Arts & Sciences

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"Arts & Sciences" refers broadly to all arts and sciences practised in the Medieval and Renaissance periods, and in the SCA generally excludes combat/martial arts. The term is commonly abbreviated "A&S", though when speaking or writing formally, or when speaking to a non-SCA audience, this abbreviation is best avoided.

A distinction commonly given between "arts" and "sciences" is that an "art" is an activity where the practitioner creates unique items, and a "science" is an activity where a series of very similar products is produced. For example, pewter casting is commonly defined as a science, whereas carving molds for pewter casting is an art. This distinction is a blurry one at best, however. Cooking, for example has elements of both art and science.

The Arts & Sciences office is responsible for facilitating the education of people both within and outside the SCA in the arts and sciences of the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

A&S Kingdom Officers & Groups

Arts & Sciences Include

The practice and display of SCA-period Arts and Sciences is nearly as diverse as the populace. Below is an incomplete list of Arts and Sciences practiced in Caid:

  • Bardic Arts (vocal and instrumental music, poetry, storytelling, etc.)
  • Brewing (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages)
  • Costuming (sewing, tailoring, haberdashery, cobbling, etc.)
  • Culinary Arts (cooking, feast preparation, recipe redaction, etc.)
  • Dance (research, teaching, performing court, country and ethnic dances)
  • Fiber Arts (spinning, weaving, embroidery, dyeing, rope-making, etc.)
  • Heraldic Art (flags and banners, armoring, garb, etc.)
  • Metal Arts (armoring, weapon-making, casting, blacksmithing, etc.)
  • Research (studies about all aspects of SCA-period life)
  • Scribal Arts (calligraphy, illumination, bookbinding, etc.)
  • Wood Arts (furniture-making, carving, pyrography, etc.)

Appreciation Tokens

February 26, 2013

Greetings, Angels!

There has been interest and curiosity regarding appreciation tokens - particularly in giving them in A&S competitions (such as the upcoming Pentathalon).

Here are some answers to various questions I've gotten about tokens -

  • What exactly is an Appreciation Token?
    • They are a material symbol of your thanks and admiration. A pretty trinket to remind the recipient that their work was appreciated by someone, that their craft and art has made someone's day brighter. The token itself can be as 'minor' as a piece of candy or a shiny bead, or as elaborate as a cast coin with the giver's own badge and motto on it.
  • Is it just Laurels who can give them out?
    • No. Anyone can give out a token, just as anyone can go up to a person and tell them, 'thank you', or 'awesome job'.
  • Do I have to make them myself?
    • While I find it fun to make my own, tokens do not have to be made by the person giving them, or even be handmade. Small candies are a common token often given out. If you don't want to risk something edible, there are plenty of other items that can be bought, ranging up and down the expense scale. Some of the first things I bought so as to have a few appreciation tokens on hand were jewelry pendants found at Michaels on clearance. Beads are another common token to hand out, and those can also be found without digging too deeply into your pocket. Then, there are many artesian who can custom make tokens for you by commission- cast coins, clay tiles, stamped leather, etc. Quite simply, if you are unable to make tokens, there are plenty of other options at hand that will be appreciated and treasured by the recipient.
  • Are they just for Arts and Sciences competitions?
    • Certainly not! They can be given as a 'thank you' to the young man who helps you pack up your camp. They can be given as a 'welcome' to the brand-new SCA member being introduced to her Baron and Baroness for the first time. Any time you think someone deserves a special token to commemorate a particular moment, it is a souvenir for the recipient to hold on to long after that moment has passed.
  • What are things I can give out?
    • You are limited only by your imagination! (And by the size and weight of what you want to carry.) Aside from the ideas mentioned above, here are other items I've seen given out: medieval rubber duckies, calling cards with personal written comments, bits of kumihimo cord tied in pretty knots, origami figures, antique game pieces, and jewelry charms. I've even seen appreciation tokens left behind by a child- craft 'popsicle' sticks brightly decorated with markers.

I hope this helps to answer people's questions. Of course, the greatest appreciation 'token' a person can always give is a sincere, heartfelt, "Thank you so much for doing this!".

YIS ~Lady Arianna Foxford, Minister (most sinister) of Arts and Sciences Comme Un Renard (Come to the Art Side. We have cookies!)

Mucking Great Research Contest

From the February 1976 issue of The Crown Prints

Already some of you are yawning and mumbling, "So what?" But before you go on to the next article, please give this one a chance.

THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCES IN CAID IS OFFERING YOU THE CHANCE OF AN ANACHRONISTIC LIFETIME!!!

If you have any interest in the subject matter listed below, or like the prizes offered, take time to read the rules and ponder the challenge offered to you, medieval enthusiast. Research is a valuable, ennobling experience: while informing your fellow anachronists it enables you to become an expert about the subject. There's no promise your name will be displayed somewhere in illuminated letters but you will assuredly be rewarded for your efforts. If you don't win a book or record, or an Honourable Mention, you just might enjoy the education you get. And let's face it--knowledge of the period is always a good thing. It helps us to understand those lovely Middle Ages.

So, just select one of the following, and be sure to read the rules. . .

PRIZE FOR THE FIRST CATEGORY: A copy of Hannelore Sachs' magnificent book The Renaissance Woman

Themes:

  • Medieval Cosmetics
  • Classes by Costume* (Dress regulations in the Middle Ages)

PRIZES FOR THE SECOND CATEGORY: Two paper will be chosen from this category only. One copy each of Sir Arthur Bryant's brilliant The Age of Chivalry and Grant Uden's The Dictionary of Chivalry

Themes:

  • Shields (any type or period)
  • Trial by Combat
  • Women Knights and Fighters of the Middle Ages
  • The Peasant's Life

PRIZE FOR THE THIRD CATEGORY: An LP1 of classical medieval tunes, lovingly performed by the great John Renbourn, "The Lady and the Unicorn"

Themes:

  • Courtly Ballads
  • The Troubadours

Gentle Note: Prizes--first place is obvious (books). We doubt there will be ties. Second place, also know as "Honourable Mention," will be presented with a large illuminated parchment, and third place, if any, will get a smaller one. All entries that meet our loose specifications will be deemed in the running.

NOW COMES THE HARD PART!!!

RULES

Deadline: The first (1st) day of May, A.D. 1976, A.X. XI

No entries accepted after this date!!! (But there's still plenty of time for you chronic procrastinators.)

And a note: NO APATHETICS ALLOWED. We had a separate contest for you types, but unfortunately it has been cancelled due to lack of interest. Too bad.

Papers accepted must be AT LEAST three double-spaced, typed pages, or AT LEAST 3 double-spaced, hand-printed pages. This length does not include separate page we request for bibliography. All sources must be listed by author, name, date and place of publication, and the publisher's name. Footnotes must have page number.

Please understand that I cannot be responsible for your postage, so be sure if you send me something that all necessary stamps are on it. Otherwise, you taka you chance with de Post Ridiculoso.

--Guinevere Elspeth Malyn, Mistress of Sciences, Barony of the Angels (Personal information omitted)

More Information

Research Resources in Caid lists modern resources such as museum exhibits and lectures. Updated semi-annually.

Officers of Caid
Offices: Crown, Arts & Sciences, Chatelaine, Chirurgeon, Chronicler, Constable, Exchequer, Herald, Lists, Marshal, Seneschal, Webwright, Youth
Officer Groups: Army, College of Heralds, College of Scribes, Collegium Caidis, Crown Prints, Newcomers Guild, Water Bearer Guild
Other Information: Caidan Law, Greater Officer of State, Lesser Officer of State, Guilds, Officer Hierarchy, Privy Council