Spring Crown A.S. 57 Arts and Sciences Competition – and Showcase!

By   30 September, 2022

Spring Crown A.S. 57 Arts and Sciences Competition – and our first Kingdom A&S Showcase

The Crown Tourney this September was fortunate to have an extraordinary number of entries – and so was the associated Arts and Sciences competition!

There were twenty-three entries, eighteen of them judged on the day, so first of all, I would like to thank and honour the judges that gave their service and expertise so that all these entrants could be evaluated as thoughtfully as they deserved. For Mistress Clara van der Maes, Mistress Ingerith Ryzka, Vicountess Lucrezia Lorenz, Mistress Aislinn de Valence, Countess Tailltiu ghoirt ruaidh, Baroness Helouys Le Poer, THL Arganhell merc Briauc, and Warrigal, three cheers!

I would also name and praise the coordinator, who has for many years fostered and encouraged the Arts and Sciences in the Barony of Innilgard and across the Kingdom of Lochac: Mistress Fionn O’Mara. Such competitions would simply not be possible without the work of those gentles who, like Mistress Fionn, act as our Marshals, our Lists, our Heralds, our photographers, and most critically, our administrators. For the efforts of Mistress Fionn, and all those who coordinate competitions across the Kingdom, three cheers!


Competition Entries and Results

Our three themes for this competition were ‘Heraldic’, ‘Edible’, and ‘the Ancient World’, and they inspired a great diversity of wonderful entries. The prizes were presented as follows:


  • Gold bell: Duchess Eva von Danzig, for a gilded banner (heraldic)
  • SIlver bell: Lord Ronan mac Briain, for a seal matrix set (heraldic)


  • Gold bell: Master Tariq ibn Jelal, for a fencing coat (heraldic)
  • Silver bell: Lady Eurgain of Whitby, for ‘Custard in Lent’ (edible)


  • Gold bell: Baroness Ginevra Lucia di Namoraza, for Phoenecian beads (the Ancient World)
  • Silver bell: Lady Odette de la Rive, for 15th century gingerbread (edible)


  • Gold bell: Lord Dytryk Lehrer, Kazimier Skylarovich, Lady Ari Egillsdottir, and Lady Beatrijs van Doorne, for a heraldic surcoat (heraldic)

Three cheers for the winners, and for all who entered!

Kingdom A&S Showcase

At this event, we trialled holding a Kingdom A&S Showcase alongside the Kingdom A&S Competition. All were welcome to display work that they were proud of, with no restrictions as to theme, and no requirement for documentation. Eight gentles chose to share their work, and many came to look, to discuss, and to enjoy. The populace were invited to ‘vote’ for their favourite with tokens, as a sign of their appreciation, and Lady Zofia Varsoviensis was presented with a token as the People’s Choice winner of the day.

Three cheers for all those who participated, and for all the artisans of Lochac!



Survey Results: What do people think of our Kingdom A&S Competitions?

By   26 July, 2022

Survey Results: What do people think of our Kingdom A&S Competitions?

Lochac’s Kingdom A&S Competitions are our main Kingdom-level A&S activity, but they usually get less than ten entries each, and often less than five. Lochac has a large A&S community, and this doesn’t seem like enough entries to celebrate our artisans. We ran a survey because we wanted to understand how people feel about our competitions, what they get out of them, and what might work better.

Our survey got responses from 133 people, which is equivalent to about 10% of Lochac’s paid members, so we believe it’s enough to give us a good understanding of the different opinions present in Lochac’s A&S community. Here’s what they told us.


Should we keep holding our Kingdom Competitions? Yes.

Almost three-quarters of people who answered this survey agreed that we should keep holding our Kingdom A&S Competitions, and most of the rest were neutral.


Should they stay our main Kingdom-level A&S activity? Maybe.

About a third of people said that competitions should remain our primary celebration of A&S at Kingdom level, about a third disagreed, and a bit over a third were neutral.


What other ways do people share their work? 

About half the people who answered this survey had entered a Kingdom A&S Competition, and a similar number had judged an A&S competition of some kind. 90% look at A&S competition entries at least sometimes when they’re at events.

A large number also engage with local competitions, A&S displays, social media, or personal websites, with a smaller number entering or looking at Laurel Prize, guild rankings, or Cockatrice.

Social media, seeing items at events, and word of mouth were the most common ways people found out about others doing wonderful A&S work.


What do people like and dislike about competitions?

When we asked what people like about our competitions, why they engage, what they enjoy, what could change, and what they liked about other ways of sharing their work, the following themes emerged:

  • People love seeing other people’s work, and showing their own
  • People love talking about A&S
  • Many people enter competitions to seek feedback; some find feedback uncomfortable
  • Some people like competing; some don’t
  • Competitions can be intimidating; some people prefer something low pressure
  • Competition themes are sometimes a barrier to entry
  • People would like competitions to be more visible and celebrated.


Should we change our A&S Championship system? No.

59% of people believed we should have a Kingdom A&S Champion, and only 10% of people believed we shouldn’t. Most people thought we should keep the current system for choosing one, or didn’t have any changes to suggest.

People had different opinions about whether it’s better to reward someone who enters many times (as we currently do) or someone who enters the best item. Some people suggested giving out a prize for each.

Many people thought our A&S Champion needed to be more visibly celebrated, and should have some kind of recognisable token to wear. There wasn’t strong support for the idea of a champion having any particular duties, outside encouraging A&S.


What are we going to do?

Some people like competitions the way they are. Some people are looking for something different. So we are going to keep our Kingdom Competitions, and trial adding a second option. The Spring Crown stewarding team in Innilgard have agreed to host our first Kingdom A&S Showcase, which will be open to all entries (no minimum standard, no themes, no documentation required) and will not be judged, although there will be a populace-choice prize.

If the trial goes well, we will consider making a Kingdom A&S Showcase a regular part of our Crown Events, and look into possibilities for local or online entries.

We will also be considering adding a second prize in our A&S Championships for the highest-scoring entry of the year.


For more detailed statistics and analysis of the survey results, see: Kingdom Arts and Sciences Competitions – Survey Results

Competition results from Autumn Crown A.S. 56

By   26 March, 2022

Competition results from Autumn Crown A.S. 56

Good gentles, I bring you the results of the Arts & Sciences Competition at Autumn Crown Tourney!

There were no less than eighteen entries in this competition, twelve of them to be judged in person, and our judges laboured mightily to see them all given the consideration they merited. Indeed, they finished judging the final entry as court was in progress! Therefore…

I call for three cheers for the judges and coordinators!

A&S Judging Pavilion at Autumn Crown

At the event itself, the coordinator was Lady Kathelyne Berghart, and the judges who gave of their time so generously were Viscountess Huguete de Saint Germain, Mistress Miriam bat Shimeon, Mistress Honore Corbaut, Master Henry Fox, Mistress Acacia de Navarra, Lady Euphemia de Niccolo Ziani, Lord Robin of Twyford, Lady Grete Engelhardtz, and Lady Iglesia Delamere.

Our six other entries were judged in advance, five in Innilgard, coordinated by Lady Odette of Blessed Herman, and one in Rowany, organised by Lady Katerina Cuylter of Lancaster.

Therefore, I also extend my thanks to the judges who assisted them: Mistress Fionn O’Mara, Mistress Viktoria Thrakesina, Mistress Filippa Ginerva Francesca di Lucignano, Baroness Aeschine of Arran, Lady Angharad Gam, Lady Curie Estelle, and a ‘William’ of Innilgard, who I have no byname for but thank nonetheless.


I call for three cheers for the winners of gold and silver bells!

In the Experienced category, the golden bell went to Master Crispin Sexi, for his composition ‘Novello’ in the theme ‘Musical’. His full entry, including MIDI files, is available at http://aelflaed.homemail.com.au/music/novello.html.

The silver bell went to Dom the Piper, for his composition ‘The Pipes are Calling Innilgard’, also for the theme ‘Musical’.

Period-style representation of Crispin Sexi’s ‘Novello’, created after the competition in response to judges’ feedback.

In the Intermediate category, the golden bell went to Lady Aliette le Lievre, for her composition ‘A Piva for Lute’, in the theme ‘Musical’.

Due to some slight confusion (but without being at all undeserved), a golden bell ALSO went to Lord Gerard de Rhodes for his leather water bottle, in the theme ’16th century’.

A silver bell went to Lord Dytryk Lehrer, for a conserve of oranges, in the theme ’16th century’.


In the Beginner category, the golden bell went to Viscountess Keridwen the Mouse, for her composition ‘A Country Dance for Six Recorders’, in the theme ‘Musical’. Download MIDI file.

The silver bell went to Jasper Scarlet, for his composition ‘Libera Me’, in the theme ‘Musical’. (It should be noted that Jasper is 15, and elected to enter the general beginners category rather than the youth category.) Download MIDI file.


I call for three cheers for all other entrants!

In the Intermediate category:

  • Lady Catherine Redewell, with her composition, a Cantiga d’Amigo. (Download MIDI file.)
  • Lady Euphemia di Niccolo Ziani, with 16th century pouches
  • Lady Nicola de Coventre, with a Tudor kirtle
  • Lady Eurgain of Whitby, with a Tudor feast menu
  • Lady Nesta verch Wyn, with a painted platter for the ‘Islamic art’ category


In the Beginners category:

  • Lady Zofia Varsoviensis, for her zupan (a 16th century Eastern European men’s coat)
  • Lady Shinjo Takame, with a 16th century Japanese patchwork court robe
  • Baroness Ginevra Lucia di Namoraza, with glass beads for the ‘Islamic art’ category
  • Lady Kathelyne Berghart, with tiles for the ‘Islamic art’ category
  • Lord Dytryk Lehrer, with an excerpt from the Quran in Islamic calligraphy
  • Lord Dytryk Lehrer, with a wooden crotalum (a percussion instrument)

I would personally invite and encourage all entrants to consider sending photos of their work (and any accompanying documentation) to editor@cockatrice.lochac.sca.org so that they may be published in Cockatrice, and seen by the whole populace.


I call for three cheers for the artisans of Lochac!

At our Crown Tourney, we saw the skill of our artists and craftspeople, the generosity and expertise of those who judged, and the enthusiasm of all.

We also saw the arts displayed beyond the competition table, in armour, clothing, banners, crowns, scrolls, and excellent hats.

For all these things, three cheers!

Kingdom A&S Competitions: A first analysis of survey results

By   7 February, 2022

Kingdom A&S Competitions: A first analysis of survey results

Greetings all!

We recently ran a survey on the topic of Kingdom Arts and Sciences Competitions in Lochac. It was designed to help us understand populace perspectives on Kingdom Competitions and their current status in Lochac: Kingdom Competitions are the only A&S activity organised at the Kingdom level, and they are used to select our Kingdom A&S Champion.

We had 133 responses to the survey (which is somewhere between 5-10% of Lochac’s membership), and these responses came from all over the Kingdom, with every Barony and Shire represented, as well as several Cantons and Colleges.

We asked 22 questions (attached at the end) to make sure we got a good understanding of the issues involved, and it will take some time to analyse all the responses, especially the thoughtful comments people shared. However, three questions are particularly important for decision making.


‘Do you believe Lochac should continue to hold Kingdom A&S Competitions?’ Yes.

Column chart showing responses to 'Do you believe Lochac should continue to hold Kingdom A&S Competitions?'

The response to this question was a strong ‘yes’. 72% of people who answered our survey chose ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’; 22% were neutral; and only 6% chose ‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’.

While we will be looking at people’s comments to understand how to improve Kingdom A&S Competitions, we will keep running them.


‘Do you believe Kingdom A&S Competitions should remain the primary celebration of A&S at a Kingdom level?’ Mixed.

Column chart showing responses to 'Do you believe Kingdom A&S competitions should remain the primary celebration of A&S at a Kingdom level?'

The response to this question was mixed. 30.5% of people chose ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’; 36% were neutral; and 31.5% of people chose ‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’.

We are going to need to do more analysis of people’s comments, and hold more discussions with the populace, to decide what is needed from Kingdom-level celebrations of A&S at Crown or other events.


‘Do you believe that there should be a Lochac A&S champion or champions?’ Yes.

Column chart showing responses to 'Do you believe that there should be a Lochac A&S champion or champions?'

The response to this question was a clear ‘yes’, but there were also a large number of people who were neutral on the topic. 59% of people chose ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’; 30% were neutral; and 11% chose ‘disagree’ or ‘strongly disagree’.

We will be looking at people’s comments to understand why people were more or less positive about having an A&S champion, and how they think one should be chosen. We may decide to open up more discussions about changes to the A&S champion role, but the role will continue to exist in some form.



Thank you to everyone who gave their time to contribute their perspective to the discussion. I look forward to reading all of the responses in more detail, and to sharing the rest of the results with all of you sometime soon!

Yours in Service,

Gwen verch David

Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences



List of survey questions

Questions with an open comments field are marked with an asterisk.

  1. Are you a Laurel?
  2. Have you ever been an A&S officer for an SCA group?
  3. What is your level of involvement in A&S?
  4. What is your local group?


  1. Do you look at A&S competition entries at events you attend?
  2. Have you ever entered a Kingdom A&S competition?
  3. Have you ever entered a local, guild, or online A&S competition?
  4. Have you ever judged an A&S competition?
  5. If you participate in competitions in any of the above ways, why? What do you value about the experience?*
  6. If you do NOT participate in competitions in one or more of the above ways, why not?*


  1. Have you displayed your A&S work in any of the following ways?
  2. Do you enjoy looking at other people’s A&S work in any of the following types of display?
  3. What do you value about these types of display?*
  4. How do you become aware of people who are doing wonderful A&S work?*


  1. Do you believe Lochac should continue to hold Kingdom A&S competitions?
  2. Why? If you think something should change, what is it?*
  3. Do you believe Kingdom A&S Competitions should remain the primary celebration of A&S at a Kingdom level?
  4. Why? In what other ways could Lochac celebrate and promote A&S at a Kingdom level, especially at Crown Tourneys and Coronations?*


  1. Do you believe that there should be a Lochac A&S champion or champions?
  2. Our A&S champion is currently the person who scores the most cumulative points in one year of Kingdom A&S competitions. How do you believe our A&S champion or champions should be chosen?*
  3. What duties, regalia, or recognition should be attached to the role of A&S champion?*
  4. Do you have any other comments, or feedback on this survey?*

Twelfth Night A&S Competition Results

By   20 January, 2021

At Twelfth Night, a Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition was held, and I am proud to say that we had five entries, submitted in three different ways!

Entries were judged at the event itself, including one that was present as documentation and photos only due to last minute travel restrictions. They were also judged in advance in the Barony of Rowany and the Barony of Aneala. I am very pleased that the A&S officers of the Kingdom were able to facilitate these options, so that distance was not a barrier to any of our excellent artisans.

These A&S officers were Mistress Joie Tigre d’Argentona in Politarchopolis, Lord Minamoto no Hideaki in Rowany, and Lady Frances Affrica Ray in Aneala. They were assisted by the following judges: Baroness Caristiona nic Bheathain, Mistress Alexandra Hartshorne, Master Dede Kilic ibn Sungur, Mistress Branwen of Wercheavorde, and the Honorable Lord Lokki Rekkr.

And now, to the results!

In the Experienced category, the winner was Lady Marget Die Goldschmiedin, for three enameled fibulae, entered for the theme ‘Rome’.

In the Beginners category, the winner was Nobilis Gumuuinus De Eggafridacapella, for a wooden spoon carved with great attention to authenticity and documentation, entered for the theme ‘For the Home’.

A silver bell was also awarded to the runner-up in the Beginners category, Lady Shinjo Takame, for a Noren door curtain, entered for the theme ‘For the Home’.

As all three of these gentles entered by distance, I was unable to give them their prizes personally, and they were not present to hear the acclaim they received in court.

Therefore, I would ask you to congratulate them now, along with all entrants, the several judges who gave generously of their time, and the local A&S officers who made judging happen. Three cheers for all!

Kingdom A&S Competition for Twelfth Night A.S. 55 (2021)

By   23 November, 2020

It is with great joy that we anticipate Lochac’s first Crown Event after many months of challenge and separation, and we are pleased to announce that there will be a Kingdom A&S Competition!

The themes are:

  • Engineering
  • For the home
  • Rome

Entries are welcome at the event itself, or submitted in advance through your local A&S officer. To find out more about entering Kingdom A&S Competitions, check out our advice here.

Autumn Crown A&S Competition Results

By   29 April, 2018

Competitions were held in Lochac over the past 3.5 months to contribute to the Autumn Crown competition season.

The topics were:

  • Item for an archer
  • Smellable
  • A meeting of Mediterranean cultures (think: trade, cross-cultural influence, war, piracy, diplomacy, etc.)

Winners are determined based on the entrants experience in the skill/craft that they are submitting (see this page for an explanation of this system). In this competition season the results are:

Experienced category:

Winner: Mistress Tatianitska Iaroslavna, for her hand cream “Nostradamus precious green pomade”

Second place: THL Sigmund Spelmann, for his recreation of an extant Venetian quiver

Beginner’s category:

Winner: Lord Thomas Boardmakere, for his presentation of a set of arrows and a quiver

Second place: Mistress Katherne Rischer, for her work on period paints for illuminations

Photos of Some Entries

a dark textile on a piece of paper with writing on it

Item for an archer – naalbinded hand protection – Lady Jeneur le Geline

black leather item on a piece of paper with writing on it

Item for an archer – an arm guard – Lord Thomas Boardmakere

a small jar with white contents on a piece of paper with writing on it

Smellable – Nostradamus precious green pomade – Mistress Tatianitska Iaroslavna

a black quiver decorated with gold lines, resting on some paper on a white table

Item for an archer – 16th century venetian archery quiver – THL Sigmund Spelmann

What motivates us to do A&S?

By   8 April, 2018

As members of the SCA we choose to make things for a variety of reasons. At some stage everyone in the SCA has to make something, unless they have infinite cash to spend on buying clothes, feast gear, tents, etc. OR some very kind friends. This post looks at why people make things and how we can understand someone else’s motivations and access to resources when we comment on their stuff.

I made a video about this, the content is also set out below if you prefer to read. Comments on these ideas are welcome.

Motivation Matrix

A core aspect of why we make stuff is our intrinsic motivation. Results from the Kingdom A&S survey indicated that there were four reasons people made stuff:

  • Authenticity – I want to make the most period thing I can possibly make. Being as close to doing what “they” did (in a specific time and place) drives me to create
  • Workmanship – I want to make the BEST thing I can possibly make, and I will get the best tools and materials to do this. I will practice and practice and take my time until I am satisfied
  • Creative expression – I want to make the thing that fits my vision of how “they” looked and experienced the world. This can be based on research, but could also be based on a particular movie, TV series or book. It is usually where we all start when we join the SCA, and we could argue it’s the basis of “the Dream”.
  • Variety – I want to try all the things that interest me, until I’ve satisfied my curiosity in that area. I’ll usually have two of three projects in different skill sets going at any point in time. I get bored if I just do one specific thing.

These reasons can be described on a matrix as follows:

The reason this is important is that we are a group that welcomes anyone who makes “an attempt at pre-1600”. By understanding why someone has made something then we can help and encourage them in a way that means they continue to want to make things and to stay in our Society.


Access to resources is a very important element in A&S projects, and one that is often overlooked. Any project requires a balance of the following three things:

  1. Access to $$ to fund the materials (or instruments in the case of music) and any missing knowledge
  2. Access to time to make the item, write the research paper, practice the performance
  3. Access to knowledge to understand how something was made and what is correct for the time and place someone is interested in

We all make choices about how much of our available time and money can go into each project or into acquiring more knowledge or better skills. Some of us have the ability to expend lots of time and money, some of us don’t. Some of us had a solid university education in a humanities subject and enjoy reading the latest research, some of us don’t and learn by tinkering and trying things out.

All of this is important to conversations about A&S, as it helps us realise that we don’t all start from the same place in terms of these resources, nor can we all allocate the same amount of those things to all projects. We make choices, and those choices are valid.

A challenge

Now that we have a better understanding of motivations and resources I want to issue a challenge.

The number one reason someone stops “doing A&S” is because someone (usually someone they don’t know, or barely know) comes up to them unasked and tells them “that’s not period!”. I’m sure that the person providing this comment thinks it’s helpful and they mean well, however the effect is usually to make the recipient crumple or cranky.

My challenge is this: Let’s adopt the phrase “Unasked for criticism is discourteous”.

Unless a person says something like “What do you think?” or “How could I make this better?” then don’t tell them they are doing it wrong. Instead, if you really want to help that person start from the matrix above, and the list of resources. Understand why they made what they made and then ask if they want any help or more information.

Compliments are always good, btw. Compliments buoy people. We all want to feel proud of the thing we poured our precious time and resources into, so start there.

A new Kingdom Competition system

By   17 February, 2018

The Kingdom-wide survey of A&S opinions and activity showed that one of the areas we needed to improve was our Kingdom Competition format. It really isn’t working for most of the Kingdom. This can be seen by a simple comparison between the number of entries received at competitions and the dis-engagement around the process of entering and judging versus numbers and the energy surrounding artisan displays like the one held at Canterbury Faire or Laurel Prize at Rowany Festival.

Respondents gave specific reasons they didn’t enter competitions. A large number of responses said that they just couldn’t get to the events to enter, many said they found the topics too narrow and were only likely to enter something if they were already planning to make it. So this means that entrants are drawn from a very tiny set of people that are going to a specific Kingdom event AND  were already making something that fit a competition topic. I don’t know about you but that seems unlikely and not the culture of Lochac.

Other respondents talked about how they didn’t feel good enough to enter, were intimidated by Kingdom level expectations, or even didn’t want to enter as they didn’t want to discourage other entries (in the case of Laurels). So, yet again, we have broad swathes of the populace feeling like competitions as designed are not for them. We are a Kingdom that likes to cheer people on for their efforts, their enthusiasm and for how they have improved. If our competitions are too intimidating for the populace then we should change them.

Finally there were some really good and sensible suggestions. Group entries, the Anealan rubric, a focus on feedback, improvement and being able to compare yourself across the Kingdom as the purpose of the competitions.

Introducing Lochac A&S competitions for the post AS50 era

Featuring: A new rubric! New forms! Group entries! Winners announced by experience not topic!

Judging allowed around the Kingdom, not just at Kingdom events!

Here’s our current Kingdom Minister for A&S explaining the changes:


What does this mean?!

The less exclamation pointed explanation is: From now on Kingdom competitions can be judged at any time in the Kingdom at any official SCA event, as long as it is supervised by the local A&S officer, the Kingdom Minister of A&S or someone they have deputised (like an A&S co-ordinator for an event). The beauty of a well-written, standardised rubric (how judging points are allocated) is that it should calibrate judging across the Kingdom. This means entries can be judged at disparate locations and achieve reasonably comparable scores. We are a large Kingdom and this means better access and more inclusive competitions. It means we can actually find outstanding artisans across the Kingdom and not just those who are able to travel to Kingdom events.

The way we award winners is changing too. Instead of a winner for a competition topic, we’re going to award winners for experience levels. This means that our beginners have a chance to shine, and our more experienced artisans can set themselves challenges without fear of tall poppy syndrome. The experience levels are explained on the rules page.

There’s now also a group entry category. The Kingdom was inspired by the Politarchopolis Pentathlon. Many people have spoken to me about how they like to work with others and would like our competitions to allow this. So now they do. Go forth collaborative artisans! Show us what you can make together!!

Want to know more?!

We’ve written some new pages for the website. Check out:

Introduction to A&S competitions

The competition rules

How to organise A&S competitions

How to enter A&S competitions

How to judge A&S competitions

12th Night – Kingdom Competition Results

By   29 January, 2018

Three competition categories were open for entry at 12th Night Coronation. 12 people entered the competitions, and the results are:


First place: Lady Rosalind Beaufort for an aged cider

Second place: Mistress Ant Blowme of Saint Cloud for a treatise on blue glazes


First place: Mistress Katherne Rischer an illuminated

Second place:Lord Halvard Svennissonn for a bone carving with painted viking runes

Inspired by Bees

First place: Don Lorcán Ruadh for a bound book on a treatise of beekeeping

Second Place: Mistress Bethony Gaitskell with her dish of marzipan fish in a honey sauce

With thanks to Bekhi Altani Khalighu for organising the competitions, and to our judges for giving up their time to score and review all the entries