2017 SCA Resolutions, revisited. . .

Looking back at my SCA resolutions from last year, and I got none of them done. Sigh.  Not.  A.  One.  Now, to be fair, my modern work life was in a crap-ton of flux, but I’m hoping for much smoother sailing this year.  Goals #1 (actually finish a project before taking on another one) and #5 (Find the joy) were sort of kind of mostly achieved, but I could do much better.

So, this year, I’m going to try to do the following:
Comment once a month on OSCAR (where heraldic commentary happens).
Make at least a piece of art a month and post it to 12 Months of Crafting
Be gentler with myself
Do the things in the SCA that bring me joy.

What I did do this year:
I wrote a couple of scroll texts: Elspeth’s Lily and Brigida’s Pelican
I won my barony’s A&S Championship, of which you can read more here
I entered Queen’s Prize with a project that was a long term goal to achieve
I tried out the 14th century by making my own surcote and hair pins
I better fleshed out my Rus kit by adding the details with temple rings and the like
Created a new heraldic big board for our Crown tournaments
I painted a few heraldic banners (or heraldic type banners) for friends who needed heraldry on their things (because seriously – if you have heraldry, please put it on all the things!)
I also painted several more small pennons for the Baronial Roll of Arms project, which is now at 63 completed arms (as of last night) – I also still need to blog about this, so that’s on my schedule to write about
I painted a buckler for one of Calontir’s premiers of the Order of the Masters of Defense, as well as two other combat-worthy shields
I designed preprints for the upcoming reign, as well as painted preprints for the current reign
Wrote (and published in a KWHSS proceedings) an article on volunteer management

I have so much that I want to do, but I want to go about it in a healthy sort of way, both mentally, and for my pocketbook, because my computer is old and really should be replaced soon.  So, I have a project notebook (which is ironically a Harry Potter notebook because it’s my second love) that I’ll use to write down the idea and table it for a time where I can afford to do it and keep track of the status of the project.

Below, see the photos of this year’s projects.  Onward and upward!

 

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Posted in about me, banner, brag page, Byzantine, calligraphy, calontir, herald, heraldry, illumination, jewellery, jewelry, later period, persona, persona development, queen's prize, Retrospective, Rus, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, temple rings, volunteer management, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Need Your Help

Hi all – I wish this was an awesome research post or a post about something I made.  Instead, I’m asking for a tiny bit of help with a bit of a modern-day problem.  I’m visiting my Diarmaid, and my computer hard drive ended up needing to be replaced.  I was able to have it replaced (and remarkably, most of my research is intact, along with my documentation).  Unfortunately, it also means that I’m also living on borrowed time.  I’m on a 5+ year old Mac, and well, computers aren’t meant to last forever.

So, I’m raising money to help get a new one.  If my research or blog posts have helped you in any way, would you mind throwing a few bucks my way?  I’d greatly appreciate it.  You can donate by going here.

The new year will bring some more work on bone and tagua carving (I need to make a couple more bone icons), and I’m hoping to do some more research on early period icons.

Posted in about me, musings | Leave a comment

Brigida’s Pelican Text

My friend Brigida had the boon begged to be admitted to the Order of the Pelican back in August.  She asked me to write her scroll text, of which I was pleased to do so.  Brigida’s persona is from 1200s Munich (hence the von München in her name!)  Tumbling down the rabbit hole that are Holy Roman Empire legal texts, I found  few: a decision of fixing the rank of children born of mixed marriages, 1282, as well as Charles IV Confers Nobility on a Doctor of Both Laws, 1360, and Frederick II Confers Nobility about 1240, all found in A Source Book for Mediæval History: Selected Documents Illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Age by Thatcher and McNeal.  It’s available as a free eBook from Google Books.

So, I cobbled together a few things.  Brigida is a middle school math teacher in the modern world, and I wanted to tie in that information into her scroll text.  I also knew that the day she was being elevated was St. Martin’s Day, which is celebrated on November 11th.  There were a couple things I had to fill in, such as the name of the church, however, most of writing this scroll text was filing off serial numbers, fitting in appropriate SCA references, and using the text as it largely was.

Damien II and Issabell II, by divine clemency emperor and empress of Calontir, the king and queen of the Heartland, is writing to inform all that while we were holding court at Deodar on Martinstag, our faithful and beloved council of the order of the Pelican were presented the following question for an official decision: If there is one teacher amongst you whose knowledge exists of both heraldic and mathematical, who teaches and serves all who shall come to her, should she be brought into your ranks as a member of the order?  And all who were present declared that one Brigida von München, scholasticus of the College of Heralds, should have this rank and be clothed in the estate of her station.

Therefore, we strictly command all princes, temporal and celestial, counts, chiefs, nobles, and all our other faithful subjects to whom this letter may come, under threat of the loss of imperial favour, to regard, hold, and treat you as such (that is, as a Pelican of the Society), in all places; and out of reverence for the holy empire to admit you to all the rights, privileges, etc., to which nobles are accustomed to enjoy.

Done by our hand this Martinmas day, Anno Societatis LII in our shire of Deodar, in Peterskirche.

Brigida was very happy to hear the text, especially after it was translated into German (which she speaks fluently) by another friend.  In period, it would have been translated into Latin, but the German felt more right.

It was a pleasure to get to participate in her very big day.  Congratulations, Meisterin Brigida!


Personal updates!

IMG_6011At Calontir’s Crown Tournament, I was made a baroness of the court of Damien and Issabell (video here) for service to the Crown with the Dirty Dozen Donation Derby contests I’ve been sponsoring to help the Crown with ensuring They have enough largesse to last through their reign.  I’m currently researching forms of address that are more period for early Byzantine personae to add to the list that Anna and I have been working on.

The coronet is easily one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever owned, and was the work of Finán mac Crimthainn.  Finán did an amazing job on it, and his sister, Ayisha bint Asad, did a phenomenal bit of work on my scroll.  Jakob Bieryage made the most perfect box for my coronet to live in.  Andrixos’ words made me cry.  I am beyond humbled, and hope to live up to expectations.

Posted in about me, calontir, herald, heraldry, SCA, scroll text, service, Society for Creative Anachronism, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Byzantine Bone Box Icon and Queen’s Prize

I’ve been quiet lately.  Sorry about that (lots of projects on my plate, lots of items still needing to be done).

At any rate, I’ve been quiet as I’ve been working on my Queen’s Prize project.

100_7136

I’ve been intrigued by this little bone icon found in Israel since its discovery in 2011, and even more so since it was found in a Byzantine mansion in the City of David dating to my persona’s time period of the 6th century.

I am happy with this piece, but I see places for improvement.  I also see room for trying out new techniques (and ways to not sand my fingertips off with a Dremel).

With this particular item being considered a “rare find,” it does remind me that being on the path of early Byzantium isn’t easy – Iconoclasm starting in the mid-eighth century and again in the early ninth century means that physical objects and representations may not exist.  A few items were kept safe, however, the lacuna of knowledge is still pretty great.  Nevertheless, finding those connections and trying out the ideas in some surprising ways is pretty fun, and adds a meaning and a context to the person I’m trying to portray.  This was the first time I worked with making my own egg tempera, as well as carving my own box out of bone.

My documentation for the bone box can be found here.  If you have questions, please feel free to ask them!

Posted in Byzantine, calontir, illumination, persona development, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

14th Century Hairpins

The upcoming reign i100_6840s a 14th c reign, with a high persona Coronation, so I’ve been working on a couple of things to augment what I do have, and being able to go as period as possible has been my aim with this particular project.  (Plus, up until this point, I had nothing that quite fit the time period, and Palaiologos dynasty Byzantine Empire is a bit too fussy for me, along with little pictorial representation of lower-ranking clothing.)

Of course, that led down a rabbit hole.  One of the Laurels in Drachenwald, whose  has a fantastic blog on 14th c life, and one of the things she made were a set of hairpins, based on a find in Finsbury Circus, London, dating back to the 14th c.  They’re pretty much hair forks with the two tines, and they’re relatively easy to make, with few supplies needed.  In fact, I had all the pieces I needed here at home.

Things you will need to make your own set of hair forks:

28 gauge non-tarnish brass wire
20 gauge brass rod, half-hard (you can also use a metal clothes hanger if you don’t have brass rod on hand, although you can purchase it for very little)
pliers
wire cutters
a cylindrical shape like a medicine bottle to use as a form
Optional
a file


100_6844Step one
Cut your brass rod to about 7″ long.  You will need two pieces for each braid.  This will be your substrate for the decorative coils, and will be the part that actually sticks into the braids on either side of the head.  If your cuts ended up on the sharp end, you can use a file to smooth them out.  Use your bottle to make a curve in the middle of the rod.  Set aside the excess rod for later use.

Step two100_6847
Use the excess rod to start making a coil with the 28 gauge wire, leaving at least a half inch of wire tail on either end.  You will need at least 5″ of coiled 28 gauge wire, taking care to keep it relatively even.  Once done, pull the coil off.  You will need two coils, one for each hair fork.

100_6853Step three
Once you’ve finished your coils, you’ll want to wrap the tail around one of your bent rods, and then, pulling the coil slightly to loosen it, wrap the coil around the rod, taking care to push the wire together 100_6856every so often.  Keep your secondary coil pushed together, and work until you’ve reached the other tail.  Work gently, twisting the wire closely together so that it interlocks with itself.  To finish, wrap the rest of the tail around the rod.  You may want to bend the pin some more so that it keeps your braid in place.

Once complete, the completed hairpins should look like the first photo, with the coiled coil wrap only covering the top portion of the pin.

Posted in hair, hairpins, how-to, jewellery, jewelry, later period, ornamentation, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, tutorial, wire, wire wrapping | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Barony of Forgotten Sea Arts and Sciences Championship

Yesterday was the baronial arts and sciences championship, which I entered on a lark.  The only caveat to the competition is that I could not have entered a competition with it before.  You may remember the carved Pelican medallion I made a few entries ago.  After buying a jeweler’s saw and blades, I cut the back off so that it was flat (and now I have a tiny chip of tagua to play with!) and carved in a cross of Calatrava with my Dremel.  It is times like this that I really wish I had more hand tools, but that will come with time.

My next step is getting people involved with showing their work off.  The work is beginning, but so is the fun.

 

Posted in brag page, Byzantine, calon cross, calontir, carving, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Elspeth of Stonehaven’s Calon Lily

One of the first people I ever met in the SCA was given her Calon Lily this weekend for embroidery, and lucky me, I was given the privilege to not only write her scroll text, but also do the calligraphy and illumination.

Countess Elspeth has a Scots persona, and so I used a framework consisting of the brieve-charters of King David I of Scotland, who is the same time period and location as Elspeth.  Quite a few were written in Latin (which is not a language I know well), but a few had been translated, so I could use the ideas as presented in them and modify them for SCA use.  After all, Grants and Patents of Arms in period were legal documents granting to the recipient things ranging from arms to a peerage.

In this case, Elspeth is fantastic with her skills with thread and needle, and was granted her Calon Lily (Grant of Arms – Arts, Calontir), so sheep, wool, and a mention of a church (which is where I first met her for a shire moot eleven years ago).

King Ashir exercising the royal authority and power, with the assent and consent of Ashland the Queen, his wife, to the dukes, duchesses, earls, countesses, barons, etc., announces that he has granted in perpetuity to one such Countess Elspeth of Stonehaven her entrance into the Order of the Calon Lily, and all responsibilities, rights, and privileges of said Order. He also grants to the same Countess use of the badge of this order, to wit: Per pale purpure and Or, a fleur-de-lys within a bordure counterchanged.  Also granted to the same Countess a full toft for her use in embroidering fine cloth, beside the church in the shire of Lost Moor. He orders that 1/10th of 1/10th of the tax on wool gathered in the Shire of Lost Moor shall be granted to her for the upkeep of this toft. In addition Ashir grants the ploughgate of land from the desmesne neighbouring Stonehaven with three tofts and thirty acres of moor, fifteen acres on one side of the vill and fifteen on the other, and a croft of meadow surrounded by an old ditch of which the raising of sheep may occur.

IMG_0639.JPGThe inspiration for her scroll was a manuscript, which up until recently was thought to be English but is now thought to be Scots.  I used a Carolingian minuscule on the bulk of the text, and the capitals were done in the same style.  I am quite fond of the large INs that are sprinkled throughout – they give a lot of great visual difference.

On the whole, it’s a simple scroll.  One illuminated capital (which keys off of her heraldry with a unicorn and a dog), and a simple rendering of her with one of her pugs.  I used the tiniest amount of Holbein gold pearl (best gold gouache on the market in my opinion) for rendering her coronet and adding a bit for the background on the illuminated capital.  The other capital letters are Liquitex’s Ink! in red.  (you will want to clean the dickens out of your nibs after using it.  It is an acrylic ink and can rust the nibs, but this transparent red is such a beautifully pigmented colour.)

I hear that she is quite pleased with her scroll, and I am so glad she is.  Congrats, Elspeth!

Posted in calligraphy, heraldry, illumination, paint, scroll text, Society for Creative Anachronism, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Volunteer Management in the SCA

One of the responsibilities of holding an office in the SCA is the proper care and feeding of volunteers. By managing your volunteers appropriately, you engender a sense of joy and fun, and encourage those volunteers to excel. This reduces the need for turnover, and allows others to grow from within the group. Additionally, in an all-volunteer organization, learning to manage people so that they keep coming back is so very important to retention, which the Society Seneschal, among others, has recognized as an ongoing project for the Society. This article will discuss ways to manage volunteers as a volunteer yourself, handle volunteers dealing with explosions of life, and will give a few resources.

The SCA is a volunteer organization. Full-stop. Everyone, from the members of the Board of Directors, to the royals of the twenty kingdoms, to the gentle with their bare AoA, is a volunteer. As a volunteer yourself, please remember that when managing your volunteers, that they have lives outside the SCA. Volunteers can and will walk away as their life demands. This is not meant to scare away other volunteers, but rather to serve as a caveat to the permanency of your volunteers. Commitment is treasured. Create a cause and a passion and a sense of fun for your volunteers to participate in – for here’s where your volunteers will want to stick around. Also, as a volunteer leader, be willing to get dirty and to work closely with your volunteers. It is one thing to direct from on high – it is something completely different to work alongside your volunteers in a true sense of servant leadership.

Communicate clearly and often. In many ways, being visible and active helps keep volunteers motivated and excited. Consider sending emails, posting on your group’s message board, or a quick message using the social media site of your choice. Spreading a wide net of communication means that your volunteers know that you are active and willing to answer questions and to address concerns. Be prompt with your answers to questions. Even if you don’t know the answer immediately, a response of “I’m not sure, but I’ll keep looking,” is still an acceptable response. If something makes you angry, step away for no less than twenty-four hours before crafting a response. Wait another eight hours (at least) before sending it. Showing patience and grace is key.

For new volunteers, be excited when a person is ready to take on the mantle of an office or joins in on a project. Encourage them. Check in on them outside of reporting or event planning time. Suggest they join (and ask questions) on the various unofficial groups (heralds, A&S activities, etc.) Invite them, specifically, to events such as retreats, A&S nights, or to fighter practice. Keep things fun. Consider gifting inexpensive items that may help them on their path [1]. Open lines of communication are one of the best ways to keep the excitement up and volunteers interested in doing their job.

Mid-level SCAdians often look for a place within the Society to learn more things. If they’re looking for new things to learn, have a conversation with them. Encourage them to take on positions that are well-suited for them or ones you could see them growing into, especially if you are in a position (e.g. Regional, Kingdom, or Society level) to do so. Even as group officers, this is a perfect time to get mid-level SCAdians involved in the process of being a group officer if they haven’t. Consider taking them on (if they’re amenable) as a deputy, with consent of your senior officer.

SCAdians who have been around a while are often self-directed. People who have held your job before you will be your eyes and ears, as well as your resources. Lean on them as much as you can for help.

Thanking your deputies, both publicly and privately, is so very important. As you are not the Crown, you cannot directly award AoAs or awards as such. However, being prompt with writing award recommendations to the Crown can help your deputies feel recognized for their time. Write thank you notes, messages on Facebook, or an email. Tell them that they matter to you. Thank your deputies and those who pitch in and help out consistently.

Don’t try to control every part, however small, of the activity or your deputies or the people you directly lead. Much like in a professional work environment, people do better when they’re given the responsibilities and support to do their jobs. They thrive. Let your SCAdians do the same. Check in with them at events, talk with them, but let them do their work.

Most volunteers (new, old, and in between) are content to do the job, and want to do it well. On the flip side, however, sometimes volunteers are struggling to do their jobs well. Burnout occurs. Modern life gets messy. Attacks of life happen. If those things happen to one of your volunteers, talk with them first. Make sure their modern lives are okay.

Talk with your volunteer, either by phone call or a meeting at an event. Let them know that while they have made a commitment to serve, their modern life takes precedence over the SCA. If they need to take a break, allow them to do so and to step away with grace. After all, a broken vessel cannot serve. Supporting your volunteers when their modern lives are less than stellar helps them feel cared about, and they’re more apt to come back after their life returns to more normal circumstances. Follow your phone or face-to-face conversations up with emails to them.

However, there are times when burnout happens, sometimes, and can sometimes manifest in less than positive directions [2]. If the undesirable behavior or action continues after you’ve initially talked with your deputy or volunteer, then it’s time to start setting an action plan in place. Be fair, compassionate, but also firm. Start small (a warning, if the officer is just not doing their job; or perhaps a conversation to see what the real issues are if they just seem “off” and unlike themselves) before going to a thermonuclear detonation (replacement or further sanctions). Document everything. Email your deputy to remind them of their commitment and of your conversation. Again, be firm, but fair. Firing a deputy right away can scare potential deputies from filling in.

Lastly, if the deputy still is not doing their job, remove them from office, replace them (if you can get the blessing of the previous deputy, this will go a long way), and while not indicating the reason for the changeover, publicly thank the previous deputy for their service and welcome the new one.

Example: A volunteer has an attack of life and cannot do their job with any frequency, but promises that they’ll get around to it as soon as they can. A month passes, and still their job is not getting done. As a result, it is affecting the ability for your group to get the bigger job complete. After a meeting via phone call or in person, where it is discussed that the job needs to be done by the volunteer, the rest of the boundaries and expectations for the job/position are laid out in detail. Follow this up with an email detailing the issue and the detailed plan as soon as possible. Check in with the volunteer by checking in on their activities. In the event that the job is still not getting done, you may wish to speak with the deputy again by phone or in person, and put together an action plan (the activity needs to be completed by a particular date, or else replacement will occur) will need to be put together. Again, an email should be sent to them detailing what the action plan is, and what needs to happen. Lastly, if the deputy still is not doing their job, remove them from office, replace them quickly, and while not indicating the reason for the changeover, publicly thank the previous deputy for their service and welcome the new one.

Want more resources on volunteer management? Check out how other non-profits manage their volunteers. Sources like idealist.org, nonprofithub.org, and even the United Way have their best practices listed. While not everything will apply to the SCA, it is a good base to start with.

In closing, the SCA is a much more welcome and friendly place when our officers do what they can to make their own environment welcoming and friendly, and when your volunteers are happy with their work within the Society, it shows.

—————————————–
Footnotes

1. For example, one of the things I gave to brand new heralds as a newcomer’s gift from their Principal Herald were mini-packs of Crayola Pipsqueak markers, which were purchased at Dollar General for $1.50 a pack, which both helped them in designing their heraldry, but came in handy at consult tables. If you are an A&S Minister, items such as string, beads, extra fabric, paint, or items to make more stuff with may help.

2. The following section is more for those officers/volunteers who have hiring/firing capabilities. (Event Stewards, Territorial Baronages, Principality or Kingdom Officers, etc.) Again, most volunteers excel at their jobs and do a tremendous job of keeping the SCA in their part of the Knowne World running.

Posted in SCA, service, Society for Creative Anachronism, volunteer management | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

AMA Question #1

Space_wolf asked:

How do you keep your veil (particularly the outfit you wore when stepping down as Gold Falcon Principle Herald – https://kaloethina.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/gobsmacked/) in place, or do you just accept that over time it might shift / slip?

Also, before I start answering this question – go to her blog (which I’ve linked above)! She’s got some awesome tutorials that she’s done for her LARP group. They’re very cool!

So, in short, things do shift. Gravity is more than just a force of nature. Physics does exist. That all said, things that can be done to mitigate veil shifts.  I confess my hair is the sort that’s pretty slippery.  It doesn’t stay in braids long, and all attempts to keep it slicked back in something other than a ponytail usually doesn’t last long.  Welcome to the struggle that is my life.

And, the thing is, in most places and classes in pre-1600s Europe, hair for most noblewomen remained covered.  (Noted exceptions: royal women [read, queens and princesses] could generally do whatever they wanted with their hair.  Who’s going to tell the person who has the power of life or death what they can and can’t do with their hair?)  However, as much of European custom varies from location to location and time to time, please research the area you’re most interested in.  Take a look at art from the time period to get an idea!  Keep in mind that Europe, and especially Northern Europe was cold!  Covering one’s head kept warmth in!

Also, cover your head, especially if you’re outdoors.  Sunburned scalps suck.

First, the non-period answer, and what I did when I was still new (and until I figured out how to pin things!) to the SCA.  I bobby-pinned the ever-loving crud out of my veils.  You can see it in a lot of my portraits.  It’s just not period (nor particularly pretty) but it is serviceable.  For events where you might be outside and don’t want to lose pins or your veils (and you don’t care about making the period choices), this may be a good option.

100_6802.JPGSecond, the period answer: pins.  Many hairstyles in pre-1600s Europe use coifs, braids, wimples, and various other items to help veils stay in place.  Speaking from personal experience: this is not always foolproof because physics is a thing.  Wind happens.  You may have an incident with a doorknob catching a veil (welcome again to my life).  Things happen.  This, though, works out pretty well.  A bit on pins – there’s not a lot of changes between what has been found and what currently exists.  For more on Roman glass-headed pins, you can check out my entry here.

Back to pins in hair.  Much of this is based on what I do for Byzantine, which is going to be different than most of Europe.

Step one: put on a turban.  This works for a large portion of Byzantine representation, and really helps create the silhouette of the head (which, as discussed here, is oddly bulbous).

Step two: find a lightweight scarf.  I usually use pashminas.  They’re plentiful, relatively inexpensive, and can be used to fantastic effect in this manner, plus they bear resemblance to other headcoverings used in contemporary Byzantine art.

Step 3: pin the scarf to the turban.  You can see the effect here.  (Pardon the silly face.  I was talking in the photo, but you can see how it works.)  In the photo above, you can see the variety of pins that I own and use.  Some are handmade from scratch, others were gifts.  Some are even commercially made glass-headed dressmaker’s pins.  Use what your budget will allow.  I promise these will work, provide you get long enough pins.  When I pin my veil to my turban, I will put one pin in on the crown of my head (it should be in line with your shoulders), and then the next one parallel to that one a few millimeters away.  This, so far has worked for me, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

Step 4: Either tuck in the ends into your belt or over your shoulders (or both).  This helps keep the scarf out of the way, and helps support the scarf itself.

But, Konstantia, it’s too hot for a turban!  What should I do then?

Braid your hair in a milkmaid braid.  Put a veil on your head.  Pin it to your braids, leaving room for the veil/scarf/pashmina to have room to fold over a little bit to hide the pins that are still parallel with your shoulders.  You can see that effect here.  (Again with the catching me talking, resulting in silly faces.)

Again, this isn’t foolproof, and things will shift, but you lessen the chance to adjust.  Same with using wimples and the like for 1200s onward.

Hope this helps!

If you are interested in having your question answered, please feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me on my Contact page!

Posted in ask me anything, Byzantine, hair, hairpins, later period, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, veil pins | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ask Me Anything!

It’s been a while.  So much for keeping up with my New Year’s plans.  At any point, gratuitous project pic!

Tagua nut is also known as vegetable ivory, and is carved using a lot of the same methods, and has the benefit of being vegan and sustainable.  This piece isn’t necessarily a period piece, but rather more SCA in focus, however, Byzantine ivories are impressive pieces and I’d like to try my hand at one of these in the future.

I did use my Dremel, though this particular piece isn’t completely done.  I’ll be slicing off the back for more carving, though perhaps with something more simple, like a cross of Calatrava or the like.  I’ve been waiting for saw blades to get in so that I could do the nice fine-grained cutting that a piece like this needs.  Unlike carving copal or amber, it is a much harder substance to carve (I sanded quite a bit off instead of carving with a bit), but it takes ink stain beautifully, and is wonderful to scrimshaw, too.  It does, however, burn very easily, as it is vegetable matter, but I used this to some advantage to create texture and colour for the nest, which is about the colour this turns when it burns.

So, while I’m doing some more bits and pieces, I want to keep my brain active towards Byzantium.  My friend Anna is also doing the same on her blog, so check her out, too. Got a question about Byzantium?  Material culture? Religious studies of the period?  Early period Byzantium have you stumped?  Ask me your questions, and it’ll show up in a future post.  (I will, however, not do your homework, so, you’re getting citations on interpretations so you can come to your own conclusions.)

Meanwhile, back to the scriptorium!  I look forward to your questions!

Posted in about me, about this blog, brag page, carving, engraving, SCA, service, Society for Creative Anachronism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments