Friday, December 28, 2012

Cuidoient li losengier

My latest bardic project was to work on a song I wanted to sing. The song name is Cuidoient li losengier, written by Guillebert de Berneville from the 13th Century (from the Oxford Anthology of Music: Medieval Music, page 73). There is just one major problem. I don't know early or even middle French. Gracious, I don't even know modern French.

So I worked on my number one fall back when it comes to languages: IPA. The International Phonetic Alphabet. Of course, this took a little research and a lot of varied steps. IPA is something I had learned in college and took an immediate liking to. I found I could easily notate people's accents, so certainly it had to be useful as well in trying to learn how to pronounce things in French.

I am only going to talk about the first verse. It is easier than going through the whole thing (which I will do at some point in the near future). The first verse, written as it is in the book, is:

Cuidoient li losengier
Por ce se il ont menti
Que je me doie esloignier
D'amors et de mon ami
E non Dieu, je l'amerai
Et bone amor servirai
Nuit et jor
Sans fere folor
Et g'iere envoisie
Chantant et jolie

Not speaking French at all, I didn't even know where to go with the words, so I asked my teacher to write it out in some sort of phonetics to give me a stepping stone in starting on the IPA free hand. The first draft of phonetics I was given I will not be posting here as I have not been given permission. Needless to say, it was ingenious and the kind of thing I needed to kick me into starting this project.

Sitting at home with my text books in front of me, I began sounding out each word as it was written. The problem is, it is written in Americanized phonetics. Reading this with my American mind, I wasn't able to form the gentle nuances of French phonemes. Because of that, my first draft looked much like this:

kwidwaɛnt li losɛnʤiɛr
pɔr keɪ seɪ il oʊnt mɛnti
keɪ ʤʌ mɛ dwa ɛslwaŋʤiɛr
damɔrs ɛt dɛ mɔn ami
ɛ nɔn diʊ ʤɛ lamɛreɪ
ɛt bɔnɛ amɔr sɛrviɛreɪ
nʊit ɛt ʤɔr
sans fɛrɛ foʊlɔr
ɛ ʤiɛrɛ ɛnvwazi
ʃantant ɛt ʤoʊli

Now, when I had this read out loud to me later, I noticed many many mistakes. One being that I mistook that French would be anything at all like English with its phonemes. It is not. In fact, there are some consonants, such as /r/, that French doesn't even have. All of their /r/s are, in fact, a voiced uvular fricative as opposed to our alveolar trill, defined by the symbol ʁ. Other differences are with their nasalized vowels, which are denoted as such:/ã/, /ɛ̃/, /ɔ̃/, and /æ̃/. So there were some extreme differences that I just hadn't even thought of. After studying how things were pronounced for me and then looking through my IPA textbook as well as a French/English dictionary that the phonetics were written in IPA, I felt more confident. My second rendition of the same verse is as follows:

kwidwaɛ̃t li lɔzɛ̃ʒiʁ
pɔʁ sə sə il mɛ̃ti
kə ʒə mə dwa ɛslwãʒiʁ
damuʁz e də mɔ̃ ami
ø nɔ̃ djø ʒə lamɛʁe
e bɔ̃ɛ amuʁ sɛʁviʁe
nɥi e ʒɔʁ
sã feʁe fɔloʁ
ø ʒiʁe ãvwazi
ʃãtã e ʒɔli

You will notice quite a few differences between the first and the second renditions of the verse. The first had a lot of 'n's in it. The second, most of them are dropped because a vowel before an 'n' usually creates a nasalized vowel. I am still having some questions whether, like in the first word, the final 't' in cuidoient should be pronounced or dropped. It is noted that the affricates /ts/, /dz/, /tʃ/, /dʒ/ became fricatives ([s], [z], [ʃ], [ʒ]) in Middle French.

There is also, from looking at the music, moments where two words are supposed to blend together. Taking that into account, it appears the third rendition of the verse is:

kwidwaɛ̃t li lɔzɛ̃ʒiʁ
pɔʁ sə sə il mɛ̃ti
kə ʒə mə dwaslwãʒiʁ
damuʁz e də mɔ̃ ami
ø nɔ̃ djø ʒə lamɛʁe
e bɔ̃amuʁ sɛʁviʁe
nɥi e ʒɔʁ
sã feʁe fɔloʁ
ø ʒiʁãvwazi
ʃãtãt e ʒɔli

I am certainly open to comments and thoughts as I'm not particularly certain how some of these words would have been pronounced.

Cuidoient Part 2
Cuidoient Part 3 

Berneville, Guillebert de. “Cuidoient li losengier.” The Oxford Anthology of Music: Medieval Music. Ed. W Thomas Marrocco and Nicholas Sandon. Oxford: University Press. 1977. 73.

Handbook of International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Cambridge: Univeristy Press. 1999. 78-81.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SCA Questionaire

 There is a website that has questions you should think about and try to answer for your persona. I fell in love with this website long ago and swore, someday, I would be able to answer all of the questions. Today I sat down to see how many I could answer and was happily surprised by the result as well as being able to say 'I know exactly which book to go to to show documentation for each of these answers!'

It is still my goal to eventually be able to fully answer all of these questions. But at least now I know which ones I should be looking more into. Why is this important to me? These are just the things I strive for.

Here is the website: SCA Persona Questionaire

1.    What is your persona’s name?
Katrusha Karpova Doch'Negadiev Skomorokh
 2.    What year was your persona born?
 3.    What is your persona’s native country?
Karachev, Russia
 4.    What is your persona’s current country?
Novgorod, Russia
 5.    What are the climates of your persona's native and current countries?
 6.    What are the terrains of your persona's native and current countries?
Plains, mountains, forests... oh the forests....
 7.    In what city/town/barn was your persona born?
 8.    What city does your persona currently claim as "home"?
 9.    What are/were your persona’s parents’ names?
10.     What are/were your persona’s parents’ occupation(s)?
Mother died when young. Father was a tanner.
11.     Does your persona have any siblings, and if so, are any still alive?
Two brothers. Both alive. One in the army, one working farm land in our hometown.
12.     Is your persona married?
Was married
13.     What are the marriage customs and typical age of marriage for your persona's culture/time-frame?
Typical marriage age for women is about 11 years old. Customs include dowry and parents each inspecting both of the children when they are very young and approving the marriage. They are then not allowed to see each other until the day they are married, which is why the woman becomes known as the unknown woman.
14.     What type of building does your persona currently live in?
She runs an inn/restaurant and lives in one of the rooms at the inn.
15.     With whom does your persona live?
Alone with just her son.
16.    Are there members of your persona's household that are not related to your persons
        (servants/retainers, wards/fosterlings, guests, etc.)?
Sometimes guests for various lengths of staying.
17.     Were pets kept during your persona’s culture/time-frame? If so, what kind, if any, does your persona have?
18.     What is your persona’s occupation?
A restauranteur and a smokorokh
19.     How old is your persona?
20.     How long do people like your persona tend to live?
40 is when you make your death parcel and prepare for the inevitability that you will die soon.
21.     What is your persona’s ethnicity?
22.     Who is your persona’s current employer?
23.     Would your persona have been literate in your chosen culture/time-frame?
24.     What level of education does your persona have?
Enough schooling to run the finances, write many things... there were girl schools where they were taught many many things.
25.     Where was your persona educated?
Her home town of Karachev as she had no mother and her father wanted to make sure she would know enough to marry.
26.     What languages does your persona speak?
Russian, Greek, Latin, and a a few words from various other surrounding countries.
27.     What units of measure were used by your persona’s culture/time-frame?
Spoons, glasses, poods...
28.     What type of money did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame use?
This was when the Mongols finished attacking, so they no longer had the coins they made only for the Mongols to steal. But they did have coin money.
29.     What kind of legal system exists in your persona’s culture/time-frame, and who make the laws?
The laws were very fair for women, which is slightly unique. Because women could be judge, jury, and executioner, they didn't make laws that were unfair for women. But there were courts and juries and a judge, which has been documented by written birch bark like papers that have been found.
30.    What is the status of women among your persona’s culture/time-frame, and can they own property or conduct business?
They can own a business, conduct business, own land... When/if their husband died, they inherited his property and did not have to use it as dowry if she got married again. When she died, she decided how her things were split among her children. Although folk tale stories say that women were much less than men and had to keep their proper place as silent and submissive towards her husband or father, there are documents that show that the women were who kept the household finances running and took care of many other subtle nuances. Females in a position of power even had their own wax seal stamps made so they could sign documents.
31.    What major events have occurred during your persona’s lifetime?
        (Natural catastrophes, wars, revolutions, discoveries, etc.?)
Ivan the Terrible. Nuff said!
32.     Does your persona fight? If so, where did your persona learn to fight?
She does not fight, but she does shoot a bow in order to hunt for food on her own land. She was taught that by her father.
33     What type of armour and weapons were used by fighters in your persona’s culture/time-frame?
        And how were such obtained?
Bows that looked similar to Mongolian horse bows. I do not know many of the other weapons and armor though.
34.     List your persona’s skills and hobbies. For each, write down where your persona learned them.
Most of her hobbies (cooking/baking, sewing, spinning, art) were taught to her in school. When she moved to Novgorod, she fell in love with the Skomorokh and became a quick student to their ways. Other things she enjoys she learned from her father, such as archery and metal working. Some stranger techniques she has been taught by foreign travelers through Novgorod who trade their knowledge for her wares.
35.     What "class" is your persona? (I.e., royalty, nobility, merchant, middle, artisan, slave, etc.)
36.     How widely has your persona traveled?
She has never traveled beyond her birth home and Novgorod, but she is worldly from where all her clients come from as they bring stories from the spice and silk trails.
37.     In what capacity has your persona traveled? (I.e., military, sailor, rich person’s hobby, etc.)
38.     Who is your persona’s current monarch?
Ivan the Terrible
39.     Who is the current Pope during your persona time?
40.    What religion is your persona?
Most people in the cities were Christian, but the Skomoroks were decidedly Pagan, or so the Christians said. Katrusha practices bits from all she has sen.
41.    What kind of religious duties would be required of your persona?
At home, keeping the icon area well groomed and the candles always lit. For a Skomorokh, they sang and performed wedding rituals and sang the songs that changed the seasons and gave the towns and villages good fortune. They were the ceremonial warlocks, the pagan preists.
42.    How did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame deal with trade?
She lived on along the slik road and the spice routes... but I haven't read much about actual trade. Other than I know they traded for furs often.
43.    With respect to international relations, does your persona favor colonization, isolationism, conquest/conversion,
        open trade, etc.?
44.     How does your persona personally obtain goods (food, drink, clothes, etc.)?
She eithers makes them, purchases them, or trades for them... depending on what she wants.
45.     How did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame tell time?
46.     How did people of your persona’s culture/time-frame keep track of days?
47.     What type of clothes does your persona normally wear?
48.     What type of clothes does your persona wear for special occasions?
Also layers. Only with more embroidery and pearling.
49.     Are there any (sumptuary) laws restricting what your persona can wear?
I can not have my hair seen. Once married, you are a woman and your hair has to be covered.
50.     What does your persona eat in a normal day?
Many root vegetables. Grains. On lucky occassions, meat.
51.     How is food prepared and preserved in your persona’s culture/time-frame?
The central part of every house is an oven. There was always bread. And whatever was left of bread would make kvas since it was hearty. And if your oven wasn't big enough for bread, you could make your dough and drop it off at the local bread baker and they would bake it for you. There were many root vegetables which, by the end of the winter months, would be the big things you would be eating. Fresh fruit was rare as it had to come from other places, so they would pickle it or make cordials with it so they still had the fruits.
52.     What spices were available to your persona and how expensive were they?
Being on the spice road, many spices were available. Like most places, they were expensive.
53.     What were the eating habits of people of your persona’s culture/time-frame?
Festivals and lots of food were big. It was common for tables to be littered with food when guests would be around. Weddings were times of huge feasts that fed the whole village.
54.     What are the cleaning/bathing habits of your persona’s culture/time-frame?
They had bath houses and expected visitors to bathe before entering the home. Even baba yaga stories are big on bathing as she would give children a sieve and tell them to fill her bath. There are many stories in the folk tales that have something to do with the bath houses.
55.     What types of wildlife live in your persona's area?
56.     Name your persona’s favorite musicians/artists/dances.
57.     What political figure/party/movement does your persona support?
58.     Who is the most significant thinker of your persona’s time?
59.     What does your persona consider to be the greatest social problem their country?
60.     What is most likely to cause your persona’s death?
Since it wasn't childbirth... I would have to think about that.
61.     What type of medical aid is available in your persona’s culture/time-frame, and does your persona have access to it?
62.    List at least three of your persona’s goals in life. (Learn to write, become apprenticed to a craftsman, visit the "big city",
        take over the family business, go to the Holy Land, usurp the crown, etc.)
63.    What does your persona know of history/science/medicine/geography?
64.    What’s the most striking scientific achievement of which your persona is aware?
65.    Does your persona consider the Earth to be flat, round, or hollow?
66.    Does your persona believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun, or vice-versa?
67.    What does your persona consider to be the causes of criminal behavior?
Evil spirits invading the body.
68.    What does your persona consider to be the true measure of a man?
69.    Who has most influenced your persona’s thoughts on these questions?
Society and religion.
70.    Did your persona’s culture/time-frame have heraldry?

Friday, November 9, 2012


Things are going to be a little quiet here for a spell while I organize thoughts and projects. I have recently taken back up in working and now I'm trying to juggle a job, being a stay at home mom, and my hobbies. And with the holidays coming up, well, let's just say I'm a busy little bear.

That said, I can tell you what my projects right now are:

I am still working on the Merode cup idea. My work area is adorable and pictures will be forthcoming when I have time to roll everything out of the house (this stump of wood is huge and heavy... I can NOT pick it up) and outside so there aren't toys and everything in the pictures.

I am working on a new story as requested from a lovely woman known as Emer. I should have that written out and tweaked in a few more days.

I have two songs I am working on, both medieval period pieces in another language. It is about time I start showing my status as a courtly performer as well a street performer. It is what we Skomorokhi are known for.

Speaking of Skomorokhi, research is going well and I've been taking notes. I have a big write up I plan on making and sending to the SIG list and possibly another SCA paper for printing.

In my research, I have seen proper clothing, instruments, and other ideas. I have been mulling these all around in my mind and plan to have a single Skomorokhi outfit for silly performances before Pennsic. I also have had offers of some fantastic wood from Arden if I give him measurements for the gusli I want to make. So, I will be scanning in the drawings from the book and see if he and I can figure out measurements and how to make this particular gusli.

Things are going apace. Look forward to updates.

Monday, October 15, 2012

College of Performers

I have only been in the SCA for about five years now. I have touched in various different fields and have many things I truly enjoy. One of those things has been bardic.

No. Not bardic. Performing. I have enjoyed everything from telling stories around a fire to singing in a chorus of people to being part of the Pennsic play. Some day I also home to be an intermission for a commedia act. Performing, in all its aspects, has been something I have truly enjoyed.

From my understanding, some 20 years ago, the East Kingdom College of Bards became defunct. It sounds like, from asking around, there at a lot of reasons to college became defunct. One of the major reasons, and something that caused a huge split, is that the college was a 'college of bards' and kept very strictly to the idea of the Irish bard, and some performers would swear they are not bards. Instead, they would say they were actors or musicians or singers. But they were, most certainly, not bards.

Now, from what I hear, there were a lot of downfalls to the old college. One of them was the need for bards to be in 'levels' of performance ability. This means, there are people 'not as good as you' and people 'better than you' in a roster like chart. It could create a feeling of competition as opposed to the desired camaraderie.

I had heard bits and pieces of sparks trying to catch flame to rework and restart the college once again. I don't think I truly understood everything that was going on, but I really wanted to help as I wanted to feel that camaraderie that I knew so many others also wanted to feel.

So, although I had already heard quite a few whisperings and saw a bit of the hoped for charter and by-laws, I wanted to somehow get more involved. Like many others, I agreed and believed that what we needed was just to get it off the ground and from there things could be re-worked if they weren't working, etc.

I didn't realize how thickly I was going to involve myself, but I had certainly made sure to stand forward and offer my services if I could be of any help in any way. It was at Pennsic that things changed and, as it normally happens, it wasn't in a manner I could have predicted.

Baroness Sabine (the Chatelaine for the college) and I know each other fairly well and both have a similar love of perfume and were planning to have a get together on Monday of War Week. The question was posed, though, of whether there was a meeting for the college that day. If there was, I asked if I could come and was told I would certainly be welcome. So I wandered to ask Linette (the Provost for the college) if there was, in fact, going to be a meeting for the college. Linette, having been busy planning a Vigil for a member of her household, had forgotten about the meeting and began, quickly, to make signs which I offered to drop off at East Kingdom hospitality (since I was volunteering there anyway) as well as Bhakail (where the meeting was to be held) and, if we were lucky, also at the performing arts tent (since I was helping out with the play and hoped it wouldn't be an issue).

Of course because it was fairly last minute, I took it upon myself to also wander around Pennsic to the camps I knew held talented bards of the East and let them know about the meeting. Most, if not all I spoke with, did not know anything about the college or what the changes were (if any) and why I was so excited. So with each person I told about the meeting, I sat down for a good ten minutes to explain more to them about what I knew about the college and what I thought the college meeting was going to be about. A lot of it was going to be about deciding on Deans and other heads of the college. By the time I finished speaking with people, they seemed as eager and excited as I was. Those that were not able to make it, I promised I would speak with them about all we talked about and planned times/days to get together in order to do this.

The people that arrived at the meeting were very excited. Everyone wanted to know more about the college, talk about various aspects of the college, throw out names for the heads of colleges, etc. It was a very good conversation and although there was some nitpicking at things that was not helping move us forward, there were also a lot of things that did move us forward. Namely, the three heads of the college were voted on and names were discussed for Deans. We couldn't finalize Deans until they were spoken to, but at least we had ideas.

Two of the people I had suggested was Deonna and Pocket Bard (aka Katherine Ashwoode). Luckily I had run into Deonna and danced and talked with her briefly about the change in college and let her know her name was mentioned for Dean of music. She didn't have to decide right now and I just wanted to give her an overview, but certainly Linette would approach her to discuss with her in more detail. But she seemed to like the idea from the start and had time to mull it over before approached.

Pocket Bard was one of the people who I informed about the meeting who was unable to make it. So we had already planned to get together to discuss things after and I had mentioned to her, as well, that her name was mentioned. Again, a brief discussion of the college and letting her know she would most likely be approached later to discuss it in more detail.

After many emails and me frantically digging out people's phone numbers and making sure things would happen...

It wasn't long before we had all the heads of the college:

Mistress Deonna von Aachen - Music
Music includes everything from vocal to instrumental performances.
Lady Katherine Ashewode - Oral Traditions
Oral Traditions includes performance in persona, storytelling, etc.
Master Anton Winteroak - Theatrics
Theatrics includes acting, variety skills, setting the stage, etc.
Baron Alexandre Lerot d'Avigné - Letters (still being worked on)
Letters includes poetry, languages, etc.

Mistress Linette de Gallardon - Provost
The Provost resolves disputes.
Baroness Sabine de Kerbriant - Chatelaine
The Chatelaine promotes involvement.
Lord Tristan le Chanticler de Champaigne - Chancellor
The Chancellor attends to policies and compliance.

I was glad to have offered up two names that both accepted positions as Deans. Either way, this was just the beginning.

I started being forwarded on many college discussions for dead lines, things to fix, and how to get us chartered. I asked if they had someone making the scroll for the charter. Long answer, they knew people they could ask. Short answer, no. So I went to my contacts and got someone on board (and they did a fantastic job). With that stress out of the way, it was time for a new stress.

We needed to get royalty on board.

Now, the best time we could think of to do this was at Coronation. Not knowing how to handle this or the best way to go about getting something on the docket, I spoke with a friend of mine who was not only a previous queen but also a herald. She told me to just be frank with them, clear and precise. And so it wasn't long before I had sent an email to the Prince at the time.

I began to worry when I was informed others of the college had too, and suddenly I felt bad for bothering the Prince so much. So, I decided to approach the Queen (who I was at least friendly with and felt comfortable just talking to her on level) for advice. We chatted just about how I could go about getting this on the docket, getting it approved, getting it signed, who I could talk to without bothering the Prince or Princess again...

...and then we heard back from the Prince! We were accepted and we would be chartered at Coronation! The heads were all decided. The charter wording was finalized. The scroll was finished. We were all set!

And then came the heart ache that I couldn't be there. And the small discussion of a gift we could give to the soon to be King and Queen as a thank you. It was suggested that badges could be made and they could be offered to be the first members of the college. And I was asked to make the badges.

With two weeks remaining, I didn't have the ability to do what I wanted to do, but I did manage to make something I was really proud of.

A simple gold fabric with a gold embroidered stitch around the edging. A purple clarion was couched on and a gold thread finger loop braid was attached to make it easier to put take these on and off a belt without taking your belt off. They took some time (especially the beading) but I think they came out well.

The heraldry designed for the college is, in plain terms, a purple clarion on a gold field.

The final wording on the charter goes as follows:

Be it known that We, Edward King and Thyra Queen of the Eastern lands hereby invest the Royal College of Performers as a Guild of the Laurel Kingdom of the East.  The College will promote excellence and camaraderie in the arts while advancing our understanding of the Medieval and Renaissance periods of history through the study, composition, and practice of the historical performing arts and the celebration of the history and culture of our Society.  The College will establish bylaws for its prudent governance, and will pursue these above stated goals in accordance with those bylaws.

Done this 13th day of October anno societatus XLVII by our hand at this, Our first court on the day of Our Coronation,
Edward, Rex Thyra, Regina

Am I happy the college is finally underway? An emphatic YES! I have these visions and hopes and dreams for the college. I see all these talents all over and think about how if we were more organized, we could really do something... as a community.

I didn't realize that performers were missing that feeling of community until I found myself involved in two very specific things at Pennsic.

One was the play. And before the play, a few hours before, everyone was given badges and inducted into the players guild. Everyone hugged and smiled and laughed and patted each other on the back and it felt like a family.

The second... was watching a knighting ceremony for the first time. It wasn't like a laureling or a pelican. From where I stood, having arrived late, I was behind/off to the side of the King and Queen. I could see the tears in the other knights eyes. This wasn't just receiving an award. It was a welcoming into the family. I could barely hold back my tears.

And this is what I want to see with the college. That we support each other, help each other grow. We share our knowledge, and everyone feels they can ask anyone to teach them how to do something. That we become like a family. That we share a camaraderie that, when people are brought in... or when someone moves away... that our actions, our speeches, and how we do things could move people to tears.

I think that this college could be such a boon to the Kingdom. I was honored to be able to help so much with it and look forward to everything it can be. And I know if there is any further help needed or desired, I would like to help. Because although the going has been rough for many of us that have helped, it was all worth it. I have big dreams and see all the good that this college can be.

I am pleased to announce that the charter is official. As of October 13th, 2012... the East Kingdom College of Performers is now a recognized guild of the Kingdom! Vivat! Vivat! Vivat!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Research on the Merode Cup to Prepare for Construction

About the cup:

Benton, Janetta Rebold. Materials, Methods, and Masterpieces of Medieval Art. Praeger, 2009.

Page 166 "The earliest known example of plique-a-jour, and one of the finest examples of this technique, is the Merode Cup, made in the early fifteenth century in France. This covered cup is made of silver-gilt, decorated on both cup and cover with a band inset with panels of translucent plique-a-jour enamel made with gold cells. This unique cup, measuring only 6 7/8 high and 3 5/8 inches in diameter.." size of the actual piece.

"The Merode Cup." The Merode Cup (Cup and Cover). Victoria and Alber Museum, 1978. Web. 16 June 2012. <>.

Silver gilt and plique-a-jour enamel. The inside where the plique-a-jour panels are is plain and separated by bands left in the metal. The plique-a-jour is held in place on the outside with molded frames decorated with applied leaves. The outside of the cup is decorated with pounded scrolling designs. The base of the body is encircled by a girdle. The upper part of the foot is decorated with pounded rosettes and encircled by a girdle. Below the band is stamped with sunken circles pierced with holes (for the possible attachment of pearls?). Soldered to this is a twisted smooth wire and then a base ring.

The base is separately made. It is a circular plate, turned down with a serrate edge visible underneath. “In this plate, in the inside of the beaker, is a cut circle, under which is fitted a print of plique-a-jour enamel, with a design of scrolling foliate stems on a ground of green. […] The enamel is backed by a separate plate underneath it held by a rim with serrated edge and a girdle. The rest of the inside of the goblet is plain.”

The lid has a “machicolated rim and a side stamped with sunk circles, each pierced with a hole”. The side has two girdles above and below a twisted wire. The lower part of the lid has scrolling roses and plique-a-jour paneling. On the inside, these are plain and separated by bands left in the metal. “The top of the cone is pounced with rays. The finial begins with a ring of eight flat-ended bosses alternately decorated with applied leaves (both above and below) and a pounced rosette above. From this rise eight tiny pointed leaves encircling four great leaves enclosing a spike on which was probably set a fruitelet or knob in the form of a precious stone.”

The beaker is compared to a goblet of silver-gilt in the Berry inventory of 1413, decorated in the same manner and probably the same technique. Although the beaker is unmarked and its place of origin a mystery, three countries are considered most likely places of origin: Germany, Flanders, and France.


Theophilus. On Divers Arts. Trans. Hawthorne, John G and Smith, Cyril Stanely. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1979.

Page 99: Making a small chalice
-Before beginning, find and make center point with compass on balanced sheet of metal
-Make a square projection for fixing on foot later
Page 100:
-When silver is thin enough to bend by hand, draw concentric circles
-inside: center to halfway
-outside: halfway to rim
-round hammer on outside to give depth following circles in a spiral
-medium hammer on round anvil to make narrow on outside following circles in a spiral
-When done, scrape smooth with a file
Page 101
-hammer foot just like the bowl of goblet was hammered
-no projection needed
-make sure to hammer evenly so there is no leaning
-when finished, anneal and then fill with wax.
-hold foot with left hand and a thin punch in your right
Page 102
-”seat a boy next to you with a tiny hammer to strike the punch wherever you put it.”
-file and scrape inside and out
-make a square hold inside the knop, same size as projection
-inside, place round thick piece of silver with similar hole
-burnish bowl and foot, inside and out
-rub with cloth and scraped chalk until shining
-slit projection in four and place in the knop and ring
-hit with punch (sounds very much like how a grommet works)

Cellini, Benvenuto. The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini on Goldsmithing and Sculpture. Trans. Ashbee, C. R. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1967.

Page 85: How to fashion vessels of gold and silver
-trim, plane, and round edges of oblong plate
-beat into a rounded shape
-”hammer from one angle to the other driving the metal well to the center” to look like a cross and then reverse the process outwards
-diameter should exceed that of the future vase by three fingers
-balance the plate to find the center and strike the plate to mark the center on both sides
-strike a circle with a compass
-Follow the circles, hammering “by repeated heating and beating”
-do not lose the center point – continue beating circle until diameter exceeds that of future vase
-use compass again to make concentric circles
Page 86
-”movement of the hammer should be in the form of a spiral and following the concentric circles”
-beat and heat until the silver starts to look like the crown of a hat
-metal should spread equally
-draw metal inwards until it is as deep as your model body needs
-use various stakes and the narrow or broad end of the hammer until equally bellied
-work out imperfections as you go

McCreight, Tim. The Complete Metalsmith. Worcester, Massachusetts: Davis Publications, Inc, 1991.

Page 58: Stretching and Sinking
-stretching is when sheet of metal is forged against a flat surface like an anvil
-as tension increases between hammered spaces and unhammered spaces, the metal domes
-advantages: thick edge, rapid progress, overall size stays the same
-disadvantages: depth is limited by hammer access
-cut a disk: diameter + ½ height
-use 20-16 gauge stock
-make concentric circles using a compass to use as guidelines
-sink metal into a sinking block using a ball faced hammer or mallet
-progress from the inside out
-once at a desired depth, bouge(?) the form over a mushroom stake
-sinking blocks are made of wood, using the end grain

Page 60: Raising
-an ancient technique needing only metal, a hammer, and a form to bend the metal on
-diameter of the starting disk is the sum of the widest and tallest measurements
-find the center on the sheet, draw the right size circle, and cut it out
-file and burnish the edges and then anneal
-if vessel needs a flat bottom, leave the bottom alone. Sink, stretch, or crimp to preference
-progress from the base to the edge is called a course: concentric circles a half inch apart
-if edge flares too much, raise a course or two at mid-height

Page 61:
-as raising continues, top edge will thicken
-exaggerate by tapping edge with cross peen
-planish once form is complete
-planish lower half if, midway, stakes will no longer reach inside.
-straightness of a form is checked by a surface gauge or with pencil
-trim top and file if necessary
-to planish, overlap blows and don't hurry
-planishing works best if hammer and stakes/anvils have a mirror finish
-any smooth faced hammer will do
-12-16oz hammer for quick work, 3-6 oz hammer for finalizing


Theophilus. On Divers Arts. Trans. Hawthorne, John G and Smith, Cyril Stanely. New York: Dover
Publications, Inc, 1979.

Page 106: Casting the handle for the chalice
-with a file and gravers, fit handles to the bowl in their proper place
-make two slots, one above and one below for underlying joints
-fit broad pins into slots on each side of bowl
-fasten pins on the inside of the bowl and solder

Page 107: Soldering silver
-melt silver and copper and file into filings once hardened again
-put filings into quills
-grind fired argol in a pot with water and salt until “thick as lees”
-spread liquid on pins (inside and out) with wooden lath and cover with fillings
-let dry and reapply more thickly
-put in fire until solder melts – wash once cold
-may need to apply many layers
-when firm, file and scrape smooth so the solder is not apparent

Cellini, Benvenuto. The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini on Goldsmithing and Sculpture. Trans. Ashbee, C. R. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1967.

Page 93: Of figures made in silver
-a solder composed of one eighth part of an ounce of copper to one of silver
-fix tubes to the bellows to blow from below the bed of coals
-when the work is aglow, blow the bellows gradually to make the solder run
-use borax...somewhere... Stupid Cellini
-if you need more, use water and a tallow candle to make an ointment and place more solder
Page 94
-if you sprinkle ash instead of water to add fresh solder over the imperfect solder

McCreight, Tim. The Complete Metalsmith. Worcester, Massachusetts: Davis Publications, Inc, 1991.

Page 70: Soldering
-solder introduces an alloy that can flow into spaces of expanded metal when heated
-soft solder is from surface to surface and can not be filed flush, but melts at a third the temperature of other solders
-the amount of zinc in silver solder controls the melting point
-zinc vaporizes when heated
-each time you heat solder it raises the melting point
-burning out the zinc will leave pitted seams

Page 71: Soldering Process
-for a good fit: check for gaps by holding work up to the light
-no grease, finger oils, tape, pickle, buffing compound, pencil marks, etc
-flux is needed for oxygen absorption
-equal heating on all soldered pieces for best results
-solder flows towards heat – it can be drawn -into- a seam via torch position
-use just the right amount so as not to have to remove excess later
-if soldering something enclosed, leave room for steam vents
-metal temperatures are best seen in dimly lit areas

Page 72: Torches and Blocks
-different types of torches can be used (I have a canister type on loan)
-Different types of soldering blocks can be used
-charcoal: can imbed the work but is expensive and messy
-fire brick (I have these!): soft, inexpensive, safe but will crumble when a lot of flux is used
-coiled asbestos: flat and relatively soft but respiratory badness – avoid
-ceramic & synthetics: heat sinks and disagreeable fumes when first heated
-wire nest & pumice: very good for annealing when you don't need flat surfaces
-take care of build up of flux glass
-apply flux in fingers instead of on block
-rub blocks together or sand: wear a respirator!

Page 73: Flux
-fluxes protect the metal from oxidation by being an oxygen magnet
-as oxygen combines with the flux and diminishes the protection, seen as a blue or green tint
-borax: a mineral, used in paste form with water
-handy flux: borax based compound, leaves a tough glassy skin
-battern's: flouride based compound, self pickling, not as oxygen absorbing
-boric acid & alcohol: add the acid to the alcohol until a thin paste, dip work into solution
-prips flux: piece is dipped and then warmed till dry, several applications recommended, waterproof
-cupronil: handy for repair work, preserves finish through heating
-hydrogen peroxide: sparex, peroxide, water – pickle first in sparex, exposure to sunlight weakens solution

Page 74: Soldering Methods
-chip: puts on correct amount of solder, serves as heat indicator
-sweat: more control, out of sight, directs solder flow
-probe: good for difficult solder placement, efficient, good for production work
-wire: advantage of probe without needing to cut solder, control is important
-mud: used in commercial assembly, good for filigree, flux can splatter

Page 75: Pickle
-strong chemical bath to dissolve oxidation and flux residue on the surface of the metal
-always add acid to water, wear PPEs, wash hands, keep baking soda close for spills
-pickle absorbs copper ions
-plating can occur if not careful
-introducing steel will deactivate the pickle
-solutions: ferrous: sparex #1, non-ferrous: sparex #2, sterling: water/sulfuric, gold: nitric, water
-best at 80 degrees, do not boil
-flame types
-neutral: sharp point, gentle hiss, medium blue
-reducing: bushy, deep blue, pulsing, best for soldering
-oxidizing: thin cone, angry hiss, pale lavender, not good for soldering

Lost wax:

Theophilus. On Divers Arts. Trans. Hawthorne, John G and Smith, Cyril Stanely. New York: Dover
Publications, Inc, 1979.

Page 105: Casting the handles for the chalice
-shape handles of wax and carve figures on them
Page 106
-on the top of each handle, place a small bit of wax – rounded at a slight taper and the length of your little finger
-called “the gate” and should be “soldered” on with a hot iron
-vigorously knead clay and carefully cover each handle
-fill all holes of the carving
-when dry, cover again except the top of the gate
-when dry again, do it a third time
-put mold near coals and, once heated, pour out wax
-put molds in fire, turned downwards and leave until red hot
-immediately melt silver and add spanish brass
-stand up molds correctly and pour in the silver

Cellini, Benvenuto. The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini on Goldsmithing and Sculpture. Trans. Ashbee, C. R. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1967.

Page 87: How to fashion vessels of gold and silver
-fashion wax into whatever design you wish for handle or lip
-dry and sift earth an mix it with fine cloth shearings and cows dung sifted
-pound tripoli very fine and make into a pigment
-streak over the wax ornamentation
-also streak over the inlet and vent holes
-let it dry before coating with the clay to the thickness of a knife's back
-apply coats in this manner until a finger thick
-bind it all around with iron bands
-more coats of clay mixed with more cloth shearings
-holding vent holes downwards, melt out wax
Page 88
-remove from where it attached to the vase and fill that area with the clay
-bind with more iron bands
-coat with tripoli mixture
-fire in a brick furnace until dry using charcoal
-place mold into a large receptacle full of sand that is moist but not wet
-when silver is melted, add finely powdered tartar to keep it fresh
-take a piece of linen, folded in four and soaked in olive oil, and place over the tartar that covers the silver
-the rag keeps the silver warm and keeps bits of coal from falling into the mold
Page 89: Another method
-mix brick dust and gesso dust with cold water into a paste
-using a hog sable, paint over the wax model
-put it all on at once: after one coat you can layer the thickened gesso on with a spoon
-bind with fine iron wire weaving it all around
-cake the mold with thickened gesso that wasn't sifted moistened with water
-let the gesso dry in the sun or a warm smoky corner until all moisture is gone
-put over a slow fire to melt wax
-this method is quicker than the previous
Page 90: A third method
-cut wax models into small pieces and powder and clay them and put in troughs
-make lead castings from the molds
-clean the lead castings and work them up to cast them in silver in the same troughs
-this method can be used many more times than a single casting

Vasari, Giorgio. Vasari on Technique. Trans. Maclehose, Louisa S. New York: Dover Pulications, Inc, 1960.

Page 161: The fire-resisting envelope applied over the wax
-using moistened ash, cover the figure with a pain brush until concealed
-mix together fine earth, horse dung, and hair
Page 162
-apply a thin layer carefully and allow it to dry
-continue applying thin layers and allowing them to dry until the thickness of half a span
-gird irons around mold
-make vents that issue upwards
-apply heat to the mold, equally, until all wax has melted out
Page 163
-if you weigh the wax going in, you can know it is all out of the mold by weighing it after melting
-no wax = sharp and beautiful
-wax left behind = ruin the whole cast
-put the mold underground and allow for channels to let the bronze flow through
-saw off the surplus to ensure sharpness
-for every pound of wax, use ten pounds of metal
-two thirds copper, one third brass according to Italian rules

McCreight, Tim. The Complete Metalsmith. Worcester, Massachusetts: Davis Publications, Inc, 1991.

Page 88: Lost Wax Process
-most casting uses the lost wax process developed in ancient egypt
-”When the metalsmiths of ancient cultures first developd this technique they made models of beeswax and coated them with layers of clay. The outer layers were reinforced with straw or linen and the dried assembly was set into an oven to harden. Simultaneously the wax was burned away, leaving a cavity into which molten metal was poured. The clay shell was broken away to retrieve the finished casting.” Hence the term – lost wax.
-make a model of wax and mount it on a sprue
-mount the sprue on a base that fits in a 'flask'
-make an 'investment' free of bubbles, and creamy in conistenc and pour into flask.
-dry -then- heat the investment
-while still warm, pour metal into the mold
-place mold in water after only brief cooling to release the casting


Theophilus. On Divers Arts. Trans. Hawthorne, John G and Smith, Cyril Stanely. New York: Dover
Publications, Inc, 1979.

Page 113: Amalgamating and gilding the handles
-take ground argol and salt and put in a large earthenware dish
-pour in water and newly milled gold and a little mercury
-put on coals and stir with a stick
-have at the ready four large hog bristle brushes bound with iron
-two clean ones to wash the gold and silver
-one wet, one dry, for the gilding
-Dip a linen cloth in the hot mixture and rub all over handles – amalgamating them
-heat over the coals and rub them with a brush wet in the same mixture
-continue heating and rubbing until engravings become white because of the mercury
-this sounds incredibly dangerous >_<
-in places you can't reach, rub with copper gilding tool and thing stick
-on a gilding platter, cut gilding material into tiny pieces
-spread evenly with wet bristles
-pick up piece with tongs with tips wrapped in cloth and put back on the coals
Page 114
-once hot, spread more gold material with the brush until it adheres all over
-do this a second time and a third time
-when the gold begins to dry the third time rub it carefully with a dry brush and heat it again
-rub until it turns pale
-if a blemish appears, put on more amalgam evenly

Cellini, Benvenuto. The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini on Goldsmithing and Sculpture. Trans. Ashbee, C. R. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1967.

Page 95: Of figures made in silver
-When figure is cool, scrub with blanching solution
-tartar, salt, water, and I hate you Cellini. Where did you describe this before?
-scrub until figure turns white with huge hog sable brushes
-put figure in water to wash off solution
-dry figure
-gild the figure... but I wont tell you how, just that it was difficult and looked beautiful after


Theophilus. On Divers Arts. Trans. Hawthorne, John G and Smith, Cyril Stanely. New York: Dover
Publications, Inc, 1979.

Page 126: Setting gems and pearls
-have a flat piece of thin gold for each setting where enamels will go
-once fitted, take them out and cut up strips of somewhat thicker gold and bend them around the strips
-this becomes the border for the enamel
-using the same thickness gold strips, bend and shape designs for the enamel
-arrange pieces in proper place, secure with moistened flour over coals
-solder the thin gold 2-3 times until firmly adhered
-melt samples of each color glass to make sure they will all melt well
-Once red hot, put in a copper pot containing water to immediately burst into fragments
-wash fragments and put in clean shell covered with clean cloth
-place gold plaque on a board and, using a quill, draw up moist glass color
-fill in gold design with as much glass as desired
-fill the plaque completely with color
-put plaque on flat thin iron tray with a short handle
-cover with another piece of iron, concave like a bowl and perforated with holes
-heap charcoal on top and burn strongly
-blow with bellows until holes are red hot
-using a whole wing of a goose, fan the coals
-wait half an hour to uncover it gradually
-wait until holes grow black inside and lift tray out
-put aside until completely cold
-take out enamel and wash it
-fill again and melt as before
-continue until evenly filled

Cellini, Benvenuto. The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini on Goldsmithing and Sculpture. Trans. Ashbee, C. R. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1967.

Page 15: Concerning the art of enameling
-make a plate of silver or gold the size and shape of your work
-create a mixture of ground resin, brick, and wax
-using a compass, outline your design
-using a graver, chisel out the design
-a bas-relief has to be about the depth of two ordinary sheets of paper
Page 16
-red enamel does not stick to silver
-I will not tell how enamels are made.. because I am self righteous and pompous
Page 17
-enameling is much the same as painting
-make sure enamel is fine ground
Page 18
-when enamels are washed and prepared, place in sealed jars to keep them fresh
-fresh water will spoil them
-take a clean piece of paper and chew it
-Cellini has no teeth and couldn't do this
-wash out the paper putty and squeeze dry to use as a sponge for the enamel
Page 19
-be careful painting on the enamels
-once the first layer is on, place piece on an iron plate in a furnace
-once enamel begins to run, quickly pull it out of the fire
-once cool, apply second coat and so on until evenly filled

Vasari, Giorgio. Vasari on Technique. Trans. Maclehose, Louisa S. New York: Dover Pulications, Inc, 1960.

Page 112: Vasari's description of enamel work
-if glass is kept transparent, stained glass window effects are obtained
-similar effects are found in smaller scaled with plique a jour or cloisonne enamel
-transparent pastes are fused into small cells on metal plates
-old examples are very rare due to fragility
Page 113
-the oldest know enamels were different colors separated by ridges of metal which gave lines of design
-pastes that were used were opaque and completely covered over the metal they were laid on
-transparent vitreous pastes fused over a metal ground chased in low relief lets light show through
-transparent enamels are also arranged in apertures so as to show by transmitted light

Further research used:

Maskell, Alfred. Russian Art and Art Objects in Russia. Henrietta Street: Chapman and Hall, 1884.

The Cooper Museum. Enamel, An Historic Survey to the Present Day. The Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration: 1954.

Labarte, Jules. Arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. London: John Murray, 1855.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


During Pennsic I got the basics of a new hat started. I wanted to wear it for court, so I put it together, but I will probably be taking it apart to finish the last of what I want on it.

Based on the ideas of:

Beading and Embroidery design
Hat design

Unfortunately, I did the metal portion of the hat when away from the actual design I was using, so I'm not sure how much I like it, but I have tempting ways of fixing it to work better, such as stuffing the made "tunnel" of metal wire with a color that would match both the hat and what I will use as a veil.

This was my first time doing embroidery. It is a metal thread done in simple chain stitch. I'm pretty proud of it.

This is my first hat made with the proper stiffener inside (leather) and I'm rather proud of it. Because it is a more delicate hat with the leather and the velvet, though, it is going to be for court only.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pennsic Highlights

Here are some highlights from war:

The people that stand out most that I met this year and their stories:

Duke Haz - I spent a lot of time at Silverkeep getting to know people better and feeling accepted like family each time I entered their home. One night when I came by to enjoy some time with Sol and Kara, there was a man there and we immediately struck up a conversation. That was when I noticed the coronet on the table. "Uh oh... who does this belong to?" "Oh, that's mine.." says the man. I asked if I needed to bow or something and he laughed and said "good lord, no!" He was so relaxed and gentle and kind. And began asking me how he could go about learning Russian. I pulled out my cyrillic flash cards and we started to have an in depth conversation about the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) between he and myself and Sol. Sol even began describing the differences between now a days Spanish and medieval Spanish... in Spanish, and I completely understood what she was talking about.

We discussed Mussorgsky and I spoke with him about Baba Yaga, basically reviewing my class I teach with him. He promised next year he would bring his piano with him again and he would play me the Baba Yaga piece since, with this information, he would be able to make in much stronger now that he understood what she was all about.

He is also a gamer. He makes his own war based miniatures game. We had a lot to talk about... and I simply adored him. I am hoping we keep in contact.

Cariadoc - Now, this isn't so much a 'going to enchanted grounds' or 'sitting around and having hours long discussions', but it was a moment for me and I felt I should share. I was sitting at East Kingdom Hospitality, glancing out the door so I could call out to anyone who appeared lost or hot and offer them to come in, sit a spell, have some water and grapes and get out of the sun. As I sat there, a man appeared outside looking dazed...confused even. I called out to him with a smile, asked if he could use some water and he thanked me and came inside. He filled his cup, and just as he was about to leave, he smiled and turned to me. "Might I pay for your kindness with a story or a poem?" Certainly! And he asked if I had heard a particular story, and I said I hadn't, so he sat and told it to myself and the guards followed by another story. Then he looked at me, all dressed up in my full Russian, and asked what sources Russian's had for stories. I began telling him of the primary chronicles and he smiled brighter. He asked if there was a Russian story of birds and a burning village to which I smiled and told him the story of Olga. This made him grin and he offered me another story before telling me that I should come to his camp's bardic circle. I exclaimed that I would love to... where was it? Enchanted Grounds, he replied, and I'm certain he saw me shrink as I quietly said Enchanted Grounds scared me a little, made me nervous. He smiled and shook his head and assured me that I was the exact kind of bard that his camp wanted at their fires and then told me where it was. Just as he was about to leave, I held out my hand and introduced myself. And after he left, I looked at the guards confused. "Did that man... just say his name was Cariadoc?" The guards looked at each other and then back to me and shook their head. "Couldn't be. Cariadoc doesn't smile that much. I think we misheard him." Sadly, each night after that it rained so I didn't get to enchanted grounds... but I will certainly be going there next year... and I hope to have a repertoire to make him keep smiling at me.


Casa Bardicci - One of the most important things I wanted to do this year was to help out at Casa Bardicci. The only problem is, I wanted to help out a lot more than I did. Of course, there is always next year. I think that even though I was there for a short time, I certainly proved my worth and they will be happy to accept me back next year. Mostly I got to sit on the roof screwing with some guy. No! Seriously! When I entered, they were all sweet with their "Welcome to Casa Bardicci, lovely lady. What can we do for you?" until they learned I was there to help and the yelled out 'FRESH MEAT!' and handed me a screw gun. I got to climb up top and screw the boards that make the roof/floor down with another guy before helping to install the beam that holds the two portions in place. It was a load of fun and I hope I can do more next year. Having a kid at Pennsic can be difficult no matter when you bring them because it always interrupts something you want to do.

Sol's Vigil - I made baklava for Sol's vigil. I even got there early to help with whatever I could. The kitchen was fully staffed, so I helped set the tables and put out plates and such. I know things were really well taken care of already, but I'm grateful that what help I could offer was fully accepted.

East Kingdom Hospitality - I couldn't sign up on the schedule, but whenever I had free time during the day when things were quiet at camp and elsewhere, I went to sit in EKH to greet people and make people feel comfortable. It was quiet, but I met some really nice people there and, in general, had a lovely time. I don't know if I did as well as people wanted me to since I don't really know what I was supposed to do and the EK encampment makes me nervous to enter, but it was good all the same.

Anne of a Thousand Days - About a week or two before Pennsic, there was a desperate plea for performers for the play. Singers, specifically. And although rehearsals and the actual performance kind of killed some of my week, it was delightful being able to get together with Sol and Kara and Lianor and Lily and sing the songs for the play. There were only two and the words felt off (damn you, King Henry), but that were delightful tunes that will be stuck in my head for a year at least. Everyone enjoyed the performance and I had many people approach me and tell me I did a good job... and that they didn't recognize me in a wimple and only one layer of clothing. Awkward! I was cold. But it was all so very worth it. It is something I would like to do again.

East Kingdom College of Performers - For almost all of Peace Week, I was running between camps and all over the place trying to spur interest in people in coming to the first meeting in quite some time to revamp and breathe life into the EK college of performers. We had a really good turn out, and I know there were a lot of people that were sad they missed it, so I spent a lot of my war week running around places with the charter and notes in hand so I could tell people all about it and let people know changes that were made and how this will be different than the old college of bards. All in all, incredibly worth all the running around. I think we were really productive at the meeting. But yeesh was I tired!

Places I spent time at:

Silverkeep - So many fond memories of spending time with all the fine folk of Silverkeep. You offered me sanctuary and hospitality in such an extreme way that it made my heart swell. I don't think I could ever thank you enough for all your kindnesses, but I plan to. Being invited to some of the special moments your camp has meant a lot to me. Getting to know you all better made my Pennsic a brighter and happier one. The love you all hold for each other is tangible and beautiful. Thank you for including me... and I hope to be allowed to spend more time with you again.

Bhakail - We like people who do things... and stuff! Bhakail, you made my time at Pennsic bright as well. Having my son wake every morning and say 'kids! play with kids!' Allowing me to be part of your Court of Love. Allowing me to be a Nearly Naked Russian and enjoy 3 hours of playing with BPAL. Enjoying the merriment of singing all together in nearly five part harmony with Greensleeves. You are such a fun group. I wish desperately I could spend more time with you all.

Maguire's Marauderers - My Pennsic can't nor will it ever be complete without many stops enjoying time with the Marauderers. Everything from bardic mischief to tea and scones to just seeing what the latest thing John is sewing today. You are so much more than just a pleasant pit stop on my way other places to fill up on fluids. I'm glad you are so conveniently located that I can swing by often. And thank you so much for the use of your ovens! I hope the baklava was enjoyed.

East Kingdom Hospitality - I found I spent a lot of time hanging out at hospitality. I met interesting people. I even was able to give the King and Queen some cream puffs. It was a good time.

Things purchased:

Books - Mostly all I purchased were books. Can we say... research geek? I had no desire for stuff or fabric or trim. Well, not true. I fell in love with some trim but it was then purchased for me for my birthday, so it all worked out. So I bought books. Three books are all (more or less) period or SCA appropriate music. They are technically harping books I bought from Linette, but honestly, they can be used for singing and other instruments. Out of the rest of the books I bought, the two most memorable are my new Russian song book with text in english and cyrillic as well as my book on early russian literature. The later was worth the price for the bibliography alone. I have a feeling I will have a fantastically huge new addition to my wish list soon enough. But, really, that was all I ended up purchasing. Terribly worth it on all fronts.

Classes taken:

Brothel Games - This class is only ever offered the first week and this is the first time I had ever been at Pennsic for second week. So it was very pleasant being able to go to the class, finally. But I was, sadly, disappointed.The teacher mostly rambled and didn't invite anyone to try out the games until the end, really. He demonstrated a few with his two apprentices, but it seemed to lack... something. Probably will not go again, though it was very informative.

Master John's Bardic Masters Class: I went to this last year. In fact, it made me start to fall in love with performing again. So when I was given homework to take the Ave I had been working on to his class, I went. When I arrived the Thursday of peace week, there was only one other student, Pocket Bard. So she and I had a lot of enjoyable time with Master John. I worked with him for a good...15-20 minutes. He said I've improved drastically since last year, which meant a lot to me. It means not only did I listen to what he said last year, but I have also been learning a lot through my vocal teacher. I enjoyed the class so much I decided to drag my student sister there with me next week. He asked me to sing the Ave again before trying a new song, which I did. He said there was marked difference just in a week and he giggled with joy at seeing me use his critiques in my new song I sang for him without him having to mention it. I applied something I learned and it made him so happy! There was certainly a lot of happy with Master John, clapping and giggling. My sister had a good time also performing and getting some helpful critiques. Michael Alewright was there as was Rosalind. It was so good seeing the two of them again. Such great bards, but I don't get to hang out with many much anymore.

Memorable moments:

BPAL - I am getting the nickname in Bhakail of the Nearly Naked Russian. In fact, they are creating a drink for me. Why? Because I came to do BPAL with Sabine and I had to take off just about everything I was wearing so I actually had access to some skin to be able to do sampling on. I had to have tried on over 20 scents and we spent three hours enjoying the perfumes. It was a delightful way to spend a lazy Pennsc afternoon.

Guitar - I brought the guitar with me in hopes of a lesson in positioning/how to play. It did end up happening.There was  playing and singing together. BUT! I did learn some about how to hold the hand, finger positions, etc.

Schmoopy night - Every Pennsic, my household has a night where everyone says what the best part of Pennsic for them is. This year I was invited to Silverkeep's night of sharing. Everyone was drinking. There was a lot of love in the air. And, having never camped with fighters before, it was a very different and slightly humbling experience. It was enjoyable to hear. Different people, different thoughts on life. I'm thankful to have experienced it.

Elevation - I saw two important elevations this war. One was Sol becoming a Laurel. Although I wasn't a peer and didn't speak to her at her Vigil, I was really pressed by Duke Haz to write in her book because he felt my words would be important to her. At the elevation, hearing everyone speak for her, the love in their voice, it brought tears to my eyes. I think I was crying after the procession, as she walked into place. It was simply beautiful. The second elevation I saw was Cedric being elevated to Chiv. This is the first time I ever watched an elevation to the Chiv. It was on the battlefield and I arrived just in time to stand slightly to the side, but behind the king and queen where I could watch the last undefended blow being given by the King himself. The look on the faces of the fighters made my heart swell. This wasn't a knighting, this was a welcome home party, a welcome to the family. And as they exchanged blows and hugs, I began to weep. It was a beautiful and impressive thing to watch. I don't think there was a single dry eyed knight that stood there.

Kokoshnik lost and found - I... had just finished making my blue velvet kokoshnik that had leather inside as a stiffener. JUST FINISHED IT! And I misplaced it on my walk to a concert and was beside myself with worry and grief. But, thanks to the miracles of Pennsic and a kind soul named Alexandra of Silverwood, my hat was found and returned to the lost and found where they called me to let me know it was home.

Concert - I was invited to a 'invite only' amazingly beautiful concert with music of courtly love at Silverkeep camp. It was... gorgeous with three amazing harmonic voices and the soft sounds of tambourine, harp, and recorder. I hope, someday, I may be able to join them in making such delicate music.

Stalker - I had a stalker. Creepy guy with a bowler cap, leather vest with nothing underneath, and a sunburned pot belly. He told me I was a smoking hot pistol and he would do me in a second. Also told me he could watch me all day and night. Just gave me the willies. Put his description in at Security. Saw him once after, but quick moving traffic only allowed him a nod. Glad that was all that came of that.

Parade of Fools - So, at one point when I was helping out with EKH, the parade of fools came by. They were offering to sell us 'secret plans of the enemy'. It was an adult or three and a ton of kids. Gwenlianna ran to gather freezepops for them all and when they saw her, they started yelling 'WE LOVE EAST KINGDOM! WE LOVE YOU!' and then they got down on their knees to grovel saying 'WE LOVE GWENLIANNA! WE LOVE EAST KINGDOM!!!' She was blushing and laughing so hard. It was a fantastic moment.

Dancing - Chris was only at war for three days and I was so busy running around that we didn't do much. The only thing I seemed to get to enjoy with Chris was going to dance on Monday night. It was low key, a good group of dancers, good music, and some good set lists (though not my favorite, but that's just me). I took my sister with me and we fended off her stalker. She was super excited and enjoyed dancing with Nate and... I can't remember what Chris and I danced together. I know we did Black Alman and I did Gracca with Nate. But it was nice being fancy and going to dance for the first time ever at Pennsic.

Kara - Actually getting to spend time and get to know my sister was a blessing I will forever be grateful for. She is such a fantastic young woman and I really enjoyed spending time with her. I am hoping she enjoyed my company as much as I did hers.

Shire Social - Every year there are all these socials. This year I wondered.... is there a shire social at Pennsic? So I enquired. Everyone thought it would be a good idea. It was a low turn out, but I hope next year we get more people and do it again. With so many home brews on tap, everyone had a fantastic time. It was good visiting and getting to know people.

Storms - Oh the storms. They came and went and ripped through the lands with dire force that... well... my tent never had an issue, but when the royalty started removing their crowns at court, yeah, I was worried. But it was still fantastic! I love storms. I love walking, ducking into a camp of friends, riding out that wave of storm and heading on to the next place. It is a great way to enjoy lazy times at Pennsic since no one was going to leave for any reason.

Johann and the dirt pile - We made a raised fire pit at war. The thing is, to make a raised fire pit, you need dirt. So we asked for enough dirt from the Coopers to fill the raised pit. They, instead, dropped off a huge back hoe of dirt. Bad news: mound of dirt particularly in my walk way and close enough to the fire for slight tripping hazards. Good news: Johann got to play in the dirt many times a day with his cars and had so much fun. Of course, he also needed frequent showers. And after the showers.... he got back in the dirt.

Belt - Having gone out shopping and helping to pick out the belts and knowing the purpose of them, at schmoopy time Tristan presented belts to his two students. Purple belts (since it is Kara's favorite color). Kara was so excited and happy. She put it on instantly. It was a good feeling to be part of that.

Court of Love - I had been wanting to go to a Court of Love ever since hearing about them. Upon arriving, Sabine asked if I wanted to be 'lady-fied'. Okay... sure. So there I sat, next to Sabine, Baroness of Bhakail, for a special type of court. I was given fruits and my water was kept filled and I kept being called 'mlady'. I got to see what it looked like for... nobility. It was.. an experience I don't think I want to ever forget. It was a good time, though. I hope I can do it again. I've heard word there may be another Court of Love at Pennsic next year.

Walking around Pennsic - This year was... strange. I'm used to people stopping me and telling me they like my garb. But to have people stop me and say they have watched me the past two years and just got up the courage to talk to me? Am I that scary? But I was told I need to meet so many people. One being the Queen of Aethelmearc. She does Russian. And some other people have told me that Russian's in their camp have drooled over my garb for years now. I felt... flattered. At one point someone was taking a picture of me and noticed a loose thread. They ripped it off claiming that it was for the 'pride of the east this picture is taken' and there couldn't be a stray hair... and took the picture.

Friends - Oh all the friends I got to visit! Each visit was memorable! Each and every one of them! Thank you all for being such wonderful people. Truly. Thank you.To all those I ran into while walking, to those whose camps I searched out.. I wish we all lived so close that this could be a daily thing...instead of annual.

Freezepops - While in Master John's class the first time, a cart pulled up and asked if he would like a freezepop. he said only if he could have one for each of his two students. He then came back into the tent, handing me a freezepop and asking pocket bard which color she wanted. I put my hands on my hips and waved my freezepop and said "I find it humorous that you hand me a freezepop and then ask her which color she would like." He paused and offered me the green one. I held my coveted freezepop closer. "No no. I like my red. How could you tell I like red so much?"

Ave - So, part of the fun of the Ave from Master John's class is that it is a familiar tune to some people. Usually, though, when I sing it everyone just claps and says it is lovely. When I began singing it for him in his class, he shoved his fist in his mouth to hide his giggling. The reason? He loves the song. It was a perfect fit for my voice .It is beautiful. He was just having a difficult time not singing along with me. I couldn't look at him when I was singing because of the smirk on his face the whole time.

Drive-by gifting - While sitting in camp late at night, suddenly someone ran up, quickly dropped something, got back in their van and drove off. It was this... 2 foot high...dwarf...clown... tiki totem thing. With a lei. And wrapping paper. All I can say is.... WTF?!

Things I was sad to have missed:

Getting together with Murphy Blue
Getting together with Katya
Missing Casa Bardicci's hoity toity and the dancing on Wednesday afternoon
Missing two classes taught by someone I really respect and admire
Getting up to the B Blocks to see people in the evening
Registering my name and device
A zillion other things that just passed by me like ships on the ocean