By Lady Mary of Montevale
Artisans’ Row hosted its first ever Pottery Day on Friday, and it proved to be quite a popular (and delightfully messy) activity for all ages. “Pottery is great for families,” said instructor Baroness Laurens de Vitrolles (Caer Adamant, East). “You can develop your skills as you go along.”
She and other potters at Pennsic decided that a pottery day would be the best solution for overflow attendance at the more traditional pottery classes conducted in previous years. An almost equal mixture of adults and youth were working at four plastic-covered tables on Friday. The day’s heat meant that everyone needed to frequently moisten their clay to keep it from becoming too dry to work with easily.
Sir Ragnar Karlsson (March of Tirnewydd, Middle) brought his daughter Zoe and her best friend Wendy, both age four, and he was busy fashioning two drinking cups, one for each of them. “This is easy kid entertainment,” the novice-to-clay knight explained as he used his palms to roll out long ropes of reddish-brown clay on the tabletop and then coil them to form the cylinder of a cup. Zoe had already used a rubber stamp with a floral pattern to embellish a lozenge-shaped medallion for her mother.
Liz (East) had also chosen to make a cup of coiled clay rope, but instead of smoothing its exterior with her fingers moistened in water, she was using a wooden tool to incise marks evenly along the coils so that the surface of her cup with resemble a woven basket.
Baroness Laurens announced that all the items created at Pottery Day would receive their first, or bisque, firing sometime next week provided that they were sufficiently dried by then. Master Simon de Okewode, who has a kiln at the War, has generously offered space in his third firing of this Pennsic next week.
The dark, damp clay being rolled by hand or large rolling pin on Friday will become a terra cotta (orange) color after that first firing. One way to create a lovely patina of age on the pieces, the Baroness told me, is to rub them with black or brown shoe polish (instead of using a glaze) so the dark color of the polish settles into the 3-D designs stamped or carved into the item.
Her Excellency got involved in pottery when she was an art major in college and has been teaching it in the SCA for about a decade.
Friday she was teaching some older youths and adults about making clay tiles which might be used in a garden or for some decorative purpose indoors. Even with wooden guide strips and rolling pins to guarantee a tile of even depth all over, and with a variety of rubber stamps to make Celtic patterns, medieval flora and fauna, or Oriental chrysanthemums, the tile maker’s hands are going to get dirty. But that’s part of the fun of playing with clay.
A particularly nice tile was being created by Telyn (Æthelmearc) who will be a high school senior this fall. When he was finished, the Baroness came over to inspect his handiwork. “This is the essence of a medieval tile!” she exclaimed to the grinning young man.
By Dara of House Gawain
The second annual Rapiers to Riches rapier tourney was held on August 5. It was presided over by Lord Lorenzo di Calabria of the Barony of Brendoken of the Middle Kingdom. Lord Antonio of Gwyntarian was to be a co-marshal. Unfortunately, Lord Antonio was not able to make it. Rumors abound that he was waylaid by pirates or the legendary gremlins in an attempt on the prize he was to have brought with him. However, Lord Lorenzo bravely made sure the tourney went on (mostly) as planned.
The rules were explained. Everyone began with five coins (even if they joined the tourney ten minutes before the end). Any fighter with coins could challenge any other fighter with coins, winner take all. If a fighter was broke, then his or her only recourse was to find another broke fighter to ally with and mug a fighter that still had coins. If both muggers survived the fight, the coins were split between them according to their own arrangements. If their ‘victim’ managed to kill one of the muggers, the surviving mugger kept all. If all members in a fight died...well, that was a surprise for the tourney itself. The fighters had two hours to collect as many coins as they could while avoiding being mugged. No challenge could be refused.
Attacking from behind was not allowed but backstabbing abounded throughout this event. There was not much honor among thieves as many muggers would land the killing blow on the victim and then stab or be stabbed by their recent ally.
Since this was a two-hour event, rests were allowed and even encouraged as the sun shone down on the field, enjoying the chaos below. Late arrivals (also known as new victims) were welcomed with five coins and an overview of the rules before being sent forth to be stalked by the prowling mugging teams. Even those that arrived less than 15 minutes before the end of event were welcomed with open arms and eager rapiers.
Within the first ten minutes of the tourney, two fighters managed to kill each other at the same time and Lord Lorenzo was called over to explain what was to happen. With a mischievous smile, he collected all the coins from the two ‘corpses’ and called all the fighters over so they could witness this rule that had been hidden until now. Having their full attention, he announced, “Here you see two dead bodies in an alley.” Pointing to a random fighter among the onlookers, he handed that fighter all the coins because, after all, corpses cannot have coins. Double kills (or triple kills in the rare cases when victims took both muggers with him or her) resulted in all the coins being collected by the nearest marshal who gave them to whatever random fighter was nearby. Of course, this most often resulted in the double kill corpses watching where the coins went and immediately becoming mugging allies to stalk down the ‘lucky’ fighter.
Eventually, though, time was called and the last fights were resolved. Those with heavy purses were called to present their coin count to Lord Lorenzo and the winners were announced.
With 71 coins, Rook Sweetecok of the Barony of Unserhafen from the Outlands was the winner. Second place went to Robin Archer Dragun of the House Accursed Grail of the Barony of Maursus of the Kingdom of Atlantia. The Italian bank in the form of Lord Lorenzo, of course, began collecting the coins back but, as he was unarmed, he did not charge the fighters interest on the coins he had lent them for the tourney.
In addition to the fun, the tourney offered the participants a chance to hone their skills in fighting side by side with other fighters and conserving their strength for a long fight. This will be a boon to them as they fight tomorrow in the Storming of La Rochelle at 10 AM in which the defenders of the castle will need to work together to survive wave after wave of attackers.
By Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton and Dame Tsivia bas Tamara v’Amberview
Each year we come to Pennsic, rejoicing in seeing old friends and making new ones. Unfortunately, each year we miss faces that are no longer here in our midst. This past year was particularly tough for losses, especially for those who have become accustomed to seeing Pennsic regulars.
Frank “Mack” Cooper, the surviving patriarch of the Cooper family that has operated Cooper’s Lake for over forty years, passed away on April 1 of this year at the age of 84. Mack was known for his sense of humor, warm smile, and generosity, and still was a vital presence at Pennsic. He could often be spotted as he drove to “work” around the campground waving to friends, or as he sat on the front porch of the Coopers’ Store, sharing coffee and conversation. He was recognized as a Baron of the Court jointly by the East and the Middle Kingdom in 1980, and is remembered as a true gentleman. His wife Betty survives him, as do a number of other members of the Cooper and Wilver families. A memorial service is planned for Monday at 4 PM on the battlefield. All are invited to sign a memory book in his honor.
Baron Tancred of Tanglewood
Customers of Tancred’s Tangled Woods will be saddened to hear of Baron Tancred of Tanglewood’s passing on May 15 from lung cancer. His hand-made coronet boxes, mirror boxes, chests, lanterns, and banner stands spread all over the Known World because of their craftsmanship and practicality. The Pennsic Independent was a satisfied customer and our banner hangs proudly to this day from one of his banner stands. A visit to his shop at Pennsic always meant the smell of fresh wood and a friendly “Hi, darlin’” from the shop’s proprietor, wearing his wooden coronet and drinking his ever-present coffee (preferably Tim Horton’s with a shot of English Toffee).
Introduced to the SCA by his son, Tancred later served as Baron of Rising Waters (Niagara/St. Catharines) in Ealdormere. He overcame a number of challenges to become one of the oldest fighters ever authorized in Ealdormere and was also known for his inspiration and leadership of youth fighters. He was devoted to his lady wife, Baroness Rosalinda, and is remembered for his deep-seated sense of justice and boundless hospitality.
If you remember Baron Tancred fondly, please feel free to stop by his shop at the corner at the corner of Woad Way and Street of Dreams. Many of his family and friends are staffing the shop during the War to sell his remaining inventory and to visit with those he touched. At his wake, it was announced that there will be an award introduced in his memory within the Kingdom of Caid, and other such commemorations are said to be in the works in groups closer to home. The annual Tribute Ship that sails each Pennsic in honour of the departed will bear a sail in his memory.
Countess Elaina of Oaklawn
She was the smiling face so many knew well, and she always had an answer to your question. “Where are the A&S tents?” “How do I find Midrealm Royal?” “What’s the nearest hospital to the site?” She was often the first voice heard by callers to Pennsic when they needed to reach someone in an encampment with news.
In an era before tweets and BlackBerries, Countess Elaina of Oaklawn was “Miss-Information” and served as Pennsic’s head of Information Point for about 15 years. Countess Elaina had lived in numerous kingdoms during her years in the Society, including Caid, Ealdormere, Ansteorra, and the East Kingdom, where she served as Queen during the glorious 25th year of the Society. Her exquisitely executed fine cross-stitch was sold for garb-trim through Medieval Miscellanea. Her hand-crocheted snoods were worn by many women, sold by Thorny Rose and Intriguing Designs from the East to An Tir. But it was as “Countess Mom” that she is best remembered, encouraging both new members and old-timers to do their best as artisans, as fighters, as volunteers.
Despite increasing levels of chronic pain due to back and other injuries, Elaina always had a smile on. She rarely wore her county coronet while on the job, saying that she did not want to intimidate people who needed advice. Countess Mom died suddenly on April 10th of this year in her home in the canton of Caldrithig (Ottawa) in Ealdormere. She is survived by her beloved husband Master Cerdic O’Cuileamhain, OP. Her work at Information Point will be remembered as the road in front of the store that encircles Information Point has now been renamed “Elaina’s Circle.” A memorial for Countess Elaina will be held after Midrealm Court (approximately 10 PM) on Thursday night of War Week, presided over by Lady Ariadne Flaxenhair of Æthelmearc, reception by Mistress Aibhilin fra Skye of Ealdormere. If the weather is good it will be held on the Runestone Field; if the weather is inclement, it will be held in the Middle Eastern Dance tent. All are invited to attend and bring their anecdotes and remembrances to share.
10x12 Panther wall tent for sale. Used only a few times. All poles, bags, stakes, ropes, interior wall, etc. included. Asking $600. Available at end of Pennsic. Ask for Gabrielle or Sebastian at Caer Adamant camp N34
Agate Burnishers - bone ivory & horn handles - hand carved - also dog tooth and carnelian. Guild of Limners, #26.
Astérix and Obelix made it to Pennsic! Available at Ursula’s Alcove. 166 Fleet St.
BAD GARB I and BAD GARB II - Now AVAILABLE from Claus the Toymaker - How do you know you are not in them unless you read them?
CELTIC HARP FOR SALE. 26-string traditional wire strung lap harp, cherry wood, full tuning levers. $550 (obo). See Emer in Eoforwic (W08).
Costumes by Loren can now accept credit cards! Different specials every day! We have LOTS of new merchandise this year. Come by and see us at Costumes by Loren! Located at #166 Fleet Street.
Cotton halter tops at Bronwyn’s at Moongate.
Claus’ Guide on “How Not to Get a Laurel” - Audacious and naughty - the truth is hard and very funny. See Claus the Toymaker, #26 across from the Barn.
Feast gear galore; swords, daggers, and more. Get a pouch too! Available for you at Wolfram’s Wonderous Wares. Space 133 on Plunder Lane. Bring in ad for $1.00 off $20.00 purchase.
Washable wool embroidery thread available in a full range of colors at Ursula’s Alcove. 166 Fleet St.
Blank Books - hand bound in leather, handmade paper, thick and chunky. Fair trade products. $8-$32, limited supply - Guild of Limners. #26.
For sale: 18’ yurt, 12’ enclosed trailer, queen sized camp bed package deal. Trailer setup to carry $3800. Contact Melkor 513-254-3469
For Sale - Bad garb, bad garb, What’cha gonna do? What’cha gonna do when the punchline’s you! - Claus the Toymaker
Folkwear is still in business and has new patterns. Check them out at Ursula’s Alcove, 166 Fleet St.
For Sale - Glass muller & burnishers from England, also Mitchell nibs, vellum, parchment and hand bound leather books - The Guild of Limners, #26
For Sale: Panther 16ft diameter carousel pavilion. $850. Spoke wheel design. Complete setup package and floor included. Setup now. Cash, credit or Paypal. See Sir Magnus at Full Circle on Battle Road or Farasha at Farasha and Suad Dance Designs, merchant next to camp store. Delivery on receipt of payment.
For Sale SCA Road Signs - “Fighter Practice Area”, “Danger Viking Territory” and many others, some new and very silly. $5 each. Claus the Toymaker, #26.
French Double Bell, 12x16. 1 yr old. Used once. $750 obo on site. Mary 703-973-3491.
For Sale: Vellum - opaline vellum (sheepskin) direct from England. Finest quality. Sale price $20 per sheet. The Guild of Limners, #26 across from the Barn.
For Sale: Yurt in fair condition. $300 OBO. Also canvas tarp 20x30, $40 OBO. Come to Shark Pit for details. Block N21.
14x20 Viking A-frame Panther canvas and random wood. $500. See Fridrikr or Orianna. E04, High Rafters
Full size slat bed, mahogany red stain. Available at war end. $250 or b.o. Contact Ziggy @ August Moon, E18
Good garb - Bad garb PAPER DOLLS - even more humorous than the works of Beaumont and Fletcher! From Claus the Toymaker.
How can anything Sarong be sooo! right! Celtic sarongs at Moongate
It’s hot now but it won’t be forever. Plan ahead! Buy wool at Ursula’s Alcove. 166 Fleet St.
For Sale: Ink-Oakgall, walnut hull, also gallo-tannic ink, absolutely perfectly opaque. $4 per bottle. Guild of Limners #26.
Nearly new 18’x20’ Panther marquee canopy. Used twice. Would make great war pavilion. Inquire booth 175, Hamish’s. Oreck $800 OBO.
Need a big tent now? 3yr old Eudora titan - 9’3” x14’ and new Ez-Up. Paid $600/tent and $200 /10’ shade. All for $450 - negotiable. Call 631-786-6025 onsite.
NEW THIS YEAR - Decorate your child’s walls with medieval images - Knights, dragons, ladies - more. Let the mundanes put up Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck! - at Claus the Toymaker, #26.
On-site storage trailer for sale. Large, homemade. Light duty wheels. $350 OBO. Marcus 215-808-8480
ATTENTION WOAD WARRIORS! Feeling a little blue? I have the real thing! Genuine woad imported from Scotland. $4, limited supply, buy early. Guild of Limners, #26.
PERIOD PAVILIONS, new and used for rent and sale. 11 on site for immediate delivery and 18 more on site at end of war. Others in stock can ship. We do custom pavilions - colors and intricate shapes our specialty. More details and pics plus free catalog at space #28.
Bad Garb Old Maid card game - Yes we have ‘em! - from Claus the Toymaker (who else?)
Porcelain dolls (inc. QE1), stamped and gilded leather, woven tapestry panels, vintage posters. Space #28.
ROCKING HORSES 4 sale/rent. SQUIRE CART 4 rent to carry you in style. Disc. 4 handicapped. Space #28.
Tent 4Sale! 13” dia round canvas w/attached heavy duty floor. “Soul Pad 4000 Ease.” Brand new, only used this Pennsic at Trimaris kingdom camp in swamp. Asking $600. Call Lady Albreda 305-781-3882.
Tent, as is, no center poles or ridge beam, $55 OBO. See William, Lochac X07 by West Gate.
Benefit the Chirurgeons -- buy an original Pennsic 40 T-shirt, $12. Available from Claus of Burzee, #26 Merchants Row.
THE GUILD OF LIMNERS habitantes in platea mercatores vendunt encusto, penna, libri, pigmenti, colorum diversi, rubia, quadone, omnimodes tinctori et instrumenta clericis necessaria.
The Pennsic Independent called it “The Quintessential Collection of Songs.” Get Master Hector’s “Red Album” at Camelot Treasures, Booth #30.
UNIQUELY YOU dressmakers dummies - the only one to corset properly. 3 available on site. Space #28.
Weld, Woad, Madder, Cochineal, Brazilwood, Longwood - dyes to die for. Guild of Limners, #26.
Bedouin tent for sale. 22’x24’ Sunforger. Includes custom poles, ropes and stakes. $900. Tent costs $2700 new. Tent is available to see at Tribal Source on Street of Gold #82. Ask for Diana.
Why melt? The cool comfy 100% cotton tunics and kaftans are here again. Also skirts, kurta, shirts, chemises and cloaks. Come early for best selection. And now we can take credit cards. Costumes by Loren. Space #166. Fleet Street.
You went to war and came home without treasures. For shame! Stop in to see our fine, exotic yarns at Ursula’s Alcove, 166 Fleet St.
Pennsic in a Box: the perfect gift for a friend who couldn’t attend Pennsic 40. Images of people, places and things that make Pennsic special. From Claus the Toymaker, #26.
Bard’s Haven is open for business! Also Celtic bardic again on Tuesday night as usual. E19.
BEOWULF THE ROADSHOW! Monday 8/8 @ 8PM. Midrealm battlefield pavilion. Beowulf in Modern English. BYO chair. Monsters await.
Efenwealt Wystle in Concert tonight 9PM. Performing Arts tent. Comedie, tragedie and privies.
For Sale: Good Gentles...How much have you spent on your armor? How much have you spent on your garb? How much have you spent on your children? This has been a public service announcement from Claus of Burzee, Toymaker.
Get pain free - Come to Merchant #2
KEEP THE PENNSIC STORIES ROLLING: Find out how at Looseleaf Handcrafted Stories. KristenEaton.com/pennsic.html
Larry Trembly, please come to Irontree Works booth to help fix my mistake.
Pelican vigil for Gaerwen of Trafford, Sat. Night 7:00 on in Eoforwic Camp, W08 just below the Runestone. All welcome!
SUPER SECRET WIZARD ROCK SHOW for adult Harry Potter fans. Behind Camelot Treasures - Booth 30. CDs from the Blibbering Humdingers only $10! Thursday - starts at 9PM. You’ll crap your pants.
BEWARE the MAGDARONICA!
Stop by Wulfden. Ask Cowboy how old he turned! XXX
Tir Thalor! In Babylon, half the G&A trading consortium sends greetings. Send me your address during 1st wk of War & I will send you a postcard!
Wanted: Nice German gentleman to court short blonde Scot spinster. Inquire @ Wednesday Company
Wanted to Buy
Looking for a used or new beginner harp. See Rohesia at Eoforwic (W08).