The 100 days of A&S challenge

By   30 April, 2017
a notebook page with a spiral of squares starting at 1 and ending at 100

Safiya bint al-Shadhid’s system to track her 100 days challenge 

Baroness Ameline of Rowany has laid down a personal challenge, and invites the Kingdom to participate if they will:

“I propose a challenge. In the style of the armored combatant Century Drill (100 blows for 100 days), I am undertaking an A&S Century Drill: 10(+) minutes for 100 days.

Hopefully it will serve dual purposes – building habit & consistency, while also reducing UFOs (unfinished objects) and UFIs (unfulfilled ideas)! And hopefully also hijacking some post [Rowany] Festival enthusiasm. Will you join me?

Obviously 10 minutes is the minimum, and as far as what counts – you know it when you see it. Ie, purposeful research counts just as much as actual crafting – but procrasti-faffing on Pinterest does not. And as I am reminded, if you miss a day, your day count resets to zero. Pick your own start date.

I thought about a fb group or event, but I think this is actually what a hashtag does best: #100daysofAS – whether in a facebook community, or on your own page, if you post an update of your progress.”

Her Excellency’s challenge has inspired the Kingdom. People are participating with projects around food, embroidery, music, costuming & shield painting.

If you’re on facebook you can follow along with the hashtag OR if you’re not on facebook and still want to take up the challenge you can post to a blog or twitter or tumblr or other online space, and let us know by commenting on this post.

Rowany Festival A&S competition results

By   19 April, 2017

There were three A&S competitions held at the 2017 Rowany Festival for food, brewing and costuming. Here are the results:

The Capsule Wardrobe contest

Beginners category, with a point between them:

1st: Mildryth Thomaswyf for an Anglo Saxon
2nd: Lady Blanca Gutierez de Avila for 1480s Castile


Lady Gwen verch David for 13th Century Wales


1st: Master Járnulfr Þórólfsson for a Viking trader on the York-Hedeby-Kaupang route
2nd: Mistress Miriam Galbraith for 1570s Flemish market woman

Competition criteria and other details:

Lochac’s Ultimate Food Fight

Winner was Lady Tatianitska Iaroslavna

Competition criteria and other details:

Brewers Guild competition for a cider with apples and one other ingredient

Winner was Lord Wulfgang Germanicus

Competition criteria and other details:

Entering Crown? Need some documentation guidance?

By   25 March, 2017

With the recent announcement from the Crown that entry to May Crown Tournament will require both entrants to have participated in some form of A&S during the reign, we’ve taken the time to update the page on Documentation for A&S in Lochac.

From the a section of a recent announcement by the Crown of Lochac: Ariston and Lilavati, Basileus kai Basilissa

“Entry requirements for Crown Tournament

We have one special requirement of each entrant (whether fighter or consort) into this tournament.

In the Iliad, the poet exalts two qualities of man above all: Arete (excellence), and Techne (knowledge and skills). Both qualities are essential pillars of our Society. Crown Tournaments exist as tests of the Arete of the entrants, but We would have Our successors also display some commitment to Techne, as this pillar is no less essential to the Kingdom’s flourishing.

As such, it is Our requirement for entrants into May Crown AS LII is that for each pair of entrants, both parties must have made an entry in an Arts and Sciences display or competition, or taught a class in the Arts and Sciences, during Our reign. Such entries may be in any field, from any time or culture before 1600CE, and while we will expect some documentation, there is no minimum ‘standard’ of entry required. We merely ask that entrants make a sincere effort to produce something of which they can be proud, which reflects their interests and passions in the Society.

Examples of competitions and displays that would fulfil these criteria include:

– Arts and Sciences competitions or displays organised at local events,
– Guild competitions or displays,
– Arts and Sciences displays at larger events such as Laurel Prize at Rowany Festival,
– Arts and Sciences competitions at Crown Progress events,
– Documentable performances of period arts as part of an event – for example, performing a period piece at a Bardic circle, or cooking and documenting period food for an event.

Classes taught at events to fulfil these criteria must:

– be open to any who wish to attend (i.e. they may not be private classes)
– include some documentation of period (pre-1600CE) content, materials, or approaches involved in the class.

The Crown will expect each pair entering Crown Tournament to provide evidence and testimony of their works, in order to be accepted onto the lists.

This evidence shall be in the form of a copy of the documentation used, a short summary of the context of the competition, display or class (where and when did you do this; who was the audience?), a brief (~100 words) summary of what the entrant was trying to achieve, demonstrate, or share. It should be presented at May Crown, before invocation court.

To ensure that entrants are not restricted by any specific entrance requirements of the Arts and Sciences displays and competitions to which they have access, there will be an open-entry Arts and Sciences display at May Crown itself, and entries in this display will count towards the fulfilment of the tournament’s entry requirements. Entries at this stage which are less suited to a conventional display (such as performances) may be discussed with the Crown by contacting them directly.”

Hopefully this will give you some guidance if you are planning to enter May Crown. You might also want to check our page on “Participating in A&S” for some ideas on how to meet this requirement.




Expanding the criteria for Lochac A&S Champion

By   11 February, 2017

Over the last 6 months I have had numerous conversations that indicate the current format for choosing the Arts & Sciences champion is not meeting the needs of the Kingdom. This is demonstrated by low entries in A&S competitions, and low recognition of the champion, or even the existence of the title, across the Kingdom.

This consultation paper (5 pages) sets out the issues, relevant responses from the Kingdom A&S survey, and details on the proposed changes.

The TL;DR version is:

  1. A champion per reign, announced in Court at Coronation.
  2. The champion is determined through a points system which takes into account the various ways that the populace contributes to A&S in Lochac, and not just through 4 competitions per year (see the paper for the proposed points system)

Points towards the championship will be allocated for the following activities.

  • Contribute an item to an A&S display, Kingdom or local event level. Includes Laurel Prize at Rowany Festival, and A&S display at Canterbury Fair
  • Perform a period piece of entertainment at an event. Think music, singing, poem, theatre.
  • Teach a class at any event
  • Have an article published in Cockatrice
  • Have something scored in a competition that follows the Kingdom competition score sheet, or similar. This can include local competitions. The test is, are you scoring the item out of 50, with a clear description of how points are allocated, and at least 2 people have scored the item. If the scoring is a different scale to 50 then the final score will need to be adjusted to fit the point bands.
  • Attain a ranking in a guild. Where a guild has a different set of ranks, then the equivalent names and scores should be negotiated with the Guilds Deputy, and the decision should be recorded in the guilds documents and the Champion webpage.

Points are allocated on a scale between 1-4 depending on the effort and reviewability of the activity. The specific points are set out in the consultation paper.

The collection of points will be managed by the Arts & Sciences Officers of the Kingdom, as well as Guild Administrators. An online form will be created for officers to input points with their quarterly reports.

Consultation Questions

I’m interested in answers to the following questions. You can comment below or send an email. Also happy to discuss in person/on the phone (email me for a phone number).

  1. Is this a workable model? What benefits and pitfalls can you see?
  2. What else could be included in the points system? How would we fairly allocate points across the Kingdom for that thing?
  3. How do we include research and science in this schema?
  4. Should we include period arts martial, including Archery, in this schema?
  5. What sort of item should we consider for perpetual regalia?
  6. Anything else you think we’ve missed or should consider?

Consultation is open until 15 March (just over 4 weeks).

12th Night’s A&S competitions and open display

By   11 January, 2017

Three Kingdom A&S competitions were held at 12th Night Coronation in Politarchopolis last Saturday. The winners were:

Category: Heads, Hands and Feet

Entries: 12. 3 places were announced in this category due to the number of entrants.

Winner: THL Honore Corbaut

2nd place: Lady Anushka Medvedchikova

3rd place: Lady Euphemia de Niccolo Ziani

Category: Nautical

Entries: 2

Winner: THL Honore Corbaut

2nd place: Master Giles Leabrook

Category: Item to hold liquid

Entries: 1

THL Brían dorcha ua Conaill

Gallery of Entries

A 16th century Venetian veil by Lady Euphemia de Niccolo Ziani

Two items of headwear by Lady Mairi of Kilravock

Mary Rose hats by Baroness Honore Corbaut

A sailor’s diet research paper by Master Giles Leabrook

A 13th century fillet by Lady Gwen verch David

A turned wood goblet by THL Brían dorcha ua Conaill

Where’s Waldo naalbinded hat by Lady Jeneur le Geline

Two pairs of gloves, sewn and naalbinded, by Lady Jeneur le Geline

A 14th century wimple and veil set by Hrafnhilda

A pair of sandals, by Lord Matthijs Tjepke van der Horst

Silk thread and knitted gloves (unfinished) by Lady Anushka Medvedchikova

Open Display

An Open Display was also held, with the following items displayed for the populace to view:

Drinking vessels by Master Owen van Nordern

Rapier and musket holster set by Master Owen van Norden

Various knives and other cutlery by Master Owen van Norden

Two rolls of tablet weaving by Lady Kolfinna Burlufotr

Pottery vessels by Master Alex the Potter

A piece of embroidery by THL Miriam Bat Shimeon

How to take part in an A&S display in Lochac

By   5 January, 2017

An Arts & Sciences display is a chance for any member of the populace to show what they have made or researched. They are a fantastic way to let people know what you have been working on, as well as a great way to see what other people are doing in your group.

There are no categories, or documentation requirements. Items are not judged, instead they are admired by other attendees of the event. Displays can be a finished item, or a work in progress.

photo of a piece of weaving with a small handwritten card in front of it

A sample A&S display entry

Arts & Sciences displays are set up at various events around Lochac. The most notable is Kingdom events, where they can be found next to the competition entries display.

To participate in a display all you need to do is bring your item* along, and place it on the designated table at any time during the event. Although the time allocated for people to enter competitions is a good cue to place your item.

Some cards and pens should be provided so you can write the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. What the item is

Once the display is finished, either as the feast hall is being set up, or at the end of the event, you should collect your item.

*An item can be anything you could leave on or beside a table (or yourself if you want to sit/stand there the entire time…) This can include items you have made/cooked/brewed/painted/etc. but can also include a research paper you have written on a non-material aspect of medieval life, or a poem or piece of music you have composed.

Feedback in person – testing a new idea for Kingdom comps

By   22 December, 2016

Following various conversations I’ve had in the last 6 months, as well as a quick perusal of the survey results[1], it seems that the primary motivation people have for entering Kingdom Competitions is to get feedback on their work. Kingdom competitions have traditionally had a hand-lengths anonymous entries and judging culture, which is not doing any of us any favours. Many people have also spoken of how much they enjoy the Laurel Prize format, where a conversation about work can be held.

So, we are trialing a change to the format for 12th night competition judging:

  1. any entrants who wish are able to ‘defend’ their entry in person rather than just through written documentation.
  2. any entrant who wishes it can receive feedback in person rather than written feedback after the event.
    If this works we’ll incorporate it going forward.

How it will work

When you arrive at the event, or any time before judging commences, submit your entries as per usual.

Judging will commence at 3.30, and we’re going to give the judges 30 minutes to assess all the entries and read documentation supplied with the entry.

At 4pm*, you are welcome to come back to the hall and stand with your entry to either answer any questions the judges may have about your entry (don’t worry, they are most likely to want to clarify something they don’t understand – not to grill you. Our judges are all lovely people who don’t know everything), and to give you any feedback they have on your entry.

Remember you don’t HAVE to do this, it’s just an option we think some people may be interested in.

*Unless you want to attend the Fibre Guild meeting, in which case come back at 3.50.

Can’t attend in person?

The ability of every member of the populace to participate in these competitions despite the vast distances that our Kingdom covers is a concern that has been expressed to me, and is something I am keen to work on. It’s certainly been raised as a barrier to people entering competitions. However, for this particular event I want to trial the mechanics of in person feedback to see what works, and so this sort of feedback won’t be offered to all entrants.

Once we understand whether its valuable to entrants and how our judges feel about the experience then we will think whether other feedback options are possible.  I will, of course, try to send typed feedback to all participants in the week following the event.

[1] results coming soon to this website, promise!

Consultation: 2 years of competition categories

By   22 December, 2016

Greetings Lochac, you asked and we delivered: Kingdom competition categories two years in advance.

These are currently under consultation with the Kingdom’s A&S and guild officers, so may be slightly amended. If you have any comments then please email Mistress Clara, Kingdom Minister for Arts & Sciences.

Update: Midwinter and November Crown categories have now been confirmed

Proposed Competition Categories

Event Place Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3
Midwinter 2017 Cluain Made from wood Molded From the 14th century
November Crown 2017  ?? Inspired by bees Armour From Norse culture
12th Night 2018  ?? A saga. Painted Science
May Crown 2018  ?? Item for an archer Smellable Mediterranean cultures
Midwinter 2018  ?? item intended for pilgrimage/travel Foraged German
November Crown 2018  ?? Cheese & Dairy Forged From the 16th century
12th Night 2019  ?? A map or other cartographic item Woven From the Middle east

Encouraging Arts and Sciences at Your Events – A Steward’s Guide

By   18 December, 2016

There is a strong A&S community in Lochac, and they will often look for ways to engage in A&S at events and meet with other artisans. This page is a guide to help you think about how to incorporate A&S into your event.

The primary thing you should consider when incorporating A&S into your event is to make sure it can be found. Try to locate displays in a place that everyone can admire them, make classes easy to find and hospitable to your teachers and students, and think about how performances and pageantry can add you the atmosphere of your event.

Finally, if you are serving food, then consider that “period food” is just a particular cuisine and we are a nation of people interested in interesting tasty food, so take the chance to showcase something interesting and tasty!


Collegia can be either classes or workshops. They are an important way to share knowledge and skills to newer members of the Society, as well as allow everyone to be inspired. Think about moving beyond the common hour-long lecture with notes, perhaps there is someone in your group who is willing to mentor a group of people through making a particular item, perhaps someone would like to host a round-table discussion on a particular skill…

If you want to include collegia you should consider whether you have the facilities to host classes and workshops – a warm, dry space is a must for most sedentary lecture-style classes, whilst some crafts may require a certain light quality, or warmth, or to be outdoors.

Finally, appoint a specific collegia co-ordinator who is responsible for the class timetable, setting up the teaching spaces, finding teachers and making sure everything is running smoothly.

A&S Displays

A&S displays are a fantastic way to showcase what is currently happening in your local group. They are a low pressure way for artisans to bring along something they have recently completed, or a work in progress, to display for others to see, thus contributing to their renown. It also means that people interested in similar areas can find each other.

You can set up an open display, or create a specific theme. Open displays are preferred, as the artisans of Lochac work on items for various reasons, and usually those reasons don’t align with specific themes. However, if you are creating a theme, then think about something that will have a broad appeal, such as a food item.

They are easy to include in any event, as all that is required is a table or two with a tablecloth upon it.

Advertise ahead of time that an “open display” will be set up, and invite anyone to bring along items. Provide cardboard and marker pens so that people can write down their name and what the item is.

Ensure the table(s) are in a well-lit part of the hall, and that the display extends throughout any feast that is served, so that people can browse entries between removes. Also, be sure to announce the display during court, so people know what it is and where to find it.


In many ways competitions are a specialised version of the A&S display. Where topics are set by the A&S officer (or Kingdom Minister in the case of a Kingdom Event).

If your event has a competition associated with it, then you should make sure that space is provided on the timetable for entries to be submitted and judging to occur. Judging can take an hour or two, depending on the number and complexity of entries.

The competition administration should be organised by your local A&S officer, so check in with them that they know this, and what help they might need. Also, they will need a chance to announce the winner in court (if you have one), so check that your Herald has this included in the business of court.

General Activities

Does your group enjoy dancing? How about singing or music? Performance is a great way to bring the Arts into your event. Think about whether you have the space and at what points in your event such items would enhance everyone’s fun. Between first and second remove is good for dancing, whilst singing might accompany a procession, or occur whilst people are eating.

Maybe you want to include a subtletie (or series of subtleties) to be presented to high table, and you know someone willing to create it. Make sure that such effort is displayed to the entire room to celebrate the creator.

SCAdians often also enjoy games, and there are a variety of period games suitable for events. Consider period board games, or outdoor games that can be run during the day time.

Ultimately A&S emcompasses a variety of activities, and there are so many ways that it can add to your event and create the enjoyment and atmosphere that ensures your event will be a success.

Bal d’Argent Competition Winners

By   10 November, 2016

Announcement from Aeron, Secretary of the Guild of the Silver Rondel

As is the annual tradition of the Guild of the Silver Rondel, several competitions were held at the Bal’dArgent, this year in Ildhafn on November 5 just passed.

The victors in these competitions were:

Non-Rondel: (for newer dancers)
Adrian of Ildhafn, for the Maltese Bransle danced in two different versions.

Silver Serif: (dance-contest for guild members, judged over three dances)
William de Cameron and Enith verch Gwylim tied for technique and artistry scores, dancing Amoroso, Voltate in Ça Rosina, and Parson’s Farewell

Sympkyn of the Moor, Enith verch Gwylim, William de Cameron and Katherine of Glastonbury dancing Rufty Tufty. This was a close competition, and this quartet only gained the edge over their competitors after a double-time performance danced with hats over the gentlemen’s eyes…

Music: (because musicians and dancers are equally important)
Elizabeth Braithwayte, Elena Harper and Juliana Morosini played an excellent rendition of Gelosia. This competition was originally planned to involve each musician playing a solo verse, but the musicians present decided that being able to play together in consort was more important than the ability to compete, and that requiring a solo was not fair to players of instruments less suited to the written melody line. The assembled company declared this valid, so all three players were deemed winners this year, and the Guild will endeavor to find a better means of recognising the skills of our musicians next year.