Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Are You Keeping an SCA Portfolio?

Have you started your SCA portfolio yet? Why do you even need one?

If you are new to the SCA I'm sure you aren't thinking in those terms. But I bet you're taking pictures. As you take them, be sure to take some of what you make too. Everything you make, awesome or crap. Digital photos and scans are a cheap, easily stored record of your SCA creative journey.


If and when you teach a class or enter a competition save a few copies of any handout or paper you create. Be sure the date and your name are on them.

Why keep a record for a hobby you do strictly for fun?  There's the possibility in the future you may want to remake today's item. Maybe it's more helpful five years from now, but you broke it, lost it or gave it away. Pictures will help. Journal notes would be even better. 

I've been in the SCA 25 years, so it's really fun to look back at what I've created and taught. Your friends and family will enjoy seeing your collection, too. It's also handy to display at demos.


Portfolios show your creative talents more extensively than any accomplishment list like a resume. A scribe's portfolio is easy because we work in two-dimensional art. All I have to do is scan the scrolls or other works and put them in a plastic sleeve in a binder. On the scan I write notes about the materials I used and my personal critique. Any written pages I three hole punch and include. I put them in the binder with the most recent toward the front.

If your interest is cooking you will want to include pictures of dishes and test meals you make. As you recreate a Medieval recipe include notes and photos of your experiment and the final recipe with a picture. Of course save the same handouts and competition documentation like any artisan.

Portfolios aren't just for artisans. Although they may not call their records by that name, fighters and archers will want to save pictures of their items as well. Attempts at armor creation, a handmade period bow or arrows. And of course anything you teach that has a handout. Save those labeled with the date and your name for sure.


Other things you might include:

  • a list of classes you take with their date and notes
  • a list of classes you teach with their date and handouts
  • a list of offices you've held with their date and comments
  • a list of relevant Youtube videos or DVDs you make
  • a list of awards with their date, monarch and kingdom
  • a list of well research topics
  • relevant letters you receive such as thank yous or encouragement
  • physical samples if possible, such as snippets of weaving or dying 
  • pictures of you doing SCA things
  • merchant data

While it's nice to keep these in a binder or a journal, it's possible to keep them on a DVD or a blog. The way you create your record will depend on your SCA interest areas. Your collection may expand beyond one binder. It may eventually fill a file cabinet.

In the SCA we create things, but we don't keep them all. If you don't keep and organize your SCA records, in the future you won't have them for reference, display, or reminiscence. 

Related Prior Post:
How to Toot Your Own Horn...Unobnoxiously