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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:

Experienced

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

Intermediate

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

Beginner

  • 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)

Group

  • 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!