These 5 gentles are competing for the honor of representing our Barony as the new Arts & Sciences Champion: Berakha bar Mira v’Shlomo,  Ciaran ua Meic Thire, Jonathan Miles, Lillian Hutchinson, and Wulfgar Silfrahaar.

Berakha bar Mira v’Shlomo
Entry: Reproduction of a 16th century Persian coat

This is an attempt to create a garment in the style of 16th C. Persian fashions based on contemporaneous art from the time period. Note that all images are in .pdf of paper below.

N.B. This candidate is competing virtually only.

Inspiration: I relied on 15th, 16th, and 17th C Persian artwork, primarily miniature paintings and tilework. Examples are included below.

Research and creation process:  What Can Persian Miniatures Teach Us About Qaba Construction?

Sources consulted:
Princely Couple 1400-1405, MMA

Wine Drinking in a Spring Garden – C. 1430, MMA  

“Entertainment in a Garden”, Folio from a Khamsa of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi, second half 16th century, MMA

Reciting Poetry in a Garden – first quarter 17th century (just post-period), MMA

I want to learn more about: Safavid-era garment construction and the differences between extant pieces and the artwork of the time period that depicts those same fashions.

How did the pandemic shut down change your point of view? When the SCA moved online, it made a huge range of people and e-events accessible to me. That allowed me to take a huge number of classes over the past 18 months, like dance, jewelry making, weaving, music, and more! It also allowed me to learn a lot more about our Society and the people that make it up. I miss real-world events and am excited to return to them, but the ethereal events have opened so many doors and gifted with me with new knowledge and new friends. I am really grateful we have it and hope for online and hybrid events to continue post-pandemic.

What does representing Settmour Swamp mean to you? I am not a Swamp resident, but I’ve always like you guys, and having a chance to be involved with and contribute to such an excellent group of people is something that means a lot to me. Beyond that, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to persist, the e-SCA allows us to meet and work on our crafts in ways not bounded by geography, which is also why I am so eager to throw my hat in the ring as I have a greater opportunity to contribute to your barony and the SCA overall.

How can you encourage the arts of the Barony? I can make garments for the Barony – either regalia for offices or one outfit for the baron, or something like that. I can hold a workshop, or otherwise liaise with the A&S officer to collaborate on classes, events, and workshops.


Ciaran ua Meic Thire
Entry: Phoenix in Chinese cut paper style known as Jian Zhi

Cut paper phoenix in red       Cut paper dragon in purple, detail

This is a phoenix cut from a single sheet of rice paper as delicate as rice paper (before being cut, even more delicate now). Everything from the phoenix itself to the color of the paper used had meaning in the culture that add meaning to the piece.

Inspiration: This piece was inspired by the pandemic itself and Her Majesty, Queen Honig who uses a peacock on her arms (the phoenix has peacock feathers). In Eastern cultures, the phoenix represents the Empress (ie the queen) and in Western cultures, the phoenix represents rebirth and renewal. The combination of the symbols seemed like the best choice as we (hopefully) on our way to recovering from this pandemic or at least from the dark times it has caused, it felt like the right symbol for this time.

Sources consulted: The main source used was “Science and Civilisation in China” Vol 5 by Joseph Needham. Other sources used include “Cross-Cultural Experiences Through an Exhibition in China and Switzerland” by Crystal Hui-Shu Yang, and “Paper-cut in China.”

I want to learn more about: No input here.

How did the pandemic shut down change your point of view? The biggest thing I’ve found from this pandemic is how much creativity is required no matter what kind of Art or Science is being done. A&S isn’t about showing pretty stuff to others or even about sharing the knowledge with others as both of those aspects can be done virtually. What this pandemic has really done was stress us all past the point of exhaustion and the first thing to go is our creativity. With it goes our will to want to do art in most forms as we are so focused on things we need to do to keep surviving.

I used to think that I wasn’t at all creative because the pieces I make are all inspired by previous works and using symbols important to other cultures but art is a way to tell others who you are as a person. I have now learned that the creativity I thought I lacked isn’t in the subject matter but in the styles and cultures behind each piece themselves. Even if each style is basically the same in the sense that it is paper being cut with a sharp object (either knife or scissors or chisel), there is so much more to how it is all gone about.

What does representing Settmour Swamp mean to you? Settmour Swamp is where I first got into A&S and Orlando and Charis were some of the people who supported me when I first started. Swamp is where I first joined the East Kingdom and has always been my home. I aim to serve the barony in any way I can and through art is one of the ways I have aspired to serve ever since I joined the A&S community.

I think you should know: I have recently stepped up as the archery champion for the barony of Bhakail. If this means that I am ineligible to compete for Settmour Swamp’s Baronial A&S champion, so be it but I would still like to compete.

How can you encourage the arts of the Barony? My art is unique in the sense that most if not all people already own all of the equipment they will need to start. All that is needed is paper and something to cut with (and preferably something to cut on so you don’t damage your tables). This is an art that can be as complex and delicate or as simple and stable as one wants and there are at least a dozen different cultures and styles before the end of period. One we even still do today with kids, paper snowflakes! I believe that the fact that it can be done with supplies already owned at home and can be as simple as something every child in the barony has done at least once is how we can bring in new arts and new artists.


Jonathan Miles
Entry: The Tomb Effigy of Sir Jonathan Miles

Dummy in reproduction armor as effigy Dummy as armored tomb effigy Sketch of 15th c tomb effigy

This piece of armor is a reproduction of extant armor from this time period, or this is a jupon worn by a swiss dude and it differs from the ones worn by french dudes in these ways, etc.

Inspiration: The effigy of Walter von Hohenklingen.

Sources consulted: Pictures of the tomb effigy(primary), research by Toby Capwell (secondary)

Plaster cast of tomb effigy

I want to learn more about: Medieval and mundane stitches and their applications for making rugged garments that will see lots of abuse.

How did the pandemic shut down change your point of view? It brought certain skilled people online who where not participating before which grew the armoring community and got people excited.

What does representing Settmour Swamp mean to you? Virtually it means I can be an ambassador not only to the Barony but to the A&S activities and culture. In person it means I am not just a smelly stick jock.

How can you encourage the arts of the Barony? I think I have a strong understanding of how imposter syndrome effects us as artists, the context that the SCA gives to our work and why it matters, the understanding of the A&S community as a strong interface to the society with a low barrier to entry, and how failure informs process and how process leads to success.


Lillian Hutchinson
Entry: She Wears Her Faith as the Fashion of Her Hat

woman in English hoodWoman in French hood

For this project, I created 2 hats, an English gabled hood and a French hood. These hats represent not only the fashion of the time, but a political statement about wealth, faith, and politics.
N.B. This candidate is competing virtually only.

Inspiration: These creations were inspired by the fashion work of Ninya Mikhaila and Jane Malcolm-Davies (The Tudor Tailor team) as well as the portraits of Hans Holbein.

Research and creation process: The Fashion of Her Hat

For this project, I chose to recreate both the English gabled hood and the French hood. Each hood is hand stitched of buckram, satin, silk, and velvet. The patterns are based on those published in The Tudor Tailor by Ninya Mikhalia and Jane Malcolm-Davies. The patterns in this book are well documented and based on both extensive historical research and the author’s experience producing clothes for reenactors at Hampton Court Palace.

I chose to create the hood using traditional fabric colors of black, white and gold. The majority of portraits I explored, show variations of this basic color scheme. The Tudor Tailor provides further support for these choices. In addition to reviewing the methods and information provided by The Tudor Tailor, I also reviewed Tudor costume and fashion, Tudor costume and fashion, and the Period Patterns Tudor-era headdresses c1490-1580.

For better context into the colors, styles and wearers of English gabled hoods and French hoods, I looked at portraits of a variety of Tudor women including Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Anne of Brittany, Princess Mary Tudor and Anne Boleyn. These portraits were drawn by a variety of artists including Hans Holbein and Lucas Horenbout.

Finally, I created context for the political and social implications of the fashions using a variety of primary and secondary sources. The primary sources included “The Lisle Letters,” contemporary letters written by Lady Lisle and her family, and Nicholas Sander’s description of Anne Boleyn published in “Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism,” a later description of the English Reformation first published in 1573. The secondary sources included “How to be a Tudor: a dawn-to-dusk guide to Tudor life,” as well as “The Tudor Tailor.”


Katherine of Aragon miniature

I want to learn more about: I would very much like to learn more about earlier styles and construction of hats. I am curious about how the hennin and other hats eventually evolved into the smaller hats of the Tudor era. I am also curious about hats in general and how they were created across cultures.

How did the pandemic shut down change your point of view? When all else failed, art remained. I think so many people were lonely, bored, and disconnected from so many aspects of life that helped to create meaning. However, art gave so many people a place to focus their energy. It gave me a sense of empowerment as I created beautiful things in the middle of trauma, and it allowed me to keep a sense of connection as I shared my art with others in the SCA.

What does representing Settmour Swamp mean to you? I believe that “Anyone can cook” (Disney- Ratatouille). Being the A&S champion would give me the opportunity to encourage people to try new things, fail beautifully, and dive into research in a new way. I think sometimes looking at the work of others can be daunting as a new person. People tend to think that “I could never be THAT good at doing that, so maybe this isn’t for me”, forgetting that it took years of practice before the person was that good.

I think the A&S champion can play a large role in demystifying the process and showing the effort and joy that becomes the bridge between something you are curious about and something you are passionate about. Being the A&S champion would also be an opportunity to be a connector helping people find the people and research that would inspire them to take the next step in their work.

How can you encourage the arts of the Barony? I think the pandemic has opened a unique opportunity to do virtual events as well as in person events. It would be nice for the barony to offer some opportunities for the populace and the people of other baronies and kingdoms to join online events that feature crafters sharing their process and art. This could be a virtual class or in person and filmed, then shared on the barony YouTube channel. Also, I think there is an opportunity to elevate the role of research. One of the main challenges I have faced is “where do I go for information”. I think having some librarians, and people who enjoy research to do a class on ‘How and Where to Look for Period Information’ could be very helpful for people across disciplines.


Wulfgar Silfrahaar
Entry: Interpretation of a woodcut from the 16th century Italy as an illumination in guache and inks

Men standing for comparison

Inspiration: From the fencing manual Opera Nova (“A New Work”) by Achille Marozzo of Bologna, Italy, 1536

Sources consulted:
Wiktenauer. com:  Arte dell’Armi di Achille Marozzo, MMA

I want to learn more about: The use of color and line work in Renaissance Italy.

How did the pandemic shut down change your point of view? I think a lot of our arts became a little more introspective. Pieces were done with the idea of being on camera in mind.

What does representing Settmour Swamp mean to you? To be a champion of the Arts and Sciences is to promote learning and exploring to bring more beauty to our Barony.

How can you encourage the arts of the Barony? By making instruction available, by sharing works in progress and finishes.