West Kingdom Arts & Sciences
Admitted January 3, AS XXXVIII (2004) by HRM Hans & HRM Ivonne Rowan of Hakeslea
What was the most difficult thing you encountered in your run? --
It was a very time consuming task. Time needed to be set aside for research (luckily I was working a quiet night shift that gave me computer access), project planning and execution...then you have to spend the time needed to pull together your notes and sources and produce the documentation. It took alot of time away from my family and at times caused alot of stress.
What was the most surprising thing about your run? --
How much I actually enjoyed it! It really helped hone my skills for research and documentation. And I kinda got on a roll. Along with the Kingdom A & S competitions I participated in, I was also entering Wooden Spoon and a few Principality competitions simultaneously. I learned ALOT and really pushed myself.
How did you handle doing the research? Did you use libraries? The Internet? Where did you find your primary resources? --
I usually started out using the internet... reading what was available there and looking beyond what was printed over and over but trying to find an articles primary sources. I bought alot of books, (I like books). and borrowed alot of books. I used alot of art. Pictures of actual artifacts available on line or in books. I used the internet to teach myself alot of techniques but also relied on my friends with certain skills to teach me too.
What was the average length of your documentation? --
Usually 3-5 pages with lots of pictures. I liked pictures. I know alot of people have hard fast rules for documentation but I tried real hard to include all aspects of the research and execution that I felt was important. And tried to make them an interesting read...with pictures.
About how long did it take for you to do an entry, including the research and documentation? --
It varied. Most of the time was spent on research. Then I would usually schedule in the time projected to complete the project... usually a day or two. Then a few hours spent pulling it all together for the documentation. Although I did spend about 1,000 hours on a beaded glove project I did.
If you remember, what were the competitions and what were your entries? (If you have webbed any of your entries, please provide the URL.) --
I have pictures and copies of all of the documentation I did if you'd like...let me know...but off the top of my head I believe these were the competitions I entered:
Cheese Making: Cow's Milk Farmer's - type cheese
Heraldic Display: Heraldic Sideless Surcote
Wooden Feast Gear: Child's Trencher and Spoon
Musical Instrument piece: 13th Century Piece Attributed to Richard the Lionheart on Recorder
Heraldic Shields: 11th Century Kite Shield
Beaded Embroidery: Suede Glove with Beaded Embroidery on the cuff
Pins & Brooches: 10th Century Horse Brooch
Pouches & Bags: Archery Quiver
Cold Holiday Food: 12th Night / King's Cakes
Did you start out planning to do the run or did it just happen? If it was planned, how did you handle the psychological side? --
I was inspired by the list that was posted for the year's competitions. Several were Arts that I had either done some reading and research on or had peaked my interest. I pretty much had ideas for projects for every competition on the list. I entered both the Arts and the Sciences Competitions starting at March Crown, thinking that not all of my entries would score high enough to qualify let alone win...but they did.
I was extemely pleased and proud with the outcome of my run and even though no one ended up doing the run with me, I continuously pushed and challenged myself to to the very best I could. By the end of A&S I had completed and qualified with 8 entries. I had already started the research on the 12th Cakes entry in which I became a bit obsessed with and decided to enter that as my final entry at 12th night.
I won five of the nine competitions I entered for Kingdom A&S, won 3 wooden spoons, one silver spoon that year.
What advice would you give someone who wants to make the run? --
Wait til there is a list that inspires you. Pre-plan and don't wait til the last minute.
Would you do it again? --
Possibly, if I was inspired and had the time. I truely enjoyed it and felt a deep sense of accomplishment upon its completion.
Anything else you would like to add about the experience? --
This experience put a lot of strain on my relationship with my significant other (husband) and took quite a bit of time away from my family. And even though it was not him doing these projects, with out his understanding and help by picking up where I unfortunately couldn't (we have two kids), I would not have been able to complete these projects. There was also quite a bit of expense involved that you don't realize. I wanted to use quality materials and spent quite a bit on books and supplies.
Thinking back to the following year, did you do anything special as Kingdom Artisan? --
As Kingdom Artisan I judged competitions when ever possible, offered a class on Documentation for 'A & S Competitions' at a Crown event, purchased the cloak clasps being used for the Golden Poppy cloak and made the Arts & Sciences Banner that is still used over the entrance of the A & S pavillion.