ANST - RE- A&S Judging

Mark Harris mark_harris at
Thu Aug 14 09:01:45 PDT 1997

Aquilanne said:

> Even with a rudimentary system like that displayed in the form
>from Atenveldt's Estrella war that Damon listed in his posting, you'll
>notice that "complexity" and "aesthetic value" are two of the major
>criteria--20 out of 45 possible points.

And thereby touched on what I see as the prime fault in this list, and
yes, in most A&S contests. That accuracy need not be there if pretty
and complexity are.

Under this system it appears that a complex, pretty candlestick holder
made out of aluminum turned on a machine lathe could well beat a
lopsided, drinking bowl hand carved of rough wood. The latter may well
be quite accurate for a woodsman of the 12th century in the frontiers
of eastern Germany. But the former would win because it is complex and
aesthetic even if produced with modern materials with modern tools in
a non-period form. Again, complexity and aesthetic value often get
more credit than authenticity.

To cite a less exagerated example: The simple six sided wood box with
period oil finish vs. the fancy, 16th century box with grooved
construction, covered with jewels and finished in poly-finish.
The later might be similar to a one of a kind item in a museum
collection. The former resemble boxes made by the thousands throughout
Europe. Which is likely to win a competition? In most SCA contests,
the later.

Stefan li Rous
markh at


To be removed from the Ansteorra mailing list, please send a message to
Majordomo at Ansteorra.ORG with the message body of "unsubscribe ansteorra".

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list