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16 August 2011 @ 01:43 am
Pennsic XL class reviews  
One of my favorite things about Pennsic is the simply packed class schedule. While it often means I need to choose between two or even three good offerings, it always means I have no excuse to be bored! Classes with an asterisk after them are classes for which I have a handout.

Wednesday 8/3
16th century Italian cooking from the Banchetti/Libro Novo, Part 1 (pies) * - Master Basilius Phocas - We got through gate half-way through this class but it was on my "must attend" list, so I literally did a drive-by and had someone actually in garb sneak up to the front to snag me a handout. From what I heard and saw, the instructor looked like he knew what he was doing, so I made the effort to attend Part 2 a few days later.

Thursday 8/4
Anglo-Saxon Small Items * - Arastorm the Golden - I need to remember that this lady's classes draw heavily on materials with which I am already well familiar. The content is not bad, but her classes are generally less organized and her handouts less closely cited than I would like. Still, a nice way to start them morning.
Archaeology of the Anglo-Saxons * - Michael of Safita - this was a more scholarly class on a very similar topic to the morning's class, but much more satisfying. The instructor has been involved in several digs and has access to some interesting "grey literature" on poorly published excavations. One of the more interesting things discussed during the class was the idea that perhaps the poor preservation of Anglo-Saxon graves reflects the specific burial practices of the time, specifically that they may not have closed the graves with several feet of dirt, but rather left them more exposed/more shallow. an interesting idea and I'd like to see more on it. I meant to get to some of his other classes and never managed to do so - It's a name I'll have to remember for next year. http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/sca/sca.html

Friday 8/5
The Old Icelandic Manuscript * - Baron Fridrikr Tomasson - A very nice overview of the Icelandic materials, particularly the Graygas and the sagas, focusing on the form of the manuscript hands and illuminations, not the content. There were some technical difficulties in the class I attended, but a worthwhile class. http://askaldsjourney.blogspot.com/
16th century Italian cooking from the Banchetti/Libro Novo, Part 2 (fritters) * - Master Basilius Phocas - An excellent class, and not just because he provided samples. :D The teacher has translated the Banchetti/Libro Novo and provided the translation as well as a series of redactions. This class focused on fritters, both the recipies for them and potential pitfalls of making them. The instructor was a delight and seemed quite knowledgeable... If nothing else, his fritters, though frozen to last until the class, were delicious.
Pomegranates, Peacocks, and Pork: a 16th Century Spanish Cookbook * - Mistriss Brighid ni Chiarain - This is a class that has been on my list for years, and I finally made it, in large part because I didn't have to move from the Italian cooking class and I was sewing, so this was ideal. The class was informative, but less animated. The handouts include some interesting redactions (honey horeseradish sauce, anyone?) and a list of period-appropriate ingredients... including cat. :P A very solid class, but less immediately useful than the preceding one.

Saturday 8/6
Itty Bitty People in Illumination * - Emma MacMinn - I'd hoped this class would be on advanced illumination techniques for making realistic little people, but it was much more basic than I'd hoped for and when the instructor passed around the handout and her portfolio, I decided there wasn't really anthing for me in the class and I left. It probably would have been OK for a brand new scribe with limited art background, but I wasn't going to get anything out of it.
Kama Sutra for Women * - Lalitadasa - I was a little skeptical of this class, but it is held in the Middle Eastern tent, in the shade, on the top of a hill, so the breeze and the view make up for some seriously subpar classes. Happily, this was not one of them - the teacher was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and frank. She began with the historical background of the Kama Sutra and the role of the courtesan, and only addressed the "naughty" bits at the end. The discussion of a "third gender" - the kliba - was particularly interesting. I could have done with less discussion of the instructor's boyfriend, but on the whole this was an enjoyable, engaging class.  http://lalitadasa.googlepages.com/home

Sunday 8/7
Viking Civil Engineering * - Ragnvaeig Snorradottir - As usual, ragnvaeig is brilliant and highly informative! She's another instructor with real-life experience in archaeology and while I'm not particularly interested in Viking building techniques as a normal topic, it was an interesting class, covering units of measure, tools, construction techniques, and street/building layouts. The bibliography is itself a thing of glory and beauty.
How to draw better faces for period artwork * - Ceridwen of Crowford - Again, this was a disappointing illumination class. I read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain in high school and this was essentially a condensed class on that.
GQ: Gentiluomini Quattrocenti - Men's Fashion in 15th c Italy * - Master Lorenzo Petrucci - A solid, interesting class. I was mostly in it to hopefully learn enough to solve some hose-making problems, but late period Italian clothing is yummy, so it was fun to dissect the whole outfit.
Pictish Life * - the first of my three classes

Monday 8/8
Pictish Symbols * - the second of my three classes
Feast Gear for your Viking Age Persona * - Sunnifa Gunnarsdottir - A nice collection of pictures of Viking-age tablewear. The teacher was lacking organization in her presentation and I'd have liked to see some synthesis of the information instead of just puking out tons of pictures of finds. That said, having the pile of evidence makes it simpler to come to my own conclusions and decent citation of pieces makes it easy to look them up for a closer look later.
Viking Age Clothing: the Archaeological evidence * - Sunnifa Gunnarsdottir - very similar to the feast gear class, but about clothing. Worthwhile, but again limited evaluation of a large corpus of information.
Hidden details of Elizabethan gloves - Duke Sir Alen Elegil - A slideshow of pictures the teacher took on a research trip to the Met. Very interesting to see the details not generally photographed.

Tuesday 8/9
An Organized Tent * - Eric Edwardson - this was run more like a round table than I would have liked, since there always are those people in the class who have something to say about anything and everything. Some decent ideas, but nothing in the realm of stunning revelations... not even that I am not the most anal person at Pennsic...
Smocking a 16th Century Italian Chemise or tall collar * - Alaina Blackram - Some decent info was provided, but more of the class was about using a modern smocking machine than I wanted, since I'm all about the manually done needlearts...
Whipcording * - Hands-on teaching on Artisan's Row for 4 hours

Wednesday 8/10
A Quick and Dirty Guide to Rapier Garb * - Anna Dauzzano da Siracusa - Very quick, very dirty. A very basic class, but used as recon as I want to develop some easy patterns for beginning costumers.
16th century Italian cooking from the Banchetti/Libro Novo, Part 1 (pies) * - Master Basilius Phocas - This time I actually got to take the class and it was a worthwhile experience, even if there were no samples in the second iteration of the classes. ;) I already had the CD and had heard some of his standard spiel, but it was a good class.
The Well-Dressed Pict * - my third of three Pictish classes

Thursday 8/11
New Thoughts on the Skjoldeham Outfit *- Baroness Gwynnyd - The content of this class was good - lots of pictures and the instructor has done a translation of the original thesis that she hopes to make public soon. Maybe it was just early, but I felt a little let down by the class, but I can't say why.
Elizabethan Glovemaking* - Duke Sir Alen Elegil- the nitty gritty of how to make period appropriate gloves, including patterns and construction techniques. A dry, but very useful, class.
How to make fancy pants - Tempus Peregrinator - I've seen this instructor on the class list for years, but this was the first class of his I actually made it to. I had been hoping for more recon for my basic patterns, but there was no handout and much of the class was geared toward mass-producing pants for bigger guys. Not all the techniques were period and I am glad I had my sewing, otherwise I think it might have been too basic a class for my tastes

So, 25 classes taken or partially attended, with four of those (10 hours total) being my classes.

I would have liked to get to the following classes. If anyone has the handouts and is willing to share a copy, I'd be much obliged!
The Golden Ratio as it applies to Illumination - Roana Aldinoch
With these Knots I bind my Camp - Master Emrys Eustace, yclept Broom
8 Essential Knots for the SCA camper - Master Elias Gedney
Anglo-Saxon dyes - Kaleeb the Green eyed
Inn Draugar : Viking Zombies  - Baron Fridrikr Tomasson
Mordred's Lullaby (the dance class, not the song) - Mistress Rosina del Bosco Chiaro
Weed Walk Consortium
Any number of dance classes (why don't they offer beginners' classes at night?)
The Pedogogy WMA classes
OMG! My sources are wrong - Pagan Graeme
Viking Embroidery - Hrefna fru(th)ikona - I went last year, but you can never get too much Viking string
Viking Age Stitchery - Reyni-Hrefna
Let's Go Tubing - Ilish O'Donovan
Diet and Nutrition in Early British Populations - Ragnvaig
Building a break-down bench - Sir Bedawyr of Avaricum
A whole mess of Elizabethan embroidery classes
Viking Chess
Viking Age tablet-eaving - Sunnifa
Thorsbjerg trousers - Alicial Langland
How not to look like a linebacker - Margaret Roe
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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Pearl/ Ásfríðrpearl on August 16th, 2011 07:25 am (UTC)
New Thoughts on the Skjoldeham Outfit - Baroness Gwynnyd

Oooh, cool. Although I'm assuming she translated a thesis, not an article. :)
eithni: bookseithni on August 16th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, it was a thesis... I was typing it up quite late at night. :p I also failed to indicate that I have that handout too.
diceadicea on August 16th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
By what email address would you like to be contacted with handouts, please?
eithni: bookseithni on August 16th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
I am eithni over at gmail or you can message me here with a want list and your email. I'll be making PDFs of handouts shortly, but it will be a few days before I get them sorted out.
diceadicea on August 16th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Several of the classes you mention are taught by folks in my immediate circles and handouts should be on their way to you shortly.

Thank you for the review of classes. I was busy this year and didn't get to any classes, but I enjoyed it when I could listen to classes happening near by.
Albredaalbreda on August 16th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, that Viking civil engineering class sounds AMAZING.

It has been many, many years since I made it to that many classes. Thanks for letting us live vicariously!
whymcwhymc on August 16th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
*sigh*... oh well, I'll probably get to go next year...
eithni: peekabooeithni on August 19th, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
I almost didn't recognize you in the photo!
whymcwhymc on August 19th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
I loves me my greek fisherman cap, even if it and the glasses do make me look like the bastard lovechild of lenin and a street urchin...
eithni: greeneithni on August 19th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
Hee. The sepia tone doesn't help the Dicksonian look. ;)
whymcwhymc on August 19th, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
Dicksonian? You *are* tired after war. You're right, though, it certainly does add to the odd and old-timey-ness. But it's been what, eight years since I last changed my LJ icon? It was time!
eithni: yipes!eithni on August 19th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Ugh. I should not be allowed to type exhausted. Maybe I was spelling like a Dickensian waif? :p
stitchwhich on August 17th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
I took Fredrikr's class on Inn Draugar. When I've done enough laundry to dig to the bottom of my storage boxes, I'll make a pdf of his handout. It was a very good class.
eithni: Pictisheithni on August 19th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
dicea was actually kind enough to have the teacher forward the handout. :)

It was good to put a face with the name - I'm just sorry you drew the driest of my classes. :P The others are a lot more fun and a lot less massive info dump!
Ulfhildr: woweeyuri_shoujo on August 17th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
aaaaah.... jealous of the viking classes. Especially the civil engineering one, since the layout of buildings and towns is something I'm having trouble grasping while writing. There's lots on hedeby and some on Iceland but trying to find anything about Dublin/Ireland is hard.
katrionanskatrionans on August 23rd, 2011 03:07 am (UTC)
Can I get the handouts to the feast gear and VA clothing classes? Those are ones I wished I could get to. And Michael & Nethery are planning to come to EPS.
katrionanskatrionans on August 23rd, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
And I have been promised the translated thesis, both binders of it, once approved by the author. I will share. I know other things were discussed at the household meeting, but I couldn't tell you what... I was looking at pictures and reading.
eithni: jumpingeithni on August 24th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
Sweet! Thanks!
eithni: embroideryeithni on August 24th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Sure! I have not scanned those yet, but will do so soon. She also plans to have them on her website before too long.