A & S standards
gunnora at bga.com
Thu Oct 24 18:05:48 PDT 1996
>Thank you for your kind reply Mistress Gunnora. Here is a question I
>have had and I still get from some of my shire (Tempio) friends. What
>is documentation? Why is it needed?/What purpose does it serve? What
>should be included in it? How long should it be? Should it be changed?
>If so, how? When?
>There always seems to be so much that I _need_ to put into my
>documentation, but I have heard that too much is too much.
(1) What is documentation?
Documentation is written notes which describe what an A&S entry is and why
it is an example of a period art or science.
(2) Why is it needed?
First, how can one produce a period A&S entry without first doing research?
You have to do some, or how else do you know that your art form is period?
Next, you have to show the judges that the entry is an example of a period
art or science, and quoting your research does this. Third, documentation
explains where your entry deviates from period practice, and explains why
the deviations were necessary or desireable: folks learn from seeing your
arts and reading your documentation, and without this type of explanation,
folks will tend to believe that the most unlikely things are period. Last,
your documentation serves as a means of educating others about your art form
(3) What should be included in it?
Minimal documentation should have some background on the entry, explaining
its period antecedents. Normally this involves quoting some authority from a
book, and may also include photocopies of photos, paintings or
illustrations. Some competitions require a minimum of three or more sources,
which is good because it encourages the artist to go out and learn a little
about the project.
Documentation should have some explanation of how you crafted the item. It
is good to mention when you have used medieval methods or materials, since
this is much more impressive than using your Dremel tool or an airbrush.
(Extreme example: I killed the deer myself with a hand-made longbow and hand
made arrows and then sawed the bones with a saw I made myself, shaped the
bone into needles using pumice by hand, and drilled the holes with a
bit-and-brace I borrowed from the museum's medieval collection.)
Documentation should explain where you used non-period materials, methods,
or designs, and explain why (I used faux ivory because elephant ivory costs
too much and I don't like using real animal parts).
These notes are just a general outline. I can give much better advice about
documentation if I know what type of thing is being documented. Different
projects require different approaches.
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