ANST - Practical arts and sciences

dennis grace amazing at
Sat Aug 16 22:29:16 PDT 1997

Stefan said:
>Umm. I guess Stefan is just full of complaints, but I don't consider the
>"goat-to-coat" or "wool-to-sweater" and such to be good representatives of
>medieval work either. Because other than in a few rare cases, one person
>did not do the work in all the stages involved. Particularly as local and
>then more distant trade developed, medieval tradesman bought the raw
>ingredient(s), refined it and then sold it to someone else who did more
>work on it before it finally found a final customer. Although these are
>of great use as teaching tools.

You make a very good point.  This is the primary reason *why* there is a
certain amount of leeway allowed for non-period facsimile
materials/techniques; not everyone can provide themselves with all the
period materials/techniques needed to do a piece as it was done in period.
If you're going to do a scroll and don't have access to real gold leaf, or
can't afford it, I think it would be unreasonable to penalize an entry
because of it. Likewise, if you want to dye a piece of wool you've just spun
and woven but don't have access to real woad, or are allergic to it; or if
you brew and can't get your hands on juice from apples pressed in a period
press; or bread made in a modern oven because the baker doesn't have access
to a period oven. Thank you. I couldn't have made that point better myself.

>I still would like to see some practical items. Brewer's: You buy your
>apples as juice. How about a medieval apple press. I still don't think
>it has to be a piece of art. Just fuctional, using medieval materials
>as you can. Breadmakers: how about an oven? Carpenters: a set of working
>medieval handtools. I know of several who have partial sets. Pewter
>casters: period casting setups using charcoal and bellows. Instead of
>electric pots or propane tourches. I'm working on this. Carters: How
>about some period carts for moving stuff around SCA sites?

I love seeing practical period items; I love being able to *find* practical
and period items for personal use, even. I don't blame you for wanting to
see period practical items. But see them where? Why insist that a
less-than-artistic item be judged equally alongside an artistic item as
*art* when that item could just as well--and more appropriately--be entered
as a *science* with some well-constructed research?

>Anyone else got any suggestions, even if you don't think you are capable
>of building the item yourself?

How about background info on those lightweight, filmy bedouin-type tents
that look like they just sprawl semi-amorphously about their sites? Anyone
know how to make them, what they were made of in period, what periods were
they used in, who (average folk or noble) used them, what they're called,
etc? I've seen set-ups like this at Estrella before, and it just seems a
really appropriate type thing for this part of the country, and maybe a
little cooler than the average blue/grey/green camping tent.

Also, does anyone have a good lead on inexpensive parchment? Kate's Paperie
in NY sells it for $40 per 18 x 24 goatskin (and $9/8 x 10 sheet and $17/ 11
x 14 sheet). Is there anything available closer to home? Is there anyone in
Ansteorra actually making parchment?



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