Arts & Sciences Road Show

By Master Liam St. Liam

For the Pennsic Independent

With all the battles behind them, more than a dozen Calontiri spent Friday afternoon in the marketplace working on everything from woodworking and sailmaking to pewter casting and throwing pottery.

“We’re inflicting arts & sciences on the masses,” said Conde Fernando Rodriguez de Falcon of the Barony of Three Rivers. “That’s our little joke explanation. We want to let people see that arts and sciences are accessible. It’s nice to get the arts out where the people are.”

Many of Calontir’s artisans are also fighters, and that includes Master Kirk FitzDavid, who is both a Laurel and a member of the Order of Chivalry. It was Master Kirk who originally came up with the idea.

“I usually bring my tools to events to work on projects, and I told (Conde Fernando) that I wanted to do this. He said that what’s good for one is good for everybody,” Master Kirk said. “Last year we just did one day, and this year we decided to do two.”

Calontir’s rulers and heirs both stopped by, as did dozens of other people, many of whom spent a good deal of time watching Conde Fernando pour pewter.

“The old saying was ‘Gold for the royalty, silver for the nobility and pewter for the common folks,’” he explained to a fascinated young girl, his voice loud enough to convey his message to the rest of the crowd. “In the sunlight, pewter looks just like silver.”

He said the key was to get people to see artisans at work. “It’s nice to show people that this isn’t hard. Getting good at it is hard.”

At one end of the line, three women were playing period instruments next to Master Kirk, who was working on a bench. Nearby, Edwearde Boicewright and another craftsman were making stools, including one of strips of rattan. There were also artisans working on weaving, pottery, soapstone carving and mold-making.

At far end of the line, Mistress Rhianwen ferch Bran ap Gruffydd was in the process of making a prototype of a huge, square said for the Fyrdraca, a 32-foot Viking-style ship owned by Duke Dongal and other Calontiri.

“There are no full surviving sails,” said Mistress Rhianwen, who used information from recent finds of Viking ships to determine how big the sail should be. “We have a sail based on my rough figures. We’re going to make prototypes out of canvas before we actually weave one.”

This is the second year the A&S Road Show has visited Pennsic. Hopefully, it will return for many years to come.


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