Yesterday, Rachael and I decided to head out to Hartshorn-dale for Artisan’s Village. Before we left, I decided I was going to enter a Scherenschnitte (German paper cutting) piece for the “Show Us the Minstrels” Challenge by Mistress Sabine. The challenge was to create a period piece of art depicting musicians/poets/etc. I decided at the last minute (the night before) to enter just for the heck of it. Scherenschnitte has a few subject themes often done one of which is fairy tales so I decided to go with the Bremen Town Musicians. For those unfamiliar with the story, a donkey, a cat, a dog, and a rooster are too old to be of use so they decide to go to Bremen to become musicians. On the way, they find a house filled with robbers so they climb on each other’s backs and make a lot of noise and scare off the robbers and live happily ever after (ironically never making it to Bremen or becoming musicians). I’m fully aware that it didn’t fully meet the challenge but it was my attempt at doing something with my own twist (technically right but only kinda). So the morning of the event, I finished the piece, printed out a copy of the fairy tale, and we headed out to the event.
We got lost on the way and got there a little later than planned but I was able to go to Paper Village and learn how to make paper and get a lot of great tips and information from Baroness Christina Jenevra de Carvalhal. It was really exciting to get to try it out first hand and get some information that I can use so that I can start making my own paper for my pieces with more historical accuracy. After Paper Village, I went over to Science Village and hung out with Master Alesone Gray of Cranlegh (she is a Laurel and goes by the period term as a Master Grocer which goes with her persona which is why she goes by Master, not Mistress) who was making period rosewater and jams. It was really cool and really interest and if you ever get the chance to talk to her, do so cus she’s got a wealth of information in so many fields.
My cadet brother, Brendan Firebow taught a class nearby on historical fencing from the teachings of an Italian fencing master by the name of Salvatore Fabris. I wasn’t able to participate the whole time (my knee didn’t want to cooperate) but I’m not worried because I see him most Tuesdays and can work with him when my knee is feeling up for it. It was a really interesting class and definitely something I will keep in mind for the future when I have time.
At the end of the day, all that was left was the challenges. In the case of the challenge I had entered, I turned out to be the only one who entered. I had left a book for comments from anyone who wanted to leave any advice. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to talk to Mistress Sabine who had to leave early but she left me a note in my book saying she really liked my out of the box approach to the challenge. When I was collecting my piece, I met a man named Reb Eleazar ha-Levi and got to talking. It turns out he had a lot of information related to another form of cut paper, this one from Jewish culture. I had recently found out about it but was hesitant to do anything before I found out more because I didn’t want to do anything that could be considered sacrilegious or offensive. He gave me some great advice on subject matter to avoid as well as several to consider as symbols for my pieces. It was really helpful to listen to some of his stories and his knowledge of history. I can’t wait to start working on one piece called a mizrach which is put up to point in the direction of Jerusalem. Overall, it was a nice event that I learned a ton from and has really made me excited to dive in to A&S.
For those curious, here is the piece that I submitted. This is all from a single piece of paper. Hope yall like it. Stay tuned for more to come. Southern Region War Camp is coming up Saturday and it’s going to be a blast.