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22 March 2010 @ 05:49 pm
Argh! (A whiny, whiny rant)  
So... got back my notes from the GW A&S...

The low-scoring judge dinged me on the materials and methods of my "shiny examples" - never mind that they were just show-and-tell to get people to read the documentation and the ENTRY was the research. >:/ I even included an explanation about why modern materials and methods were used when necessary (bandsaw for first woodworking project, oak veneer plywood because you can't get oak (or other woods, FWIW) in 1/2" widths when you need it to be 10+" wide, etc).

She also wanted to see more "depth" about the objects, but I'm not even sure how one would go about doing that, since I included the whole of the published information about many of the items in the supporting documents. That's it. There is no more, at least not any more that is even remotely reasonably accessible. I'd LOVE more depth, but until it's published, there's not really anything I can do about it. Hell, I even pulled books in Swedish and had some folks help me translate the relevant bits in order to get some of the information I was able to dredge up.

On the other hand, I completely agree with being docked by both of the judges for the citation issues. I knew that was a problem but didn't have time to fix it... Bad Eithni, no biscuit. >:(

Ugh. Not a happy muffin. I'll live, I'm just a tetch annoyed, and largely with myself...


I suppose I'll have to revise/improve for Pennsic...
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
Albredaalbreda on March 23rd, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
And how, precisely, were you to overcome a lack of evidence in the historic record? Build a time machine?? Retroanalyze your DNA for genetic memory??

Sure, no biscuit for citation errors, but don't be getting down on yourself for judges who can't read and expect miracles. Hmph.

(Yeah, I'd be wanting to make more period appropriate examples too, but we're persnickety like that, eh?)
eithni: Pictisheithni on March 23rd, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what she was looking for - I'll probably email her this weekend for clarification. She mentioned something about contacting museums to ask about tool marks and manufacturing info, but I don't know how practical that will be since I don't speak Swedish, Norwegian, German, etc. *sigh*

Many (most?) of the extant finds are poorly published, usually only appearing in one or two sources, IF I was lucky. :/ (Don't even get me started on the little comments I would occasionally find, try to track down, and just waste fruitless hours and ILL requests... there are references to a wooden knife at the Farm Beneath the Sand, but no pictures, no additional description, nada.) Even more rare was the picture that included actual info about wood types, size, etc...
Albredaalbreda on March 23rd, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
Her expectations seem really high. That said, I happen to have a Norwegian-English archeological dictionary, as well as a Scadian friend in Sweden. Most Norwegians and Swedes, esp in university or museum capacities, likely speak English anyway. I had no problem in the museums in Norway; I bought the dictionary so I could read their publications.
valkyr8valkyr8 on March 23rd, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
I agree that the language barrier shouldn't be an issue in the museums. Germans all take English in school and I had no issues traveling in Norway and not speaking the language.
eithnieithni on March 23rd, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Corresponding with the museums isn't really the issue - the problem is they usually refer you to journal articles and books which are then, more often than not, printed in the local language. :/
Sara: Book Fortresslostvirtue on March 23rd, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
Keep making ILL requests, I need a job! :)
reneekytokorpireneekytokorpi on March 23rd, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Oooo... shiny icon! Where did you find it? Or did you make it? Because I so want to use that line and make an icon!
Sara: Bookslostvirtue on March 24th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
Oh, I stole it so long ago I no longer recall. sorry. ;)
whymcwhymc on March 23rd, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
Er... I'm totally out of the loop on this... but what woodworking did you do?

On a (possibly irrelevant, and apologies if that's the case) materials note - Lowes carries a marvelous grade of lumber called, I think, shelf boards. They're marvelous because they are actual wood, not edge-glued, and come in, iirc, 12x1 size. That's the wood that I used for my pine chest. The quality of the boards is not amazing, but the price is good, and with a bit of careful piece selection, mixed with careful clamping, you can have a project that is, at least, made out of solid wood, albeit not the right solid wood.
eithni: backliteithni on March 23rd, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Oh, I can get 1" boards up to about 20" wide in other woods - the problem is that I needed something lighter-weight, ideally in the realm of 1/2" boards... I considered planing down a 1' bard and decided that was just insanity.

I made a bunch of wooden toys (swords, horses, a doll) and a small chair to illustrate some of my Viking Children research. and I still have all my fingers, aren't you proud?

I will be putting together an LJ-able summary soon and I hope to have it all up on a website soon, but I need to re-draw a lot of the images first, since they come from copyrighted sources.

Albredaalbreda on March 23rd, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
You should be able to find someone with a board planar - it takes the whole board down at the same time.

Maybe a community woodshop in your area, or a school that teaches industrial design?

Regarding your other responses:
As far as 'spawn' go, if I'm at Pennsic, you are welcome to borrow mine - four year old girls, and a then 2 year old boy. :)

Also, I can try and find out more about 'dikopp' for you. Sounds very interesting!
eithnieithni on March 23rd, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
Kewl. Thanks for the suggestion and the offer of loan of spawn. :) I may take you up on that...
Jonya 'Sorcha'spot1111 on March 23rd, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Oh good, you got your material back...
Sorry I've not emailed you since Thursday's email about this competition, but this gives me an opportunity to say nice things. I did not read the notes from your judges, just peeked at the scores cause I was very, very curious. This judge of whom you speak was very impressed and was probably looking hard for something to encourage you to work on. She was also very open about her admiration of your work. I heard from another competitor that she insisted that other judges come down and look at your entry (which impressed the heck out of this woman!)

I was in and out of the judging hall on Thursday, and can assure you that someone was always reading your research binders.

I personally was impressed. Well done!
eithni: Pictisheithni on March 23rd, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
Re: Oh good, you got your material back...
Yeah, I scurried over to Roisin's right after work today, I was very eager to see... I had anticipated the dings on citations but was disappointed to lose serious points on the material end of things since the research was the "real" entry and on depth when there is so little published about any one of these items. :/ If there was depth to be had, trust me, I would have delved into it.

Mostly I'm kicking myself, thinking I should have focused on better polishing the research and omitting some of the toys (particularly the pottery). It's just sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't - No shinies, no general interest in your stoopid binder. Shinies to attract people, and then the research is overshadowed or the shinies lose points. :P

I also should have put more in about the sippy cup, but that came from one of the Swedish sources, so there was not much to say other than we were able to make out that the author thought it was a baby feeding bowl, but "dikopp" is not a word we found in any dictionary. Again, I wish there was more to say, but even the original source covered children in about 1/3 of a page of text and three illustrations.

I'm glad they seemed impressed, but I just wish I'd had another week... But then I'd want another, and so on... Like I said, Pennsic. I have never entered the Known World A&S display and I think if I put my mind to it this year, maybe I can rock the house with this.

Hmmm... Note to self - ask apprenti to borrow their spawn for the display. One will be almost 2, the other will be about 6 months.
(Anonymous) on July 26th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
I am in Awe....
Hi Eithni!
Please forgive me if I am posting this in the wrong place. (I do good on most days just to be able to operate FB.) While starting to look at the information that you sent me, I stumbled upon your blog and felt a "need" to leave a post. Right now my mouth is open and I sit in awe at all the work that you have accomplished. I am totally humbled and most impressed. You no doubt get this kind of comment alot, so let me reinerate what others have no doubt told you before. Great job! I am inspired by your enthusiasm for history and if I could have "just a smidge" of your orginizational skills I would be most appreciative....Maybe someday....Carpe Diem and all that good rot...time will tell, it always does. Anyway, I digress off topic. At the end of the day, I simply wanted you to know that I will endeavor to learn so that someday I may tell others of how your encouragement spurred me on to greater heights than what I thought I had in me. What I lack in might or valor, I will strive to make up in a honest aproach to learn about the past. I hope this letter finds you ok as I truly have no idea how this blog thingy works (I tend to be a guy who "pays no attention to the man behind the curtain" and instead just listens to the great & powerful Oz, so although I believe in the power of the blog, I have no idea how it works)In a nutshell I hope this posting gives you some kind of encouragement just having you know that your wisdom is much appreciated, or even just give you a "warm fuzzy" for helping a new kid on the block...or castle...or whatever midieval thing which pasted for a block...I think that the future is encouraged by the past, at least I know mine is now...Keep up the good work, and again thanks for taking the time to help. John Worley AKA Hans Sebasian Bamberger
eithni: sofonisbaeithni on July 31st, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I am in Awe....
Thanks, Hans... Just remember, I did not spring forth into the SCA as Eithni-in-all-her-glory. I've been at this for almost 15 years. It catches up with you. ;)