Event 101- Art and Science Compatitions

So with our current Tri-Baronial event coming up I figured now was a good time to talk about Art and Science Competitions.

So what exactly is an A&S Competitions? Unlike the fighting counter part this is a battle of Craftsman showing their skills. The two big ones I have been involved with are Queens Prize and Tri-Baronial so I will mostly be speaking on those so please offer advice for any other Competitions you have entered or won.

Let us start with Entering. Queens Prize is a good event to start with, unlike the Tri-Baronial this is a more laid back event showcasing your art. The Queen will be in attendance and talking with everyone to determine a winner. Tri-Baronial is seeking a champion, a year-long position in the barony! This usually has a panel of judges who will come by and fill out judgeing sheets.

To start with you will need to sign up. Some people do this only if they have a project finished and ready. Others like to live and plan to have their entry done by the contest. It is also good to check if works in progress are allowed.

If competing isn’t your style but you want to show off, look and see if there is a display option. This is a fun way to get your work out and connect with others without the pressure of judging.

So what can you enter?

I will direct you to your kingdom A&S page for a listing of what can be entered, but know most crafts are welcome! Brewing may be touchy as it depends on the site so check the rules and see if it will be allowed.

I have done a historical dye for my last two and plan on doing a display of a scroll this next one. After you have your project remember you need to document!

Wait I have to write a paper?!

Yes, you do have to do some documentation. For those of us who our last research paper was *cough*tenyears*cough* ago don’t fret it is less painful then you remember.

“Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down”

Myth Busters

The same applies here, start by writing down how you did things. What you used, why you used it and where you found it and bam half the paper is done.

Check out //www.citationmachine.net/mla/ For an easy way to set up your citations.

Remember we are looking to recreate history so make sure you can explain your modern choices. For example, I use a stainless steel pot to dye in over a cast iron, one it stops odd reactions to dyes two I can’t afford a cast-iron pot big enough to dye in at the moment. Other things like lead white paint, clearly we are not going to mess with that because lead is bad. Or if we were cooking, you can not get dormice in the US, so no other small rodents are NOT a substitute.

Now you have your Project done what next?

You have to display it! This can be as simple or elaborate as you would like. I suggest a table cover to start. For example, my Dye display starts with a black cloth, I had a basket for the roving, an old doll stand to hold the yarn and then the books I had been working from several photos of my progress and copies of my paper. If you check out Marion’s Blog in the links she has photos of her display from Tri-Barolnial. If you can make it so people can touch or get involved in your art, I encouraged people to pick up the dyed fiber on my display.

The other thing you may want is a small dish or bowl. The event I have attended it is customary to give a small token to projects you like or stopped and talked to as a thanks. These can be anything! Chocolates, beads, Some of my favorite things have been an amazing bookmark and a ring that a Laurel had made on site.

Queens Prize also asked that we bring an item to gift to another participant. Some thing small or related to your craft is nice. I made a needle book and tucked in some of my dyed fiber. I was gifted 3 infused oils that I have been using in cooking.

So what do you actualy do?

I found my self sitting at my table most of the day talking to other people and my judges. I did get out to eat lunch and then go make a quick round of other peoples tables.

I would say too snacks and water were super important. I also had a notebook to write down things people told me and to keep track of ideas I wanted to explore.

What if I just want to attend?

DO IT! A&S is really fun as you can be involved simply be showing up and talking to people. Who knows you may find your new thing.

With that, I suggest bringing a token as discussed above, again not a requirement but a fun way to be involved.

Look at the schedule too, there may be classes or meetings you can attend. The last Tri-Baronial had a soup competition for lunch and an auction.

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