Calligraphy and Illumination
In medieval times the art of creating a manuscript, or hand written document, was a valued one. There are two major parts to creating a manuscript, calligraphy and illumination. Calligraphy is the art of hand writing in different styles, or scripts. The location and time period a person is trying to reproduce dictates what script they should use. The same idea transfers to the art of illumination. The word “ illumination ” originally described a manuscript that was decorated with gold or silver leaf. However, now illumination is generally accepted to mean any painted or decorated manuscript. In the SCA one way we showcase this art form is by presenting hand made awards to worthy participants in the organization.
Weaving and Sewing
Before the advent of modern machinery, the common individual had to create their own clothing from scratch or find someone who could. There are many members of the SCA who do the same. The SCA has a very popular sewing and weaving community. Clothiers in the SCA do everything from creating yarn and thread itself to hand sewing and embroidering fabric. The SCA is a great organization to learn the intricacies as well as the basics of creating anything fabric oriented.
The art of historic cooking and preservation techniques is greatly appreciated throughout the SCA! Few can resist the temptation of sampling preserved meats or sitting down to a feast prepared according to medieval recipes. In medieval times if one wanted to preserve meats they would most likely use salt or a brine to pickle it. When it came to cooking a meal numerous spices and herbs were utilized. Cooks would also often make meals according to where they lived and what they had available to them, e.g. those who lived by the sea ate more fish and those who farmed wheat, more bread. Although there is usually much time invested in preparing these foods, the outcome is well worth the wait. There are many classes in the organization that teach these techniques and there are masters in the field willing to take on apprentices.
There is nothing quite like story-telling and music by the light of a fire! The bardic arts comprise of mainly story-tellers, singers, musicians and poets. Bards both entertain and educate with their performances. Some perform historic pieces while others use historic styles to create original works. The bardic community is an open and supportive one that will help any aspiring bard to gain confidence and knowledge. That is what the bardic arts bring to the SCA community.
There are many other types of arts and sciences that you can do in the SCA. The ones that are mentioned here are some of the more popular areas.