It is with great pleasure that I present the third installment of the group-by-group survey of the Treasures of Drachenwald. Today's Treasure is from the Canton of Roterde, in Frankmark.
- Let's begin with an introduction. What is your name?
How long have you been in the SCA, and in what groups/kingdom have you lived?
I first joined the SCA in 1996 as a member of Drei Eichen and subsequently of the newly formed Canton Roterde in the Kingdom of Drachenwald. Due to work and familial obligations I quit the SCA in 1999, but re-joined to help relaunch Shire Roterde in 2010. I never really abandoned the Middle Ages though, but kept active in connection with two Danish museum sites, beautiful places recreating Iron and Viking Age places.
- Tell us something about your persona.
Duncan Meredyth is a 7th Century Briton who, dispelled from his home by Saxon and Scandinavian raiders, became a reaver and warrior himself, until eventually settling down among the Danes.
- What types of arts and sciences do you participate in, whether dabbling or full-fledged?
My main field is traditional drawing, which I started very early and kept me going as a part-time illustrator for some years. While I never got to drawing or painting in a medieval way, the Dark and Middle Ages as well as reenactment has been my main sphere of influence for the last years. So a lot of my pictures have historical or mythological topics, or even are interpretations of SCA fighting scenes.
Some craftwork skills consequently came from staying in reenactment. For me it started with working on my fighting kit, but more and more interest in doing the things "right" manifested. As many might attest, it is hard not to pick up some useful knowledge when you are surrounded by expert craftsmen who are eager to share, and seeing period recreations in use has been my major source of inspiration and motivation for that kind of work. I have made a number of belts, pouches, and scabbards by now, some of them not being too bad. In many of these works though the main credit has to go to the craftsmen who created the metal buckles and fittings, most of all the renowned Sir Raymond of Raymond's Quite Press, whose castings make the better part of the warlord belt I made:
- What work that you've produced are you most proud of?
That usually are the things I haven't done yet, though I rather like the belt pouch I made for my wife, an Eastern style leather belt pouch. Its carved decoration is based on a tree from the Bayeux Tapestry:
- What are your favorite resources -- books, websites, vendors, etc.?
I love to look at recreations in work as well as pieces in museums. Although the web has become a vast source of information, I especially love to work from books. My favourite one at the time being Wayland's Work by Stephen Pollington et al.
- Anything else you'd like to share?
Being around here is very inspiring and it's absolutely amazing to see what artists and craftsmen in the SCA and reenactment have achieved. There is so much to astonish you and so much to learn, and I believe this love for researching, trying out, and sharing skills and craftsmanship to be one of the strongest points of the SCA.
Today it gives me great pleasure to introduce my good friend Viscount Robert of Canterbury, Master of the Order of the Pelican and Caversham Herald Extraordinary. He was recommended to me as one of the treasures of Insulae Draconis, and graciously agreed to the interview:
Let's begin with an introduction. What is your name?
Robert de Canterbury
AKA Viscount Robert de Canterbury, Lord Warden of the Broads, Pelican Counsellor, Caversham Herald Extraordinary, Monsignor Confessor to Pan Vitus Polonius.
AKA Lanky Bob
MKA Dan Towse
How long have you been in the SCA, and in what groups/kingdom have you lived?
I started playing occasionally in the Shire of Southron Gaard, (Christchurch New Zealand) back when it was a part of Caid. (¹93ish?) After a long break I restarted in Drachenwald in 2001 in the Shire of Thamesreach and have been playing fairly hard ever since. I departed Thamesreach for a brief sojourn in Westdragonshire, but returned to Thamesreach in 06 and have yet to escape.
Tell us something about your persona.
Robert of Canterbury is a 14th Century Englishman. My Harness is late 14th, and my garb is more mid-late 14th.
What types of arts and sciences do you participate in, whether dabbling or full-fledged?
I can teach voice production and choral singing (Though its been a while) I used to be something of a singer, but I am now much out of practice. I dabble in just about everything, Cookery, Playing of Music, Dance, tailoring, I've recently set my hand to Calligraphy & Limning.
What work that you've produced are you most proud of?
My Finest hour to date as a Court Herald was Double Wars 2011. There was an astonishing amount of business to be conducted over the course of the week, including three peerages. Vitus and Ele gave me free rein, and I think I delivered. Each elevation was quite unique, and all the other business was carried of with gravitas, brio, and a dash of straight-faced levity.
Certainly I've never before or since had quite so much positive feedback.
For verse that I've written, I was pretty pleased with the poem for Sven's Pelican elevation, which formed the text of his Patent of elevation.
In Pewtering, the Coronets I made for My Lady and I, for our investiture as Viscount & Viscountess. They were a new challenge, with a whole bunch of new techniques involved. They are not strictly proper, being pewter not silver, but the finished look was pretty gratifying.
What are your favorite resources -- books, websites, vendors, etc.?
I've a bibliography in both of my blogs for Heraldic & Pewtering stuff. Other favourites are: Peter Brears' Cooking & Dining in Medieval England (ISBN 978 1 903018 55 2), Peter Spufford Power and Profit - the Merchant in medieval Europe (ISBN 978 0 500 28594 7), The Memoirs of Usamah Ibn Munqidh (ISBN 0 231 12125 3).
For Websites, the Armour Archive. There is a lot of knowledge buried in the Bluster.
And the goto resource for pictorial primary sources, http://www.larsdatter.com/.
Vendors, I've always loved everything I've had from http://www.trinitycourtpotteries.co.uk/.
Etc? London. I take every advantage I can of living in a city so rich in both history and historic resources. Sites, Museums, societies, libraries. I've little excuse for not getting it at least half right.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Don't forget to look outside of the SCA for knowledge and skills too. There are very few SCA arts or sciences that are unique to us, we have no monopoly on talent or expertise. Learn wherever you can.
Aryanhwy, Princess of Drachenwald, to all the dukes, earls, barons, peers, and other nobles and gentles of the land, greetings and salutations!
As Princess, it is my privilege to be a patroness of the arts and sciences of this most wonderful kingdom. While the works of the peers of the real are widely known and emulated, as is fitting and proper, there are many skilled artisans and scientists in our lands who are perhaps not as well known outside of the region where they live. Because this is a most unfortunate occurrence, I am undertaking to seek out and make known to the rest of the kingdom certain Treasures. I have been in contact with the seneschals of all of the groups seeking their counsel and testimony about those that they feel are doing extra neat and cool things, and I hope from now until 12th Night Coronation next year to profile these people on a regular basis (once or twice a week).
In this first installment of profiles of artisans and scientists throughout the kingdom, I'm pleased to introduce Lady Magdalen Yrjänäntytär of the Canton of Poukka.
My name is Magdalen Yrjänäntytär, 'daughter of Yrjänä'. My real father's name is Yrjö, later version of Yrjänä. St George (the dragon killer) is Pyhä Yrjänä in Finnish. This is my third year as a member of SCA/SKA and Aarnimetsä barony, but I started making garb etc. a little earlier. Though I live on the lands of Hirvenkylä village, I am a member of canton Poukka, as Hirvenkylä is a little unofficial group today. At the moment I am the elder of Hirvenkylä.
I reenact the 14th century and I think my persona is a widow, as she travels around without the husband. The late husband have been some kind of craft master, maybe a glass maker and Magdalen is continuing his work.
Mundanely I have been interested in crafts from the early childhood and am teaching crafts in a local adult education center. I have an MA, art history as my main subject, so I had pretty strong background when I started reenactment. Still I have learned so much during these years and found out that even I have studied art history, history and museology, I had wrong ideas about medieval life. Mostly I am doing textile work, sewing, embroidering, tablet weaving etc. The "newest" is spinning with the spindle; I have practiced it about 3-4 months now.
About a year ago I started calligraphy and illumination. I think my illumination is quite all right, as I have drawn all my life, but the calligraphy needs a lot of practise. The good side of being a beginner is that I can see a little progress almost every time I finish a scroll. Making scrolls makes me proud, not because of them being that good, but because I do not do them for myself, but for the kingdom or the barony and a person who is going to get the award, so they are hopefully making someone else happy too.
I mentioned the glass, and it is the special ability I have. It is not that difficult to make period glass beads, which are quite simple when thinking of the best modern lamp beads, but only a few people have even tried it in Aarnimetsä (or even in Drachenwald as far as I know). I have made lamp worked beads about 7-8 years. The technique is not a period one, thought original lampworking is old, but I am using gas and the burner is different. Anyway the glass beads are period, and I have made them to friends whose persona is Viking or Finnish Ironage. Poukka's events have had glass beads as tokens lately too...
One could call me bibliofile and every time I am finding a new craft or area of interest, first I try to buy good books about the subject. Today it is neat to find information from Internet too. There are many blogs I read, the favourites are Neulakko, Eva's thoughts and Hibernaatiopesäke in Aarnimetsä. I have all too much fabric from places like Naturtuche, Medeltidsmode, and Finnish Tippet. I have also found a lot of good material and tools simply checking the closets and boxes where I have stuff I had used earlier to make dolls or knit or something else.
My own blog about the hobby is http://vanhanaikaiset.blogspot.com/ and I am writing it about once a month.
If you are or you know of someone who keeps an artist/medieval/ crafts / blog in this kingdom and you want it added throw me the link. If you see your blog here and you don't want it added let me know I'll remove it.
I know that many of us blog, me included but I would like to keep this to SCA A&S blogs as much as possible. So if it is your personal diary I won't won't link to it here. we could always do that on the Ask Albion blog if people felt so inclined.
Again, I don't want to run this blog. It was set up so that other people could highlight and post. But I also can't spend all day searching for links either so far 2 people have sent me stuff. I think we have a few more than that still to be found though.
So some timeback we created this blog designed to show off all the beautiful creations, the artists, the
crafts-people and so on in this kingdom.
Originally the blog was created so that the current royalty could update
it but that lapsed as the crown changed. Not knowing what to do with the blog I've asked for
input and one suggestion from Robert suggested that it be a place to
consolidate and list all the kingdom's artists blogs, galleries etc...
Personally I think this would be an awesome idea to follow through on
if you wish to add your blog, page, gallery to the link list I'll set up
than please send me your link to me ( blogmonkey link on the side is my email address or leave a comment )
If you know of a kingdom artist's blog you think belongs by all means
share it. In the end if we can make a sort of virtual library for all the
shared information sites it would be a very cool thing indeed but this
only works if people let me know what to link.