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On April 14 artisans from around the East Kingdom and as far away as Aethelmarc came together to compete for the honor of being chosen Keeper of the Central Flame.

Twenty-seven artists competed in nine tracks, both as experts and novices. To be chosen as the Keeper, artisans entered three items in at least two different tracks. Judging was done using the East Kingdom rubric. The variety of projects and the high quality of the work were truly inspiring, and made the judges jobs very difficult.

The winners of the tracks were:

Track 1: Embroidery and Cordmaking – Eikaterine ton Elliniki (N), Astridr Musa (EX)
Track 2: Textiles – Janna von Guggisberg (N), Ibrahim al-Rashid (EX)

Reproduction of felt masks from Hedeby, by Lady Cellach Dhonn ingean Mhican an Mhadaidh

Track 3: Culinary –  Eithne (N), Alys Attewater (EX)
Track 4: Costuming – Margarita Carpintero (N), Astridr Musa (EX)
Track 5: Research & Writing – Kellenin de Lanwinnauch (N), Rosina von Schaffhausen (EX)
Track 6: Scribal Arts – Aurelia Colleoni a Bucca Fjorno (N)
Track 7: Smithing and Woodworking – Margarita Carpintero (N)

Stained glass, by Lady Solskinn

Track 8: Fine Arts – Gnaea Celera (EX)
Track 9: Period Science and Miscellany – Rosina von Schaffhausen (EX)
The winner of the Triathelon, and first Keeper of the Central Flame, was Lady Astridr Musa. For her project she created a 16th century “Spanish style” German traveling cloak. She began by spinning the thread and weaving the fabric, then recreated the cutting pattern of the original cloak, and spun and dyed her own embroidery floss. She is a highly skilled weaver and embroiderer, and was excited to learn how the embroidery was an integral part of determining the structure and drape of the finished cloak. Astridr hopes to complete the embroidery in time to display the project at Pennsic.

16th century cloak, by Lady Astridr Musa

By the end of the day it was clear that everyone had enjoyed the competition. The positive feedback left artists encouraged to return home to bring their projects to the next level. The competition organizers are already beginning to plan for next year’s event.