Getting Started in Arts and Sciences

Getting Started in Arts and Sciences

If you are a new member, want to meet new people, want to try to make something you saw at an event, or just want to try something new in Calontir, the following page is made completely for you.

A survey was sent out through social media to the populace of Calontir, and the populace responded. This page is intended to guide only and in no way should be referred to as gospel on how to participate in arts and sciences in Calontir.

You would like to get started participating in arts and sciences in the Kingdom of Calontir, but you don’t know where to start. What would the experienced members tell you to do?

  • Attend classes at RUSH, Lilies War, or Pennsic War. For some fields, like ceramics, a local arts center may offer the best combination of instruction and work facilities.
  • One experienced member said: I would try and point them towards someone I knew who worked in the area they were interested, give them any info I happened to know about it off hand, and point them in the direction of any resources I may be familiar with.
  • Look at what others are doing and ask them to teach you. Most people will be happy to show you!
  • The A&S ministers are great resources to find experts, teachers, fellow enthusiasts, online and print resources for just about any interest imaginable. Of course, the best thing to do is just introduce yourself to anyone you see doing something cool, and ask about it. The problem is usually getting that person to let you get a word in edgewise. My personal response to this question is usually “Let me introduce you to Lord Whoits and Mistress Gotsits, experts in thingamajigs.”
  • I would ask questions first… What draws them to it? What would they like to do with the knowledge? And then offer one of the following: Come to “such and such class with me” OR I can pull resources from my head and show them, OR (dependant upon what area they are from) I suggest people who can support their interests and say I know a few people who are ——- level with that art/science, let me introduce you.
  • Google is your friend. Nowadays there is such a breadth of information online that can be incredibly helpful when you are starting out in an area. Also ask in your local group and see what projects you might be able to work with someone on. That can be a great start.

Here is a helpful list of things anyone can try to experiment with in arts and sciences at an event or at home.

  • Making garb (clothing)
  • Cooking
  • Calligraphy and illumination (scroll work)
  • Dance
  • Fiber arts (needlepoint, embroidery, cross-stitch, weaving, lace-making, spinning, braiding, dyeing, etc)
  • Heraldry
  • Philosphy
  • Research
  • Metalwork

You have been doing simple arts and sciences, here and there, at the events you attend. You confide in an experienced member that you’d love to hone your skills. What advice would an experienced member give you to get involved in bigger projects?

  • Do. Keep doing the art or science. Travel. Find others who do the same art and science and pick their brain. Remember, unless you stop doing the art or science, you have probably not created your finest example of your skill.
  • Know who else is working in that area in the Kingdom. Become part of that group of artisans, and part of their discussions, etc.
  • I would tell them that with practise your skills will increase, keep at it, push your envelope, and try things related to your craft you haven’t before.
  • Research. See how it was done in period, and try it that way. Experiment. Even a failure will teach you something.
  • Practice and research. Find a mentor.
  • First; don’t overwhelm yourself! Take a project in stages. Maybe start with something small, or a skill that can be built on. Queen’s Prize Tournamant is a good event for providing a deadline on a project, and then getting feedback.
  • Research. Research research. Talk with others working in the same subject.

Where can you get constructive feedback on an art or science project?

  • Queen’s Prize Tournament
  • Constructive feedback can come from anyone, but expert suggestions tend to come from people who have experience in doing the same sorts of projects. Even their failure stories can be helpful.
  • By entering any A&S competition locally or at the Kingdom level.
  • Symposiums.
  • Classes at events.
  • Local meetings, the SCA social media, events, and any chance meetings with SCA folks. Basically anywhere you happen to be in communication with SCA folks!
  • Queen’s Prize is marvelous for getting feedback. Don’t be scared off by the awesomeness of some of the entries–beginners are encouraged as well. Talk to others who do the same thing, and ask them what/how they do it. Take classes. If you can get to a foreign war, like Gulf or Pennsic, you can take classes from teachers from other kingdoms, who might have a different approach.
  • A&S round table, A&S competition, guild, Laurels, and other ranked artisans.

We asked experienced members how did you get started in Arts and Sciences within Calontir or the SCA?

  • I sang in the Royal Pavilion in the key of Army.
  • Embroidery as a fifteen year old in Madison, Wisconsin. Then metal working related to making armour. Later, stone carving and ceramics as an extension of mundane college art classes.
  • Slowly. I was kind of shy and a little more nerdy than most. Since the Bardic Arts ended up being the center of much of my A&S, it seems pretty amazing I got this far…
  • I cooked for civil war reenactments before the SCA. All I had to do was adjust my ingredients for the middle ages. I experimented in camp at Lilies about 8 years ago and was noticed by the crown.
  • Preprints. It helped build my knowledge and skills. Talking to other artists helped. Taking classes.
  • I invited a friend to the Farmers Market and she helped me get into Medieval Cooking.
  • I’ve always had a passion for costuming and clothing and the SCA gave me the perfect outlet to explore that passion and develop it.
  • I was inspired by beautiful things others had done, took lots of classes, and finally started making things useful for my garb or camp.
  • Encouragement from others who were already doing the same thing. General encourage from some GOAs and Laurels. RUSH classes.

We asked several experienced Calontir members: What has been the most rewarding part of serving the Kingdom, for you?

  • That I can actually create things of value to others.
  • Giving gifts that people have not seen before or are something they’ve always wanted (or didn’t know they wanted until they saw it!), and coming up with new/innovative ways to work on projects. Additionally I am a pewter worker primarily, and have donated many site tokens. It really makes me feel good because when I was young in the SCA that was more commonplace, and I loved it as a newer member. It is very rewarding to help bring that trend back for our new generations coming in and experienced members alike.
  • I like having nice things. I like understanding how they came to be, why they are like this, and not like that. I like showing people that some things aren’t as difficult/scary as they had imagined.
  • Being able to create things for others that they really seem to love. And teaching. Teaching is gooood.
  • I have made many friends and learned to cook dishes from around the world in many time periods.
  • I’ve been told that I created a “medieval moment” for others when I wear the clothing that I’ve created. That is the highest form of praise I can think of. It makes me feel that I’ve truly connected with the past.
  • Research…I love research. And finding others who get all nerdy about the same topics with me.
  • Giving largess. Teaching others. Judging Queen’s Prize and Kingdom A&S.
  • Learning All The Things! Really, the joy of creating something cool, useful, beautiful, and unique is the best reward ever. To add to the ambiance, give someone inspiration, to hear someone say “wow cool, maybe I could do that…”
  • The research. Creating and reviving old games that have not been actively played for hundreds of years (such as Daldos) is great. But show that Daldos did not originate in the 1800’s but instead show a link to a 13th Century English manuscript, and a carved barrel top from the wreck of the Mary Rose, and to a grave site find from Novgorod is super cool to me. From there it is the strategy that went with the game to see what rules are actually fun and would have made sense. Games are an unlimited source of research.

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