SCA at the Turku Medieval Market

Weaving being done by a member of the Finnish SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

Weaving being done by a member of the Finnish SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

In advance of my trip to Finland, I tried to connect with some of the SCA groups in the country to see if there were any events happening. Unfortunately, like the group here – the regular, casual get togethers are put on hold during the summer, so the only event that worked with the time frame that I would be in the country was the Turku Medieval Market, (Keskiaikaiset markkinat) – or perhaps it was fortunate, since I was already planning to attend!

The SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

The SCA group at the Turku Medieval Market

I was really grateful to the different people I spoke to via email before my trip – all were very welcoming and encouraging for me to come out to their activities. They represented the Barony of Aarnimetsä, as well as smaller groups within the barony – aka the mundane country of Finland. In advance they invited me to join their Facebook group – and it’s interesting to see the similarities and differences between what they post on their group and what we post on ours.

Once I got to the market, I walked around and shopped first, and then once my companion was ready to relax and sit down to rest, I went off to find the Society for Creative Anachronism group! I took a few photos before introducing myself and visiting for a little. They also let me know of their big event of the summer – and invited me to try to attend the next time I am in Finland for the summer!

A woman demonstrating the drop spindle. She was one of the demonstrators at the Turku Medieval Market from the SCA group.

A woman demonstrating the drop spindle. She was one of the demonstrators at the Turku Medieval Market from the SCA group.

Largesse

To thank the Chatelaine and others who had been so nice to me even before I arrived, I brought a small pouch of largesse to gift to the group. (And of course to spread the wordfame of the Kingdom of Avacal – which I think is still the newest Kingdom in the SCA.)

Of course, I needed things that would be small, lightweight, and not likely to melt/spill/etc. Sometimes largesse takes a less period theme and goes for more practical items (I like giving little mini emergency travel sewing kits for instance for camp event garb disasters) but I also wanted to look for things that would be more period in tone, and also was aware that I needed to consider customs – so I wanted to avoid any foodstuffs, fur, seeds, etc…

I took one of the little parti-coloured pouches I made and put in some of my handspun wool yarn… along with needle books, block-printed napkins, a necklace, earrings, and a paternoster along with another little leather pouch. The other items were all made by artisans here in Avacal, and were all tagged with the artisan’s names and barony/shire or kingdom. (Or both) It made me think that I’d love to hear from people in other kingdoms who might receive my largesse, so if I make any more, I want to try to put my URL or email address on the tags too!

Judges needed!

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials

As some of you living in Calgary or the SCA Kingdom of Avacal know, I’m hosting the competition to find my replacement as Montengarde’s Arts & Science champion at Twelfth Night, on January 21, 2017.

With that… I’m looking for judges!

Information about the competition (format, rubric, judging forms, etc) can be found here. You will note that the format is collaborative and supportive; I’m hoping that all of the judges can help competitors strive towards their best, can encourage amazing arts & sciences, and assist student judges (if applicable) to learn more about the process and participate to the level of their comfort.

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Why to enter an A&S competition..

… challenge, or tournament

Photos of the Laurel's New Works display

Photos of the Laurel’s New Works display

As you might know, I’m hosting a few SCA A&S (Arts & Science competitions) this year, and one of the questions/concerns I’ve heard from people is “Why should I enter?” (often followed by a silent: “…if I don’t think I can win?”)

I’m in NO way an expert on this… I’m still pretty new to the SCA, and haven’t travelled outside of Avacal to see how things are done elsewhere. Still, I’ve been to, judged, and competed in a few competitions, and have some suggestions and things to think about…and this is my soapbox! 😉

Winning is cool

Yeah, It’s cool to win anything. Let’s get that out of the way right away. It’s cool to do your thing, have other people say your thing is awesome, and win an award or title or prize for how good you did your thing…

…but there’s more to it than that.

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