The Great Hall at Pennsic 42 was filled with kingdom banners, tables of artisans displaying their skills, and the buzz of the crowds. Here and there intriguing items poked above the heads of the spectators: a large painting. Dresses displayed on mannequins. A folding German clothes closet. Welcome to the Known World A&S Display.
The East was well represented in a wide variety of skills on display. On the culinary front, Galefridus Peregrinus sat behind a number of small dishes of olives cured from different period recipes. Judith bas Rabbi Mendel talked to visitors about how the contents of the Jewish seder plate changed throughout SCA period.
Glass, ceramics, and metalworking were also represented by several Easterners. Bronwen Rose of Greyling’s table was covered with tiny enameled medallions in vibrant colors and exquisite detail. Elizabeth Underhill’s Anglo-Saxon glass bead replicas were beautifully displayed next to their documentation, while Brunisette la Dragonette showed off several examples of her pottery. A few tables away, Nest verch Tangwystl sat behind her lace working display. At the back of the hall, one table was bare except for a little card that read “Erec l’Claire / East Kingdom / Kufenschrank (Behind you). A large wooden free-standing closet was, in fact, behind you. Erec L’Claire stood nearby, ready to discuss the cleverly constructed box that held his garb at Pennsic and yet folded flat into a car.
Wandering the room, one’s eye was instantly caught by Naomi bat Avraham’s boiled linseed experiment. Any documentation that starts off with “Trial 1: Catastrophic Failure” combined with a picture of a pot in flames is a definite attention-getter. Her project involved boiling linseed oil down and mixing it with lampblack for a period printing ink. Linseed oil can be temperamental stuff, though, and the first batch appears to have burned merrily. She had samples of the finished oil on display alongside vials of commercial calligraphy ink and commercial linseed oil for comparison.
Some highlights from other kingdoms (pictured below, clockwise from top) included Lady Sigrid the Beadmaker’s giant silk banner of a late period-style map of Northern Drachenwald in intricate detail, examples of Italian tin-glazed pottery by Matilda Hanscombe (Middle), a wooden wheelbarrow by Atlantia’s Sigrid Briansdottir, and Opus Anglicanum embroidery by Baroness Janina Krakowska (Atlantia).
Vivant to the Artisans of the Known World!
The Gazette gratefully acknowledges Elinor Strangewayes who submitted this article and provided all of the photographs included herein.