So I guess I’m not the greatest at keeping up with this blogging business. Good thing I’m not doing it for money!
The past several months have been pretty busy, both with modern life responsibilities and with personal projects. Now that work is winding down, I have the chance to make a post before the next term starts and the SCA gets busy with the summer season.
So here’s what I’ve been up to lately – several ongoing projects and a couple of shorter-term items.
First, my latest scroll, done for the Midrealm Coronation that just took place. This is a Royal Vanguard, given to one of the individuals who served as a Champion for the outgoing monarchs. I’m largely happy with this one, though I think I should have used a finer brush to do the whitework details.
Looking back at my images, I see that the last two scrolls I’ve done have been in this style. Time to move on to something else, I think. I want to put in some time this summer working on a letter style known as “puzzle letters” that are often found in 15th century manuscripts. I’m really inspired by a fellow scribe in our area who has made this something of a specialty and does really beautiful work.
Also at Coronation, there was a silent auction held to raise money for the State Dinner held at Pennsic. This year is the Middle Kingdom’s year to host, so funds are needed to provide good hospitality for our guests – the monarchs of the other SCA kingdoms. I was pleased to contribute to the auction a woven belt (or length of trim) with the phrase “Draco Invictus” and dragons as the design. Once again, I had a lot of fun weaving letters – standard repetitive weaving patterns are nice but somewhat automatic. Doing double-faced letter weaving requires a little more concentration.
One ongoing project is also aimed at Pennsic, though the goal is to finish up by the end of the month. This year the East Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom are allies. To commemorate this, we are making belt favors for fighters showing the dragon and tiger of the two kingdoms joined together, with the initials of the two queens above. So far, I’ve completed six of the “standard” tokens, which have a crown at the top. I’ve also turned in four tokens with a tudor rose – the queen’s symbol – at the top and I’m working on a few more of those. If I don’t get any volunteers to take them off my hands, I’ll end up doing nine rose tokens and seven with crowns. I keep telling people it’s the fact that I watch too much TV that lets me get these things done!
My other ongoing project, which I hope to have finished by Pennsic, is part of a set of sheet walls to go around the inside of the tents that surround the technical services area. These will help block the view of that area when the tent walls are up for ventilation and ideally will also help remind people that the tech services area is not an area to send their kids to play! I brought home five panels from last Pennsic that already had designs drawn on them and I’ve been working on getting those painted over the last few months. Now I’m up to the blank panels and I’m just waiting for some feedback from the project manager to see where I should go next with the images.
These have been fun to do, once I got the hang of it. They are all based on images from a 14th century manuscript, the Romance of Alexander and feature music and dance scenes, as well as some with games and artists.
The funniest thing so far is one of the panels had the figures drawn in but without the details of the faces. As I was sketching in the faces, I ended up with one that I thought looked like me! So I put her in a red and blue parti-colored dress similar to one that I made several years ago. I’ll get a kick out of seeing her when these are set up at Pennsic.
Finally, I was honored to be featured on the blog of a friend and fellow SCA member – Honor Before Victory by Genoveva von Lübeck. Genoveva has been working on a series of profiles of SCA artisans and she kindly chose me as one of her subjects! I’m very humbled by the kind words Genoveva wrote about me and I hope to be able to continue to live up to what she’s written. Genoveva is also a talented artisan in her own right, and specializes in 16th century German clothing and accessories. I’m hoping to be able to take one of her classes on pleated aprons, since I found in judging her A&S entry for this year that these are appropriate to the 14th century as well!