours In Service,
      Lord Valdis of Gotland
    • Cait Currie
      Subject: [EKSouth] Requested Documentation from Coronation Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2000 18:14:48 -0000 Ken...thanks so much for getting this out on the wire so
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 1, 2000
        Subject: [EKSouth] Requested Documentation from Coronation>Date: Sun, 01 Oct
        2000 18:14:48 -0000

        Ken...thanks so much for getting this out on the wire so quickly. I have
        printed it and can't wait to watch my fiance's face as he reads it...<g>
        Cait (I bought the elk Celtic carving)
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      • mastercahankyle@cs.com
        In a message dated 10/1/00 2:15:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time, lvaldis@cvn.net writes:
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 2, 2000
          In a message dated 10/1/00 2:15:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time, lvaldis@...

          << I was also graciously appointed by Our new
          reigning Majesties as the woodworker of the realm...does this mean I
          pay higher taxes? >>

          Valdis, read the thankyou scroll, I believe it states "A woodworker of the
          realm". Time to switch to decaff, bud.

          Master Cahan Kyle (Your Boss)
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