Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How-to Get Your SCA Recreations Noticed

Calontir's Queens Prize just happened a month ago, September 15th. You may have seen pictures on FaceBook about it. Sadly I wasn't able to go, but I had many friends that attended. Some were novices who didn't enter. Why?

Many people make authentic medieval items but lament writing documentation. Are you like them? You make something from start to finish that's a medieval-style treasure. You want to show it off but you hate writing. What can you do? How else can you get your wondrous work noticed?

I have a few tricks for you that don't require a detailed write-up.


Coronation Event Scribes' Display
The easiest is to show your work it in an event display. A display has no judges or prizes. Although some ask you to list basic information on a small card like your name, your item's century and location. With a display, you don't even have to do research before you start. 

Displays may be for a specific purpose. Sometimes they are to show off largess donated to Their Majesties, creations by a specific guild, or items to be sold at a later auction. You'll want to be sure of the requirements before you drop off your creation.




A display may be entries by people who didn't make the things themselves. They might have been received as gifts, barter, or awards. A cool way to "rat-on-your-friends" with work by people that don't often enter competitions. There's one of these at the coming Book Arts RUSH, November 3rd.

12 Night 
Populace Choice Competition
You could enter a populace choice competition. These are similar to displays, but with a winner. They usually ask for a card label for your entry, similar to a display. The event notice will tell you if there is a theme for the competition, like this "drinking vessel". This 12th Night the populace choice competition is "anything made in contrasting colors".

The event attendees pick the entry they prefer. At the closing, the entry with the most tokens or beans wins. 

You might gift your creation to others. If you give it to Their Majesties in court everyone will see briefly what you made. If you turn it into them privately through their retinue all who visit their chambers will see it. Your work can be a gift for Their Majesties themselves, for use by the Royal office, or for largess. 

Make your creations for 12th Night or birthday presents. With this, you'll want to consider how the recipient would display or use your work. Is it something they can keep with them most of the time, like a handkerchief or belt? Or will it be left at home like handmade quills and ink? 

Donate your work as an Arts and Sciences' competition prize. For best results talk with the event's competition organizer soon after the event steward begins planning. Event staff will want to coordinate your donation with its budget and theme. This works well for both local and Kingdom events.

You might share your re-creation in a group discussion. In Calontir it's called an "artisans' show-and-tell". It was started by my friend HL Natalya Alekseya Vasilova. These are like being back in school. The maker talks about their creation while it's passed around the table for all to see. Others at the table ask questions. Sometimes a lively, friendly discussion gets going about your process. Simple and fun. 

If you can't find an artisans' show-and-tell to enter, lead one yourself. Coach everyone in the circle to share their work before you do. Encourage comments on each item and finish by sharing your creation. Of course, you'll thank everyone for coming and sharing theirs. 

Handmade Pottery Merchant Display
If you like making multiple similar creations you could sell them as an event merchant. Personally I rather write documentation, because this takes dedication, organization, planning, storage, hauling and seed-money. Still, it's a hobby that may help your budget plus get your items noticed. 

Those are the tricks you can use to show off your SCA creations without writing detailed documentation. Ways that will help you grow in knowledge and confidence while you investigate period practices. The best part is they connect you with SCA friends who share your interests in medieval arts and sciences. 

Related Prior Post: 
Why Write Documentation For SCA Projects?