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Re: Arts & Sciences SCA Yahoo Groups for further info

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  • David Roland
    As far as art/sci is concerned isn t there also a limit on how far out you can begin a project? I am going to assume that you mean for entry into a
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 2, 2008
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      "As far as art/sci is concerned isn't there also a limit on how far
      out you can begin a project?"

      I am going to assume that you mean for entry into a competition here
      as you can start a project and take as long as you like, or have, for
      your own purposes. The answer is a matter of interkingdom
      anthropology. Each Kingdom has its own rules, each A&S competition
      may as well. In the Middle Kingdom, for regional A&S (if you place at
      least second you are elligible to go on to Kingdom) competitions there
      are at the moment NO restrictions for elligability on how long ago you
      STARTED the project. However, there ARE restrictions for elligibility
      on how long ago you COMPLETED the A&S project. Check your
      local/kingdom rules. Contact your Minister of Arts and Sciences (MoAS)
      or check online to see what your local/kingdom rules are for this.

      "Correct me if I wrong but isn't close if not near to impossible to
      create something 100% authenitic?"

      In short, yes. 100% authenticity is utterly impossible. The air we
      breath is different today than the air they breathed. They can have
      and does affect chemical changes on the plants and animals, microbes
      etc. Also the microbes now may not be the microbes then as well.
      Okay so why do I start with chemistry and microbes? I make ink from
      period recipes.

      In a vast majority of recipes rain water is called for to be used
      becuase it is reliably the purest water available. Umm, not today due
      to the atmosphere an what we put into it in mass quantities. I use
      steam distilled water, which frankly is good but we can't say
      definitively if its functionally equivelant to rain water. Also some
      recipes for ink find that soaking the oak galls in rain water and
      allowing mold to grow on them creates a much blacker a beautiful ink.
      Umm, period mold (microbes) anyone?

      Oak galls themselves are a way for the oak tree to defend itself
      against pests and such. Remember how acid raid was killing of forests
      until we started to clean up our air? It affects the internal
      chemistry of the tree as well. The ingredient in oak galls that makes
      the ink work by the way is tannic acid, (not tannins as in tea but
      tannic acid), and the balance of tannic acid in an oak gall DOES
      change the recipe considerably and the quality of ink I assure you.
      Did they know that in period? Well not like we do today thats for
      sure. Yes, they knew some oak galls were better than others and other
      things would work to make ink but the point is this: It is utterly
      impossible for me to make 100% authenticly period ink because of these
      very basic issues.

      Can I make very very period ink? Sure. I'm gonna put in a wild guess
      of 95% authentic. But I'll never reach 100%.

      Just to show a bit further in period in europe they often wrote on
      vellum/parchment or animal skins which were soaked in running water.
      To temper the acid they sometimes used crushed eggshells, easy to get
      ahold of certainly today but from a period egg? (On a side note I do
      know there is a lord who raises period breeds of chickens but I don't
      know if its on period feeds and that would affect the makeup of the
      eggs).

      And all of that is just for ink.

      Period breeds of plants/animals for making your clothing? Sure wool
      is a period material but is it from a period breed of sheep that got
      rained on with the same rain and fed the period breed of food they
      were fed? That after all would be 100% authenticity.

      Does it sound ridiculous to go to this length? It does to me. But
      that is what 100% authenticity would require in my mind.

      I'm all for the 10 foot, 5 foot, 6 inches types of rules. If it looks
      good at XYZ distances you've done pretty darn good and should be
      congratulated. If you look like you're trying but just aren't making
      a good go of it, courtesy and chivalry (ideals upheld in our SCA)
      demands polite compliments and polite and useful offers of help NOT
      tearing someone down and telling them how much they suck.

      I have never torn into someone for using a cartridge pen or marker for
      doing calligraphy. I promise you it is at least as abhorent as using
      elastic as rayon in your garb. I have however offered to show someone
      how to use a dip pen or quill and teach classes on the basics of
      calligraphy. If they're not interested I complement on learning
      calligraphy and am happy they're trying. If its something they like
      doing they'll get to more period techiniques eventually. And besides
      that, and most importantly:

      Someone's lack of authentic tools and materials is not an attack on me
      so I don't need to respond to it as if it were. Their lack of
      authentic tools and materials in not an attack on the SCA or what we
      are trying to do either and so I don't need to respond to it as if it
      were. We are all teachers and/or learners in the SCA. As an
      educational group its about the learning, the path, not the product or
      destination. As a friend of mine put it once, "If you kill 'em they
      don't learn nuthin'" Going after someone for their lack of
      authenticity, especially anyone new, KILLS THEIR INTEREST.

      Yes, garb nazis and authenticity police abound and are generally found
      to be loathed everywhere. They can be anyone at any level. Here is
      what most seem to fail to understand: Everyone will find what they
      want to be authentic about and eventually other things they have/do
      will become more and more authentic the longer they are in. It just
      happens.

      I have told my newcomers and I recommend this to everyone, if someone
      starts in on your lack of authenticity on any given thing, politely
      thank them for their interest and move on. If they continue, politely
      express your surprise at their interest and ask what them how they are
      willing to help fix the problem they are seeing since it is so
      important to them. IE come to their house to learn, gift you with non-
      offensive item(s) etc. (Its they SCA, they may indeed be willing to
      help and just don't have the social skills that we'd like them to have
      and it may indeed be a boon for you.) If they refuse or don't offer
      anyway of helping, them politely say, "Oh, okay." and walk away.
      Failing that if they continue, simply and politely ask them to leave
      you alone. Failing that grab a white belt/baldric (Knight), Pelican
      or Laurel and have them intervene. They're being incredibly rude and
      need to have a talk with a peer about it.

      I have also told my newcomers to come to me at ANY event I am at that
      they are at and I will deal with the problem. In general the average
      scadian is a helpful person. Some see telling others how unauthentic
      they are to be helping them to become more authentic. If they're
      doing it to the level of being rude they're being jerks not helpful.
      And no it is NOT chivalrous to let such folks continue to be jerks to
      you or others. However, you don't get to be a jerk back. Be nice.

      Ian the Green, AoA, Calligrapher Scribe, Amature Ink Maker
      Chatelain - Shire of Grey Gargoyles
      Region of the Midlands
      Middle Kingdom
    • David Roland
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 2, 2008
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        << As far as art/sci is concerned isn't there also a limit on how
        far out you can begin a project?>>

        "I have no idea on this, as I have never used an art/sci competition
        as a reason to make something authentic. I neither enter nor judge
        art/sci, because I think that contests of this sort are a big
        detriment to the SCA, and for many an inspiration to fear trying to
        do something authentically."

        > Brangwayna Morgan
        > Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
        > Lancaster, PA

        I respectfully disagree with this sentiment though I am fully aware
        of that occuring for some people. This is one of those things that
        I think celebrates the diversity of people in the SCA. For some
        people it inspires fear of spitfire criticism let alone regular
        criticism.

        For myself, I LOVE A&S competions! And I know others who do as
        well. At the very least its an exhibition for everyone to come and
        see what is being done and to get some inspiration from it. I've
        seen woodworkers get inspiration from clothing makers, fiberarts
        folks get inspiration from calligraphy and many other such unlikely
        matches.

        On the personal level it gives me something to strive for and to aim
        for. Do I -need- that? No, but I sure do like to have it. So to
        me A&S competitions are a good thing. I stress this though and I
        stress it a lot, only enter if -you- want to enter them. If you
        don't then by all means don't. I do however encourage anyone who
        has any interests whatsoever in doing arts and sciences to attend
        A&S competitions and see what is there! I've never not learned
        something new nor walked away thinking there was nothing of interest.

        So, I suppose I should say that I disagree that A&S competitions are
        bad but agree that they can and do inspire fear in some folks. But
        for others it also inspires them. So do what you want when it comes
        to A&S competitions.

        On my first competition entry, (it went to kingdom level having
        placed second in regional), one of my judges tried to hunt me down
        at Pennsic 35 coming to my camp to give me some pointers and help.
        Alas I was not there to have seen him not knowing he was coming.
        He's a great person and I've exchanged a couple of very informative
        e-mails with him. So the judges aren't all bad. Have I heard
        horror stories? Yes, both from the judges who told of contestants
        who were just mean to them and from contestants who had mean
        judges. As in most such instances, I blame the individual who was
        mean not the activity they were participating in.

        Ian the Green, AoA
      • bronwynmgn@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/2/2008 1:36:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, mystborne@yahoo.com writes:
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 2, 2008
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          In a message dated 1/2/2008 1:36:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
          mystborne@... writes:

          <<So, I suppose I should say that I disagree that A&S competitions are
          bad but agree that they can and do inspire fear in some folks. But
          for others it also inspires them. So do what you want when it comes
          to A&S competitions.>>

          Ian, I agree that folks should check out A&S competitions if they are so
          inclined. My reason for noting that I don't like or participate in them is
          partly just to express what may be a minority view, but mostly because there are
          some myths that many people believe about competitions.

          The first myth is that the only reason to try to do something authentically
          is to win in competitions. Since I never enter them, I must have another
          reason. My reason is that it is a fun challenge to learn how to do something
          more authentically, and that I often find out that a more authentic
          method/result is as easy or easier, as effective or more effective, etc, than the modern
          version.

          The second myth is that one must participate in competitions to win arts
          awards at a kingdom or Society level. I am both a Companion of the Order of the
          Manche, the East Kingdom arts award, and a member of the Order of the
          Laurel, the Society level award, despite not participating in competitions. (I was
          also never an apprentice.) So many newcomers get told they must enter
          competitions if they want recognition in the arts; I'm a living example that it
          doesn't have to be that way.

          My reason for disliking arts competitions in the SCA context specifically is
          firstly that I think there is too much emphasis on competition throughout
          everyday society, and that no one seems to be able to get an sense of
          achievement about having accomplished something unless they can win an award for it.
          I'd like to think of the SCA as a place where you can get a sense of
          achievement because you've learned to do something new that not many people know.

          The second, even more closely SCA-oriented, is that these competitions are
          actually one of the LEAST authentic things you can do at an event. People in
          period didn't take their wares to modern county-fair style contests to be
          judged, nor did craftmasters spend the majority of their time judging the works
          of random other people. Yet the focus of activity at events of people who
          do arts competitions seems to be primarily in either entering the competition
          and spending time thinking about it, or sitting with their work, or in
          judging other people's work, while not actually doing anything during the event
          that their persona would have done in period. I like to go to events to do
          things that Brangwayna would have done, so I take my projects and work on them
          (and teach people about what I'm doing and how to do it), play period games,
          dance, shoot archery, etc, none of which I would be able to do if I spent all
          day in an arts competition.

          Brangwayna Morgan
          Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
          Lancaster, PA




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        • Ruth
          I have two A&S/period related questions on two different topics, Calligraphy and Sewing. First; my boyfriend just made me a gorgeous wooden box to hold the
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 3, 2008
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            I have two A&S/period related questions on two different topics,
            Calligraphy and Sewing.

            First; my boyfriend just made me a gorgeous wooden box to hold the
            cacophony of calligraphy supplies I have (from felt pens, to dip pens,
            paper, gold pain, gold leaf.. you name it I probably have it). Highly
            encouraging me to continue exploring period calligraphy (most of my
            time has been spent copying Celtic knot work from the book of Kells
            and other sources).

            I think period ink is a bit too far for me to jump into directly,
            however I'm sure that my dip pens are extremely modern versions of
            such. I would be really interested in period types of pens. Are these
            things you make yourself? Is there somewhere to buy them? Or since we
            use ballpoint pens now, are the dip pens still a somewhat accurate
            rendition of what was used.

            Second; I have found it nearly impossible (in my local sewing shops)
            to find anything but polyester thread. There is one, small sewing
            shop, on the other side of town that sells 100% cotton thread, but
            linen or wool thread is nowhere to be found. So far all of my (outer)
            garb is linen, while under-garb is cotton, (with the exception of some
            poorly advised 'wench outfits' I made first, which while cute and
            functional, I will retire to loaner garb or pirate night at the local
            bar).

            Is there a website where one can order thread that is linen or wool.
            Or even cotton... (the store I Found it, it was very spendy).

            Thanks guys, I am really appreciating this authenticity discussion.

            Rose Atherton
            An Tir
            Adiantum
            (A newcomer who has never been harassed for using inauthentic garb)

            PS. My personae tend from between Mid 14th Century to 16th Century
            England, depending on which of my garb I feel like wearing. (Some day
            I will either narrow it down, or create two distinct personas. Some day)
          • Coblaith Mhuimhneach
            ... Well, the quill pen had long been standard by the 14th century and remained so through the 16th, so if you re looking for tools to suit your persona,
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 3, 2008
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              Rose Atherton wrote:
              > I would be really interested in period types of pens.

              > My personae tend from between Mid 14th Century to 16th Century
              > England. . .

              Well, the quill pen had long been standard by the 14th century and
              remained so through the 16th, so if you're looking for tools to suit
              your persona, that's the obvious choice.

              > Are these things you make yourself?

              My understanding is that it takes a little time to learn how to cut a
              proper pen, but once you've got the technique down it's a quick and
              fairly easy process. There are instructions in most comprehensive
              calligraphy books, as well as online <http://www.regia.org/quill2.htm>
              <http://www.flick.com/~liralen/quills/quills.html>. Art supply stores
              and educational outlets
              <http://www.corpsrediscovery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?
              Screen=PROD&Product_Code=PP808&Category_Code=cnp-projkits> sometimes
              offer quills for the purpose. I'm sure you could obtain feathers from
              a poultry farm, too. (Just remember that turkeys are North American
              birds; if you want to be really authentic, go for the geese.)

              > Is there somewhere to buy them?

              There are many sources for prepared quill pens. They're popular items
              for sale at museums
              <http://www.libertybellmuseum.com/MuseumShop/quillpengoose.htm> and
              living history exhibits
              <http://www.williamsburgmarketplace.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/
              ProductView?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=12113&catgroupId=15921>
              as well as at stationers' shops and art supply stores. Places that
              carry ritual supplies for pagans will often stock a few, and I suspect
              some of those that supply materials for Jewish ceremonies do, too.
              Just be sure you get a proper quill pen, and not a reamed-out feather
              with a brass nib fitted to it. And don't forget to keep a penknife on
              hand, to sharpen the tip as needed.

              > . . .are the dip pens still a somewhat accurate rendition of what was
              > used.. . .

              Metal nibs were rare, hand-crafted luxury items--more novelty items,
              really--until the second quarter of the 19th century
              <http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/article/110>
              <http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/fogg/drawingglossary.html>. Using
              one during the Renaissance was probably roughly analogous to using one
              of those beautiful blown-glass pens they sell in Murano today.
              Somebody, somewhere, has done it, but most folks, even those who write
              a lot, haven't. And, of course, the few metal-nibbed pens that did
              exist before 1600 weren't made of steel, as are modern nibs, so they
              looked and functioned quite differently. If your goal is authenticity,
              you should avoid modern calligraphy pens altogether.


              Coblaith Mhuimhneach
              Barony of Bryn Gwlad
              Kingdom of Ansteorra
              <mailto:Coblaith@...>
            • Patrick Callahan
              I KREYZE PADREYK HEREBY ATTEST THAT I MENTALLY STABLE AND REASONABLY SANE. I TESTIFY TO THIS ONLY TO SAY THE FOLLOWING: I ONCE SAW A HOBBIT IN A BUTTON SHOP AT
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 5, 2008
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                I KREYZE PADREYK HEREBY ATTEST THAT I MENTALLY STABLE
                AND REASONABLY SANE.

                I TESTIFY TO THIS ONLY TO SAY THE FOLLOWING:

                I ONCE SAW A HOBBIT IN A BUTTON SHOP AT AN SCA EVENT.
                MAYBE I AM A LITTLE LAX ON MY AUTHENTICITY STANDARD
                AND I CERTAINLY WAS NOT HOLDING THIS HOBBIT TO THE
                GARB STANDARD I SET FOR MYSELF BUT IT SEEMED TO ME NOT
                SO INAPPROPRIATE AS LONG NOT EVERY WAS DOING IT. IT
                WAS AFTER A FASHION AN ATTEMPT AT MEDIEVAL CLOTHING.
                ALTHOUGH THE RESEARCH WAS MORE DRAMATICAL AND
                THEATRICAL IN NATURE THAN BASE ON HARD HISTORICAL
                FACTS.


                Kreyze Padreyk
              • julian wilson
                Patrick Callahan wrote: I KREYZE PADREYK HEREBY ATTEST Snipped I ONCE SAW A HOBBIT - GOOD STUFF SNIPPED FOR THE SAKE OF BREVITY -
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 5, 2008
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                  Patrick Callahan <naspiritwalker@...> wrote:
                  I KREYZE PADREYK HEREBY ATTEST Snipped
                  I ONCE SAW A HOBBIT - GOOD STUFF SNIPPED FOR THE SAKE OF BREVITY - ALTHOUGH THE RESEARCH WAS MORE DRAMATICAL AND
                  THEATRICAL IN NATURE THAN BASE ON HARD HISTORICAL
                  FACTS.


                  .



                  Comment
                  Ah, but that hobbit was only following what I undertsand to be one of the SCA's very earliest traditions - when many of the Founding population of what became The Kingdom Of The West chose their personas from the "fantasy" and "sword & sorcery" stories being written by many of the early members; - many of whom are still "playing", these decades later, though some are gone before us - the immortal Marion Zimmer Bradley [neƩ Marion Breen, may God be good to her, - for example, who proposed the SCA name in 1967 IIRC], leaving a wonderful heritage behind for us to enjoy - and to thank her for on the Shining Fields, where we shall al meet again, in the Service of The Light.

                  This humble veteran soldier believes that such diversity is one of the great strengths of the Society.

                  In Service to the Light, and to Our dream,
                  Lord Matthew Baker.






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                • Ziddinaaitzumar@comcast.net
                  Hmmm. Very interesting - thanks for the information! I am tempted to beat myself against the cliffs of authenticity like an ocean wave crashing against the
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 6, 2008
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                    Hmmm. Very interesting - thanks for the information! I am tempted to beat myself against the cliffs of authenticity like an ocean wave crashing against the rocks - in plain english - to try my skills against certain standards. But I am the Bionic Re=enactor! Ziddina

                    -------------- Original message --------------
                    From: Michele Bouchard <angeisdescent@...>
                    Ziddina asked: Does anyone know which Kingdom is the most intensely
                    dedicated to authenticity?

                    This is a curious question, although I admit my inter-Kingdom anthropology is terribly rusty.

                    I can only speak for two kingdoms so far (Caid and Ansteorra), since that's all Ive lived in, but as I recall my home Kingdom of Caid was very supportive of those seeking to further their persona research, and make that commitment to try for a more authentic persona. I remember the Pas de Arms tournament becoming very popular amoungst the fighters, which was a documentable form of combat 'practice.' (Ill say here and now I am not a combatant of any kind, so my terminology might be sorely lacking.) I also saw a resurgence of period-looking headgear, period footwear, and even period ornamentation.....suddenly Wal-Mart belts and chunky necklaces that were 'passable' were absent in favor of beautifully hand-crafted bronze-cast plaque belts and gorgeous 'initials' chains draping across men's shoulders. It seemed to happen overnight, but I know it was only after a renewed interest in research and artistic expression (and lots and lots of hard work!) I have not really
                    gotten involved with the local A&S community here in Ansteorra just yet.....it's a massive Kingdom compared to what Im used to! lol

                    Namaste,

                    Sunayna





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