SCA West Kingdom Arts & Sciences classes

Collegium - Classes

Below are some of the classes taught at 2013's event.

Several teachers have graciously shared handouts from their classes, all in PDF format, for you to download. Some of the files are large, so please be patient.

Basic Beginning Documentation -- Taught by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

Making Period-Style Largess -- Taught by Violet Ruthvene

Medieval Food for the Modern Palate: French Edition -- Taught by Flidais ni Eitigen

Persona, Name and Device: Selection and Observations -- Taught by Frederick of Holland

A Rainbow of Ruffs, handout and slideshow -- Taught by Elena Edgar

A Survey of the Writings of Christine de Pizan: Her Life, Times, and Works -- Taught by Antonio Giordano da Sicilia

Basic Beginning Documentation

Taught by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
Lecture and exercises in preparing and organizing documentation for A&S competitions. This is meant as a basic-level class for those who are uncertain where to begin or what to include. More experienced people are also welcome.
Teacher Provides: Samples of various approaches to documentation
Students Should Bring: If desired, students should bring ideas and information about a project they would like to document, which we will use for in-class exercises.

Beginning Almans

Taught by Rebecca da Firenze
We will go over three almans: Black Alman, Queen's Alman, and Lorayne Alman. We may do more if there is time and people are interested. Dances will be taught thoroughly. Steps will be taught. Come have fun!

Bidding the Beads: Historical Rosaries and Paternosters

Taught by Christian de Holacombe
For most of the SCA's period, a rosary or paternoster was a common accessory for men and women of all ages. Whether simple or elaborate, worn for religious reasons or just to show off a piece of expensive and attractive jewelry, there are many types and many ways to wear one. In this class, you'll see many pictures and handle a collection of replicas of historical rosaries. Optional $6 buys a kit to make your own 50-bead loop with a cross or other medallion. "Conversion kits" are available for anyone who wants to make an Islamic rosary.
Teacher Provides: Kits with needle, string, and beads. Instructor also provides scissors and glue.
Class Fee: $6

Breakdown of a Bardic Performance: How to Read Your Audience

Taught by Inara
This course will cover the basics of a bardic performance. It will discuss preparation, how to read your audience, and how to appropriately convey mood in an effort to keep the audience entertained.
Teacher Provides: Handouts
Class Fee: $2.

La Calabaza: Crafting a Gourd Bottle

Taught by Saionji no Hana
Bottle gourds are one of the oldest plants cultivated by man. Used to make cups, bowls, and bottles in cultures and periods all over the world, calabazas were standard gear for the pilgrims to Compostela. Students will prepare, clean, and seal their own Calabaza.
Teacher Provides: Tools, materials
Students Should Bring: Be prepared to get dusty, avoid sleeves that will get in your way
Class Fee: $20
Limited Attendance: Maximum 10 students.

English Country Dance

Taught by Cynthia Fayrfax
A selection of new dances and an old favorite from the 1651 edition of Playford's "The Dancing Master." These are dance that will useful to know for 12th Night, the Crosston Ball, and other events with Renaissance dance.
Students Should Bring: Dance shoes

Fencing Footwork

Taught by Staffan Arffuidsson
Learn the basics of footwork for all of you fencing needs.
Students Should Bring: A sword and good shoes

Gracca Amorosa for Beginners

Taught by Rebecca da Firenze
Come learn a fun, bouncy cascarda from Master Caroso's manual! Absolute beginners are welcome. The dance will be taught in detail. Attendance at the previous 16th-century Italian class or familiarity with 16th-century Italian steps is helpful but absolutely not required.

Horses in the West Kingdom and You

Taught by Else Hunrvogt
A discussion on equestrian opportunities in the West Kingdom. In particular, the deputy KEO would like to hear more about the unique needs and interests of modern riders, SCA horse owners, and horse-interested members of the SCA in the Principality of the Mists. Students should bring their questions, ideas, problems, and concerns and we can work together as a group to find areas of interest, explore ideas that have worked in other locales, identifying existing tools and infrastructure, and start thinking about the long-range planning for continuing and building both the Kingdom and Principality EQ programs.

How to Kill Friends and Influence People: An Overview of Historical Sword Arts

Taught by Kevin of Windymeads
This class will provide a brief survey of extant fencing texts from the 13th- to the early 17th-century and will attempt to place them within their historical context. This class will provide the student with a starting point for further investigation of historical fencing and a grounding in the vocabulary used to describe the various schools and traditions. We will also examine ways in which such texts may be used within SCA combat.
Teacher Provides: Handouts, library of historical fencing texts

The Ins and Outs of Arming Coats

Taught by Klaus Rother von Schweinichen
What would my persona have worn under his or her armor? What's the difference between a gambeson, an aketon, and a pourpoint? How much padding do I really need? Does this coat make my butt look fat? Master Klaus answers these and other burning questions! We will survey evidence for arming garments in period and discuss the different functions they performed and how best to adapt period designs for SCA fighting and talk about materials choices and construction techniques. This is not primarily a tailoring class so no previous experience in sewing is needed, although it will certainly help in understanding some of the jargon.
Teacher Provides: Handouts
Class Fee: $1

Introducing the Clairseach, the Gaelic Wire-Strung Harp

Taught by Tangwystel Telynores
This lecture course will explore the development of the harp from pre-history through the evolutionary branch that became the Clairseach, the wire-strung harp found in the Gaelic-speaking countries of Scotland and Ireland. We will focus on answering: How was this harp developed? When and where? Who played it? What did it sound like? We will examine iconography in several media that show this development, as well as some descriptions in literature. We will conclude with careful attention paid to the three extant examples of 14th- to 15th-century Clairseachs.
Teacher Provides: Handouts

Introduction to 16th-Century Italian Dance

Taught by Geoffrey Mathias
We will learn two easy 16th-century dances from Italy -- Vilanella and Contrapasso.

Intermediate English Country Dance

Taught by Crystal of the Westermark
Learn intermediate English country dances that will be featured at Mists Investiture, the Duchesses Ball at 12th Night, and the Crosston Ball.
Students Should Bring: Comfy footwear or warm socks

Ivory and Bone: Not Just for Early Period Personas!

Taught by Flidais ni Eitigen
Bone, ivory, antler, and horn were the plastic of the medieval period. This class will discuss the differences between ivory, bone, and antler and survey the items made with the different materials. Horn will not be discussed in this class.
Teacher Provides: Handouts
Class Fee: $1

Making Period-Style Largess

Taught by Violet Ruthvene
Largess is the small gifts often given by royalty to others in thanks for service or hospitality, but can be given by anyone at any time. Royalty are frequently in need of large amounts of largess because they have lots of people to thank and they travel throughout their reigns, so they depend on the populace to donate largess. Making such gifts that are in a period style enhances the game, and it's not that hard to do. You can learn new arts, practice current ones, impress everyone, and give back to your principality and kingdom with these little projects that don't take much time and require only a little bit of materials. Instructor will proved a handout listing many largess project ideas and will show examples of projects to make.
Teacher Provides: Handouts
Class Fee: $1

Medieval Food for the Modern Palate: French Edition

Taught by Flidais ni Eitigen
Medieval food is food, and while there are records of dishes that seem strange and unappetizing at first glance, there are many dishes that are not very different from everyday modern foods. Come learn about the perfectly period, perfectly ordinary tasty foods (with an emphasis on French) that can enhance your medieval experience.
Teacher Provides: Handouts
Class Fee: $1

Middle Eastern Clothing: Persian vs. Ottoman Turkish

Taught by Inara
A basic breakdown of Middle Eastern clothing, namely the comparison between Persian and Ottoman Turkish. This course will include explanations of what is viewed as more fantasy style clothing and what is more authentic to the Middle Eastern style. We will namely focus on the clothing although we will also touch base on accessories, hair coverings, headdresses, and makeup.
Teacher Provides: Handouts
Class Fee: $2

The Musical Modes: More Than Just Major and Minor

Taught by Tangwystel Telynores
Come and learn why "I don't particularly like modes a lot" is useful, but untrue! Most musicians are familiar with "Major" and "Minor" in a key, but the musical modes extend those concepts across the entire diatonic scale. Much of period music is modal in nature. Identifying the key with the mode of the music is extremely useful both for solo and ensemble performance. The course will examine the musical modes and how to identify them and make use of them.
Teacher Provides: Handouts
Students Should Bring: An instrument capable of playing at least 2 octaves in a diatonic scale, preferably in the key of C (if not C, then F, G, or D would be helpful). Instructor has a very limited supply of Irish tin whistles to loan, as well.

Photography and the SCA

Taught by Joel the Brewer
An open forum for discussion about photography within the West Kingdom. Depending on who shows up, it could be more technical or aesthetic or ethical.

A Rainbow of Ruffs

Taught by Elena Edgar
A survey of colored ruffs in literature and art from the 16th century, plus a colored ruff petting zoo! This is your one-stop-shop for learning about the authenticity of wearing blue, green, yellow or even pink ruffs! See a slideshow of period portraits blatantly displaying colored ruffs -- captured for posterity! Hear descriptions of colored ruffs by actual period eye-witnesses! Fondle a gallery of actual ruffs colored using period techniques, and thrill at the history of the rise and fall of the colored ruff in fashion! Plus, gasp at blatant speculation on context: how and when it was worn and by whom! There's even a possibility of a dramatic reading of the always-entertaining Philip Stubbs, the original Cranky Old Guy and hater of all things decadent and ruffed. PLUS, bonus SCANDAL: This class contains some material that falls outside of what the SCA considers "period," as the fashion for colored ruffs continued into the first half of the 17th century!
Teacher Provides: Handouts

Rapier Melee: Small Unit Tactics Basics

Taught by Staffan Arffuidsson
Learn the basics of how to work as a team on the rapier melee field.
Students Should Bring: As much fencing gear they can allowing them to train. (Not required, but it is helpful to have.)

Sewing Fur

Taught by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
Hands-on demonstration and workshop on techniques for preparing fur trimmings and linings for garments, especially when working from re-used fur coats, collars, etc. All materials and supplies for a small sample piece will be provided, but students may bring their own fur to work with if desired.
Teacher Provides: Fur scraps for practice, sewing materials and tools, notions (twill tape, lining fabric)
Students Should Bring: If desired, fur to be evaluated for a costuming project. There won't really be time to do more than the sampler, but we can discuss project-planning.
Class Fee: $5
Limited Attendance: Maximum 6 students.

Shoemaking 101: Boar Bristles and Linen Stitching Cords

Taught by Vyncent atte Wodegate
Historically, from about the 10th century onwards, shoemakers have used linen thread to sew shoes together (although leather thongs were used in some instances as well). The linen was typically attached to a boar bristle created a 'waxed end' which acts as a needle to pass the linen threads through holes created by an awl. In this class, we will wind five strands of linen thread around a boar bristle to create a stitching cord of about three yards which has boar bristles at both ends of the cord.
Teacher Provides: Linen thread, wax, boar bristles
Students Should Bring: A dullish knife, scissors, a piece of wood to act as a cutting board
Limited Attendance: Maximum 6 students.

Shoemaking 102: The Round Stitch in Shoemaking

Taught by Vyncent atte Wodegate
Pre-requisite -- Shoemaking 101: Boar Bristle and Linen Stitching Cords. The most common stitch for closing uppers (that is, creating the top portion of the shoe) was the round stitch. This stitch is a double-running stitch used to join two pieces of leather together. In this class, we will use the stitching cords made in Shoemaking 101 to sew together a shoemaking palm. A shoemaking palm is an essential tool for shoemaking, as the act of stitching a shoe often requires one to pull a stitch very tight, and doing so against the bare skin of the hand can chafe and cut.
Teacher Provides: Stirrups, closing blocks, awls, wax, leather
Students Should Bring: Stitching cords from Shoemaking 101
Class Fee: $5
Limited Attendance: Maximum 6 students.

Silk Banner Painting 201: Shading and Blending

Taught by Sof'ia Stepanova doch'
This intermediate-level class can work either as a demonstration or a workshop. Shading and blending techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. Students wishing to paint in class should have some silk painting experience, but complete beginners are welcome to sit in, listen, and learn. Nothing is required of those wishing to sit in and listen. Students wishing to paint in class, see below.
Teacher Provides: Mixing cups for paints, drop cloth, hair dryer
Students Should Bring: Basic silk painting supplies including silk (make sure to have your gutta design complete and dry before class), stretching frame, clips/pins, rubber bands, silk paints (Dye-na-flow works very well for this technique), several paintbrushes of varying sizes both soft and stiff, 1 roll of paper towels, 1 or 2 cups/jars for water

Sinister Sword Fighting: How to Be a Better Left-Handed Fighter (Or ... How to Keep That Evil Lefty From Killing Me on the Field)

Taught by Heinrich
This class is designed to give new and not so new left-handed heavy fighters the tools they need to better face off against right- and left-handed opponents. The topics covered will also allow right-handed fighters a better set of tools for combatting a left-handed opponent. Some of this may apply to rapier, but that is NOT the focus of this class. Class focus will start with basic stance for sword and shield, basic shot targeting and foot placement, and intro to the "what works and what doesn't work" for left-handed fighters. We will discuss the various shield options for left-handed fighters as well as sword options (bet you didn't think there were sword options). Followed by more advanced shot placement and tricks to get your opponent to be where you want them to be, as well as two sword techniques (both offense and defense). Final bits of the class will focus on mass weapons and pole weapons, if there is interest and time. This primarily will be an unarmored class with slow work (bring swords and other weapons and shield, with a helmet being optional but recommended for safety). Armored fighters will get to try out the tricks, if space and time allow.
Teacher Provides: Shields of various size and shape strapped for lefties. Swords for those without.
Students Should Bring: Weapons and shield. Armor if desired (gauntlets for mass weapons training if desired).

So You Want to Attack With Capoferro?: An Introduction to Italian Rapier

Taught by Kevin of Windymeads
This class will cover the fundamentals of the three great early 17th-century Italian rapier texts: Nicoletto Giganti, Salvador Fabris, and Ridolfo Capoferro. While not working within a single master's material, this class will cover the foundational actions, theory, and body mechanics necessary to begin the serious study of any of these authors. Topics covered will include the use of tempo and contratempo, the lunge, and the purpose and method of finding the sword.
Teacher Provides: Handout, some limited loaner gear
Students Should Bring: SCA-legal rapier kit

The Stick and Fuzzy Stuff: Introduction to Drop Spinning

Taught by Aine inghean Tuathail ui Ghallchobhair
This class is a basic introduction to spinning wool. We will go over the history of the drop spindle, different types of drop spindles, information regarding processing your own wool, card length, and various types of equipment. Then there will be a hands-on portion where you will get to learn how to spin your own wool into thread. Some drop spindles and wool will be available.
Teacher Provides: Loaner drop spindles, wool for spinning, handouts
Students Should Bring: If you have a drop spindle, you are welcome to bring it
Class Fee: $3
Limited Attendance: Maximum 10 students.

Stitched Gem Bezels

Taught by Aelia Apollonia
This class focuses on one of the stitched gem settings found on an early 11th century Austrian chasuble as researched by Mistress Aldith Angharad St. George. Using this technique, students will attach one gem to cloth with a stitched setting.
Teacher Provides: Handout & kit with fabric, hoop, needles, metallic and cotton DMC thread, gems
Students Should Bring: Embroidery scissors for DMC metallic and cotton perle threads
Class Fee: $5
Limited Attendance: Maximum 6 students.

A Survey of the Writings of Christine de Pizan: Her Life, Times, and Works

Taught by Antonio Giordano da Sicilia
Christine de Pizan (1365--1430 A.D.) was Europe's first woman known to have earned her living by the pen. Christine de Pizan was able to become successful in a time when women had no legal rights and were considered their father's or husband's property. Her life was a product of the fortunes and misfortunes she endured. At the age of 25, Christine's husband died, leaving her to support her three children, a niece, and her mother. She turned to writing to make her living and as such, she is also considered Europe's first professional writer. Prompted by necessity, Christine wrote incessantly and she gained a reputation as a prolific and diverse author, producing works on a wide range of subjects and genres including biography, poetry, history, novels, short stories, feminist polemics, and books on advice and morality, military techniques, religion, politics, and literary commentary.

Tales From the Cock and Bulls Tavern

Taught by Joel the Brewer
A roundtable discussion about what makes for a good SCA tavern.

When to Bow or Not to Bow

Taught by Gerstan Heah Leah
Primarily for newcomers. How to look graceful and feel good when being called before royalty. How to recognize royalty when meeting them on the field. Event courtesies, such as when you go to someone's pavilion and other aspects of event life.