Works in Progress

By Lady Mary of Montevale
Features Reporter
Photo by Lady Mary of Montevale
This Norse dress is proudly displayed by its maker, Katherine von Roessler.

The Youth A&S Exhibit, now in its fifth year, attracted 15 displays on Tuesday morning. In the words of Mistress Safia al-Khansaa’ (East), the only Youth A&S Coordinator since the exhibit’s inception, “This is a wonderful opportunity for the youth.”
This year’s participants ranged in age from 3 to 15 (although the upper limit is actually 17), and each had written their own description of their project on an age-appropriate form. (Even when the handwriting is Mom’s or Dad’s, the words are from the young exhibitor.)
Beyond obtaining the above facts, this reporter had little else to do since a couple of exhibitors were happy to evaluate what they were seeing of their peers’ work. One was making tokens of wire and beads to award to her fellow exhibitors.
Of an antler-handled saw: “It’s absolutely gorgeous…and a bit menacing.”
Of a drinking horn: “Absolutely amazing.”
Both these items were displayed by Brandyn (11, East) who also demonstrated the process of filing down another antler for a second handle during the three-hour exhibit. The drinking horn, once in possession of some cow or other, is decorated with the image of a Celtic wolf. The art of carving runs in the family. Brandyn’s father started teaching him when he was about seven. Brandon has been helping out with the early stages of some of Dad’s pieces. This year, Brandyn’s first at the Youth A&S exhibit, he will be doing all the work on some pieces of his own. Dad, by the way, is the creative impetus behind the Pennsic Memorial Runestone project.
“The Viking spiral beads are really cool.”
Grania of Dernehealde (10, Middle) started making the spiral beads about a month ago, using a kit which is period in the design of its components and colorful wire of the kind available from any craft store. The resulting necklace of tightly-spiraled wire beads also contains some donated and found metal charms.
Of the felt shoes: “Amazing. I couldn’t have done it.”
Thora the Destroyer (8, Æthelmearc) displayed not only the warm, soft, colorful felt shoes but a photographic record of the entire project from start to finish. No doubt about it, the most tedious, labor-intensive part of the project was squeezing out the excess water that had been part of the felting process…and squeezing…and squeezing—100 times, checking it, squeezing fifty times more, before then it was at the point of being just about right.
Of the linen Viking apron dress: “Drop-dead gorgeous.”
The butter-yellow apron dress and white linen underdress are the outfit that earned Lady Katherine von Roessler (12, Middle) the tie for champion at the Barony of Flaming Gryphon’s first-ever Youth A&S competition earlier this year. She asked that appropriate credit be given to her mentor, the Baroness of Flaming Gryphon, Duchess Sabine de Rouen, who supervised her sewing and helped her to correct some mistakes.
Katherine said of the exhibit at Youth Point, “I liked a lot of them, but my two favorites were by Megan and Cerdiwyn.”
Megan (15, Caid) had three very pretty necklaces on display, made of materials such as garnet chips, chips of mother-of-pearl, amethyst, and freshwater pearls.
Ceridwyn (12, Atlantia) displayed a stunning pencil sketch that is the “planning stage” for an illumination.
A&S projects can also be a learning process for more than just the immediate skill of making something.
Regarding garb: If you outgrow the clothing before you have finished sewing it, finish it anyway and give it away to someone who can use it…who will also outgrow it and pass it on to yet someone else, and you can smile when it see it several “generations” later, still being used by someone in your local group.
Regarding rose beads and science, a project by Lady Ana Ximenez de Hume (age 11, East): The “goop” obtained from cooking Damask roses in a cast iron pot results in beads with the strongest smell, while the “goop” of Rosa Gallica cooked in an enamel pot results in beads with the best color.
We adults at Pennsic speak often of the need to raise the next generation of the SCA. The Youth A&S Exhibit is evidence that, at least in some aspects, our work is nearly done.