Royal Artisan

I am pleased to announce that at Drachenwald's Kingdom University, I was invested as Drachenwald's Royal Artisan. I obtained this new position by completing the yearlong Royal Artisan Competition. I would like to share my experience entering the competition with you.
The Royal Artisan Competition is a rigorous competition. I had to enter items in at least 3 broad categories over at least 2 events. The categories are now Culinary Arts, Fine Arts, Textiles Arts, Performance, Martial Arts, Decorative Sciences, Functional Sciences, and Research Papers. Within each category there are a number of criteria for specific entries. I hope you will find the explanation of my entries below helpful in understanding the criteria of the competition.

I started my competition year by entering a set of hoods made for my family. These hoods are made from my own handwoven cloth, see a photo of my husband's to the left. These hoods were entered in the Textile Arts category, to be judged using the Accessories, Clothing criteria.
These hoods were exceptionally fun to make. I started with a simple herringbone weave, but got bored with straight treadling and decided to reverse the treadlining. I measured how far I wove before the first reversal and continued with this throughout the weaving. The effect is a nice herringbone wool with diamonds every 6".
The hoods are based on the Skjodlhamn find from a Norwegian harbor. The design is very close to the extant hood, for more detailed information on this find please see Løvlid's dissertation. The hoods are the closest thing I could find to a "Viking" hood, though they are a bit late to be considered Viking in the strictest sense, but they are within the period that my husband chose to recreate. These hoods are made from J.C. Rennie wool in grey (warp) and blue (weft). For more information on this project, see my blog entry here.
purse.jpgMy second entry was a damask pouch, right, I wove for Margaret de Mey as a present to celebrate her elevation to the Order of the Pelican. This pouch was entered as heraldic display. My judges were very kind and as I have spoken to several heraldically inclined individuals, they have all commented on their love for heraldic display in items other than banners! The pouch itself was based on a heraldic purse on display at the British Museum and an article on Cote Simple, on aumonieres.
This project was very fun as well. The damask cloth was woven on my drawloom and was one of my first projects using the drawloom attachment. I had to do a lot of sampling to draft the design to get the water bugettes just right, but I go there in the end and the journey was well worth it.

Photo courtesy of Lia de Thornegge

My final entry was in the Research Paper category. This paper is thus far the culmination of many years of research on Medieval textiles and loom technology. I discovered that I have a vast library of books pertaining to Medieval textiles and learned many new things while reviewing the literature for this entry. I also visited the newly formed Clothworker's Centre in London to view a few new textiles to add to the paper. As part of the research paper, I included a number of samples of my own weaving to help people understand the various different weave structures I have documented and the weaving terminology. This entry was probably the most difficult entry, but again was a joy to complete and is a work of which I am very proud. I plan to bring the samples with me to events, so if you would like to see all the samples, please find me at events and I would be happy to let you peruse them.
Overall the competition was a rigorous, but fun experience. I look forward to helping our fine Royals in any special projects they would like completed and in encouraging Drachenwald's artists. If you have ever considered entering the competition, I would encourage you to do so. This was not my first time entering the Royal Artisan Competition. I have had some wonderful feedback along the way and have made many new acquittances from people judging my work and coming to ask questions or give compliments after the competition. If you have any questions about the competition or my experience, please ask!