Intarsia galore

Last fall and this spring I took part in a major project to re-create two intarsia coverlets that are displayed in the Historiska Museum in Stockholm. It was a project started by Maria Neijman and Amica Sundström. There was a grand opening and unveiling of the two resulting textiles at the museum, where you can go from the extant originals to our copies and see how they might have appeared when new. I made one square on the Dalhem cover (the one in the foreground – photo by Jonas Evertsson). You can see them on display there until July.

Maria and Amica have written a summary of the project on their blog: Historical Textiles

A household forms

I mentioned, briefly, that I had more news after Cudgel, and I can finally share them, as the plans have been enacted.

This weekend myself and Edricus travelled along with Lady Tece de Kaxtone and Lord Erik Dalecarlius to Festivalo de Caderas, put on by the Barony of Gotvik, for a mostly relaxed and low-key event. It was just that, but it also was the one year anniversary of me taking Lady Silwa af Swaneholm as my apprentice. I gave her my own old green belt, which I wore as Helwig’s apprentice, at October Crown Tourney last year and she has worn it for the last year. We have throughout the year talked about the Laurel/Apprentice thing, and agreed that after a year’s trial we both wanted to continue the relationship, and formalise it with a proper indenture.

Silwa's Indenture

Silwa’s Indenture

Since Silwa finally decided on viewing C&I as her primary art form I left it up to her to do the wording of the indenture and write it out, and she did it admirably, writing out the text twice on the same piece of paper, with our devices drawn in ink between the two texts, so that the separation could be done through them and mark each half as belonging to the other. To make it proper and official we also wanted some highly placed witnesses, and Her Highness of Nordmark, Princess Isabetta and His Excellency of Gotvik, Baron Einar, agreed to witness the contract and our exchange of gifts.

I promise, in the indenture, to provide Silwa with materials for her to practice with, so had arranged for five sheets of pergamenata, gold size and the left-over gold flakes which I have been collecting for a few years. They can be used to make shell gold for example. Silwa, for her part, presented me with two cakes of wax. Over a pound (half a kilo) of wax. She had also arranged to have a seal ring made for me, but lacked my ring-size so the project can only be finished once I provide that. She had tried to ask Edricus, very sneakily, but he did not know, as even I don’t know that!

I demanded my old belt back, and had a new one for her, provided by Lionheart Replicas, with belt studs that she picked out. We both signed the contract, and then Her Highness and His Excellency signed them and I cut them apart with a beautiful pair of scissors provided by Lady Tece.

With that done, I picked up my old green belt and turned to the next order of business, asking Tece de Kaxtone if she wanted to be my apprentice, for a period of one year as a trial. At Cudgel War I had asked her, and she then indicated she would like that, but I wanted us to wait until my old belt was freed up, so we could talk a little about what sort of relationship we wanted. Tece had not changed her mind, and so I put the belt around her waist, which she will wear for one year. After that, if we still want to continue as Laurel and Apprentice, she will also get a belt of her own and an indenture.

Cudgel War – the long exhale

Ever since Geiri and Drake talked about going to Cudgel war a long time ago, at the beginning of the Aarnimetsä ten-day camping event, I knew it was an event I wanted to go to, eventually. Once I finally made it over there for the first time, two years ago I knew for certain I needed to come back the following year, and this year as well. Now having been there three times both me and Edricus agree that it is one of the best times one can have in the Current Middle Ages in Drachenwald.

It is basically one long exercise in relaxation – the schedule is well-spaced out, the surrounding is beautiful, the food is superlative, and the company is splendid. Even when it rains a bit, like it did this year, we could sit comfortable in our cabing sewing, chatting, nibbling snacks and sipping drinks. If we had had our tent with us we’d be sitting in our tent doing likewise.

And really, the sauna and the lake is perfect. I swam out to Monkey Island and back again this year. I think it’s becoming a tradition. It was only warm enough to do it once though.

There is a good amount of things to do if you want to, and I’ve so far always taught at least one class during the week. This year we also had a Laurels Prize Display there for the second time (the fourth overall, counting the two we’ve also put on at Double Wars) and it’s great to see what people are working on and talking to the artisans about their stuff. Last year we used the loft, which is big and airy, but has no light. This year we were in the lunch room with was big enough, and plenty of light, but had no air in it by the end. I was very glad to be able to step outside for a minute to gulp down some water and fresh air at the same time. Last year the display had eleven people, this year there were nine. The Prize I gave out this year was a few rings from my fingers, plus tokens for everyone. Although I had forgotten my proper tokens at home I quickly whipped up some little pouchelets with candy. It doesn’t have to be big, or gaudy, or expensive to leave a little gift of appreciation.

It was all in all, a splendid event, very relaxing, and I can’t wait to go back to Aarnimetsä, and Nuijasota.

There was also other things happening there, among them some good talks with Silwa – both of us agreed that we would like to continue our relationship and continue to be Laurel/Apprentice. Officially the one year trial period ends in October – but hopefully neither of us are fickle enough to change our minds before then. There may be more news soon as well, but that’s for another time.

Achievement Unlocked: New Peerage Order Speech

So, at Midsummer Coronation, Their Majesties Makarius and Izabella sent three candidates to vigil to contemplate elevation to the new Peerage, the Order of Defense, and they had kept the candidates very secret.
At Double Wars, the three bestowed peerage circles were tasked with organizing a vigil tent each at their stepping down, so the Laurels had to put up and decorate one tent, the Chivalry did one, and the Pelicans did one.

The candidates were Master Arenwald von Hagenburg, Viscount Cernac, and Viscount Æiríkr inn Hárfagri.

Tablecloth or napkin for the MoDFor the Laurel tent I made a small table-cloth/napkin with the badge of the new order in the middle, with the tree blades done in three different stitches to represent the three premiers. The text and one sword is stem stitch, the second blade is chain stitch and the last one is double running stitch. All embroidery done with filament silk which was given to me at my vigil. It was also meant to go with the new Masters as regalia for the Order, to be used at future vigils. A little something for them to have, to start with.

Of course I went in to talk to all three candidates at their vigil and was surprised, humbled and honoured when Viscount Æiríkr asked me if I would speak for him at the elevation ceremony on Saturday morning. The first time I spoke for anyone was Countess Cecilia’s Pelican ceremony at Double Wars just over a month ago, so this was only my second time ever speaking for anyone. It didn’t occur to me then but later that night, when I was trying to write the speech, that I would actually be a part of a historic moment for Drachenwald.

The ceremony of sending them to their vigil was awesome and emotional, and I wept like a big softy, which I always do, and the elevation ceremony was also very well done and thought through, with speakers from the now closed Order of the Dragons Steel, Chivalry, Pelican, Laurel and Rose, plus speakers from the Populace. I was going to be one of three Laurels speaking at the first elevation of a Master of Defense. So, when it turned out that Sven was speaking for both Arenwald and Cernac I realized I was going to be one of only two Laurels speaking. I got a little more nervous then, but I managed to say the words, without weeping (much), including a few words from Æiríkr’s Laurel Mistress Melisende Fitzwalter.

I am still awed, honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to be a small part of history with the establishment of a new Peerage Order in Drachenwald.

Laurels Prize Display at Double Wars 2015

I am very pleased that at Double Wars this year we managed to get together another Laurels Prize Display. Last year was the first time we arranged it, and we had the Tavern room at Double Wars entirely filled with awesome people and things. This year we only had seven displays, one of them put on by two people (Åsa and Mårten and their tent with furnishings), and one done by a bunch of people (Baron John of Styringheim and his minions working on smelting iron). The other gentles displaying were Lady Renike Tucher with her German 15th Century research, and embroidery, and applique and all the things. Lady Þora Sumarliðadóttir who put out a number of things related to the middle ages in Norway, and Lofoten in particular, including dried fish which you eat with butter. Baron Konrad of Knight’s Crossing and his shoemaking display. Lord Erik Dalcarlius, who is fairly new to the SCA and is working his way through trying a bunch of variations of viking shoes. He and Konrad sat next to each other and I think they had lots of fun. Viscountess Jacquelyna de Bellmont who displayed a scroll she had made including all the steps and research she did to produce it.

All of the displays were pretty cool, and the level of that we see artisans produce here is as always amazing. I personally gave my token to Viscountess Jacquelyna, because her display had the materials, the way to work the thing as well as the finished product, and she talked about her project in a thoughtful way. Anyone who checked out the display could, I think, come away with an appreciation of what it takes to produce a scroll, and maybe learn something about how you can go about making it yourself even if you are brand new to scribal things.

The attempt to produce iron from limonite was also super-cool, and John knows all about how it should work, and why, but the experiment did not in the end produce much iron at all. But it was a great learning experience, and they’ll continue with the experiment next year.

This year the scheduling was not flawless, and the Display ended up being at the same time as the Unbelted Tourney for heavy fighters and the Fencing Rose Tourney – so we had very few people come by the display to chat with the artisans, which was a shame.

A giftbasket thing

I had a little time before Double Wars when I knew there was going to be an elevation, and had time to prepare a little thing. For her reign with Marcus I made napkins for Cecilia, and I also made up a shirt with embroideries that I finished for their coronation. For her elevation to the Order of the Pelican I had a tiny napkin in a fine even quality linen which I embroidered with a little pelican in one corner and her initials in the other (C J). I forgot to take a picture of it, so had to ask her to send me a couple. It was fun to do, even if it was a last-minute thing. All of the stitching was done in black silk, except the three drops of blood, stem stitch. I think everyone needs a tiny napkin for court-tears. Also, since I have taught it a couple of times now, the handout of long-armed cross stitch, and the handout for drawn-thread hemstitch can now be found under the folder Documents at the top.