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Previous Suggestions

"I'll huff and I'll puff..." Constructing a Dark Ages Bellows
This session will consider the metal working bellows in the Pre-Conquest period from a number of directions. What is available from artefact sources will be considered in the light of what is required for the dynamics of a number of processes. Setting up for blacksmithing, casting and smelting will be considered. How to physically construct a working bellows will be discussed. The session will end with participation in an experimental assessment of a number of different working bellows, with measurements being recorded against a future report.
Speaker: Darrell Markewitz

All Requests - Period Dances
Just what it says. If you want to learn a specific dance or just more dances then this class is perfect. Any dances that are period or in a period style and known to the teachers will be taught.
Speaker: Caroline McLachlan-Darling

Applique 101
Applique is a period way of embellishment without time consuming methods such as embroidery or weaving. We will briefly discuss what items in period would have had applique and what methods were used. The hands on portion of the class will show you a more modern approach to applique and you will leave with a semi completed project. A kit will be provided for up to 8 students for the small fee of $2.00. Please bring scissors for your own use.
Class is limited to 8 people.   There is a materials fee of $2 for this class.
Speaker: Joanne Blumetti

Beginner's Celtic Harp
This session will have two harps for others to try, and can accommodate 3 others if they bring their own harps. So, in total, 5 people in the class. This will be a hands-on class with no notes and only a small handout sheet with an annotated web page bibliography.
Class is limited to 5 people.   
Speaker: Melanie Burrett

Bodice fitting 101
Join diverse members of the D'Courci household in a hands-on fitting session. Participants will leave with a properly fitted toile, in the style of 1530's bodices, which can then be used to create a boned kirtle or corset. Fitting participation is limited to 5 participants, though others are welcome to watch. Fitting participants should bring 1-2 yards of inexpensive, tightly woven cloth (e.g. broadcloth), and safety and straight pins.
Class is limited to 5 people.   
Speakers: Catherine Ollerhead DeSantis, Adrienne Dandy

Bone Carving (2 hours)
A practical course on bone carving, focused on period handcarving techniques. Each student will work on their own motif-piece, like those found in Viking settlements in Ireland and elsewhere in the Viking world. There will be a materials charge for the bone and handout, knives will be provided for use and available for purchase as well ($15).
Class is limited to 6 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Steven Strang

Building a Viking Ship Model - A Boat for the Burning
A ceremony of honour and respect for departed warrior, credited to the Norsemen, was the burning or burial of his ship at his death. Most often, it was a cremation, with the dead man's remains on board, though there seems to have been at least one instance in which a ship was buried with no body aboard--perhaps because the man was lost at sea. (Sutton Hoo Burial) In the SCA, we have begun an annual tradition of burning a boat in miniature, in memory of all those departed from among us. The ship is built in 1/12 scale, and, through its yearly incarnations, is slowly evolving to become closer to the style of construction of the true Viking longship. This class is a lecture on the problems and procedures used in the ship's construction. It should be of help to those wishing to create models of their own, or simply of interest to those wishing to learn of longship construction.
Speaker: Gary Snyder

Building an Early Period Camp
Summer camping events present a golden opportunity, one that too few people fully take advantage of. Presented with an empty field, your setting is exactly what would have been available 1000 years ago. What you bring will define and shape your historic re-creation. Why spend $100 on a nylon dome tent when the same money and a little bit of simple work can give you a totally accurate tent? A look at basic plans and simple methods of construction for reproduction tents, beds, boxes and cookware - everything for the well equipped re-enactor's camp.
Speaker: Darrell Markewitz

Calligraphy for Beginners
Carolingian Minuscule was a script introduced during the reign of Charlemagne (c. 800 AD) to make court documents and manuscripts more legible. It eventually spread all over Europe and was the primary written script used for close to 400 years, and became the foundation from which later scripts, such as Gothic, evolved. It was revived in the Renaissance as Humanist Minuscule and is the ancestor of common typefaces such as Times New Roman. Learn the history of this elegant script and then spend some hands-on time with pen and ink learning to write it. If you have a calligraphy pen or marker, please bring it; if not, calligraphy markers and pens are available to borrow.
Speaker: Susan Carroll-Clark, Ph.D.

Question and answer session about the castles of the medieval ages. We'll discuss discuss the strategic, economic and other principles of how castles functioned in society, as well as the castle structures themselves.
Speaker: Brian Laxson

Chainmail - Second Steps (2 hours)
Beyond the basics: mail is the most versatile, flexible armour ever developed. Able to be shaped to every part of the human form mail can also be the basis for wonderful jewelry. In this class some different chain patterns will be discussed. A basic understanding of mail is required. Bring two pair of pliers. This class has two teachers who will be offering two different areas of focus. In addition to more complex patterns with standard rings this session will explore the use of smaller rings, or precious metal rings in decorative patterns and jewelry.
Speaker: Jerry Penner

Chainmail for Beginners
Why was chainmail the ultimate armour for warriors for over a thousand years? So versatile, it is still in use today. Historical background, ‘how to’, and ‘hands on’. Please bring two pairs of pliers.
Speaker: Jerry Penner

Christian catacombs of Rome
This class will explore the nature and history of the Christian catacombs built in Rome, focusing mainly on their period of use for burial (approximately the 2nd to 5th centuries CE) but briefly covering their later history as well. Special attention will be also be given to the art of the catacombs, placing it in the context of contemporary Roman culture as well as early Christian thought.
Speaker: Lianne Maitland

Dance - Inns of Court
For a period of over 100 years the dances know as the inns of court were dances to open any ball. What is more interesting is that the dances seem to always have been dances in the same order. This class will explore a bit of the history of the dances, teach them and if time available will start to play with them.
Speaker: Caroline McLachlan-Darling

Dance Music for Two Recorders
Why learn to play just one instrument when you can play two? Accompany yourself on some simple dance tunes using drones, arpeggios and simple counterpoint. Participants are encouraged to bring a soprano and an alto recorder, but any one recorder will be sufficient. Less adventurous single instrument musicians are also welcome. A limited number of loaner recorders will be available.
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Early Period Dance
Our earliest dance manual is from mid-late 15th century. So this class will address the question of what can we figure out about earlier period dances. We will be looking at some dances recorded in the manuscripts but also looking at other sources that mention dance or their steps.
Speaker: Caroline McLachlan-Darling

English History (2 hours)

Flint and Steel Fire Striking
Learn how to build a fire, and light it using flint and steel. This will be a hands on course, where you'll get to try the techniques and practice making fire. Note that this involves "real fire", so breathing smoke and burning your fingers are potential dangers.
Speaker: Mark Patchett

Gardening in the Middle Ages
This class provides an overview of the types of gardens seen before 1600, from the formal garden of la Roman de la Rose to the kitchen garden of a Tudor yeoman. Images from works of art and existing recreated gardens will be used, terminology will be discussed, and constructing your own "period" garden structures will be covered. Images will be shown on overhead; black and white notes are included and packages of colour copies will be available for a minimal fee.
Speaker: Pamela Bottrill

Gypsies in Portraiture: Truth or Fiction
This lecture will discuss and illustrate the common perception of Gypsies in the late medieval period with regards to their appearance. References will be made from period documents, in order to compare and contrast with the illustrations provided. Difficulties in research and verifiable documentation will be discussed as well.
Speaker: Karina Bates

Hand Sewn stitches for seams, edges and hems (2 hours)
This class will allow the students to sew each type of stitch and learn their applications relative to fabric selection and use. Swatches for sewing, thread and needles will be supplied. Students are asked to bring snips or scissors for personal use.
Speaker: Valerie West

History of the Bow
A talk about the history of the bow and how it changed over time and use.

How to Organize your Research
OK, so you've been to the library, the museum and you've looked on-line. Now you have a pile of research in front of you. What next? We will discuss how to organize all that information into a working document that will expand as your research does, allowing you to find information quickly when you want to write a paper, do a project or just look something up.
Speaker: Joanne Blumetti

Introduction to Glass Bead Making (2 hours)
This class will cover the style of bead making known as Lampwork. A history of bead making, their uses, and trade. The modern process of lampworking to make a bead will also be demonstrated. This session is restricted to those aged 16 or older.
Class is limited to 6 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Jean Ross

Introduction to Reading Square Notation (2 hours)
Have you ever wanted to be able to look at an original piece of medieval music and be able to sing it? Besides learning to read square notation, this session includes a quick overview of how we learned to read St. Gall notation, a very brief introduction to solfege as it pertains to square notation and, finally, a look at the various problems that one can expect to encounter in most period music.
Speaker: Ann Graham

Introduction to the SCA
No Description Exists
Speaker: Elise Kingston

Knitting in the Medieval Period (2 hours)
This is a short lecture discussing the evidence of period knitting, followed by a workshop. The workshop is intended for beginners. We will cover the basics of knitting from a modern perspective and then look at how projects would likely have been worked in period. Experience in knitting is not required.
Class is limited to 8 people.   
Speaker: Karina Bates

Kumihimo - The Art of Japanese Cordmaking (2 hours)
A hands on intro to Kumihimo. Starting with a short history and intro to terms, tools and uses. Participants will then be shown how to set up and create a Kumihimo braid. This class will cover both beginner and some intermediate techniques.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Melanie Robbins

Life as a Child & Toys of the Middle ages
No Description Exists
Speaker: Gerry Dowswell

Linen: flax seed to fibre
With a brief history of this ancient and valuable commodity, linen, this is a discussion of how to grow flax as a fibre crop and the labour-intensive process involved in extricating the fibre from the plant including demonstration of the tools used.
Speaker: Wendy Maurice

Making Musical Instruments
This class will discuss techniques in building instruments common to the Viking period and Middle Ages using both period and modern tools and techniques. For those interested in making their own aerophone there will be a $2 materials fee.
There is a materials fee of $2 for this class.
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

The mamlukes were Islam's version of the Western knights or Japanese samuari. This introduction looks at the Mamlukes from their early beginnings to the mid 1600's.
Speaker: David Blanchard

Playing With Your Meat - Sausage-Making and You (2 hours)
This class will allow you the hands-on experience of making your own sausages from scratch. The class will cover a brief over-view of sausage making including a brief history, rational, techniques and equipment. Then working with a partner, both of you will get a chance to mix and stuff your own small sample batch of sausages to take home and enjoy. The class will have a material fee to cover cost of ingredients and all other equipment will be provided. Be aware this class will involve the use and handling of raw pork. Please take this into account if you have lifestyle, health or religious concerns. Each PERSON gets 1 kg of meat to turn into sausage -(meat, casings, spices and other ingredients included in the cost, grinders will be provided)
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $10 for this class.
Speaker: Sam Falzone

Practical Medieval Gaming
Two main aspects of gaming will be covered. One is the actual rules, with play time, of several period games. The other has to do with commentaries on organising your own gaming supplies for use at events. The overall goal is to facilite yourself being able to play games at future events.
Speaker: Brian Laxson

Pretty Colours! The production of viking era glass beads.
The glass trade among the viking era Norse culture was complex not only in terms of the distances covered by these trade goods but by the complexity of the products produced in the workshops at the Ribe and Paviken markets. Using only the simplest of tools viking era craftsmen produced wonderfully detailed beads. This session will survey the material remains from these locations, and explore one experimental attempt to reproduce these techniques.
Speaker: Neil Peterson

Pronouncing Classical Latin and Greek
Ever wanted to recite a Roman love poem or passage from an ancient Greek play – in the original language? Then this is for you! In this class we will go through the basic pronunciation of Classical Latin and Ancient Greek (don’t worry, I will cover the alphabet!) and then move on to practice reading aloud some texts in the original languages. Each participant will receive a guide to pronunciation for each language and at least one Latin and one Greek text and an English translation of each. Please note: this is NOT the same as Medieval or Church Latin or modern or New Testament Greek (koine) and is NOT a grammar class. Class is limited to 5 participants and unlimited observers.
Class is limited to 5 people.   
Speaker: Lianne Maitland

Riveted mail
Come and learn about riveted/hammer welded mail as it appeared on the Coppergate helm.
Speaker: Mila Little

Romanesque Garment Construction - Practicum (2 hours)
This class will start with a brief overview of the major styles of clothing in the 12th century. From there we will discuss materials and construction methods. The bulk of the class will be devoted to developing patterns for the students chosen style(s) and dealing with fitting issues. Pencils and graph paper will be provided. If students have a particular project in mind, they are encouraged to bring fabric and supplies. The teacher may be contacted in advance for guidance if needed: eliskimo AT rogers DOT com
Speaker: Elise Kingston

Scandinavia's Oseberg Queen, Saint Birgitta and Queen Margareta: Three Medieval Women and the Textiles of their Time.
Scandinavia has a diverse and unique collection of medieval textiles. Pieces of different textiles as well as textile equipment were found in the Viking burial from Oseberg in Norway, as well as in the more than 1100 Viking graves at Birka in Sweden. The Scandinavian textile tradition includes different weave techniques: double weave, tapestry technique and weft wrapping also known as soumak, as well as many embroidery techniques; and examples of these are still in existence in Scandinavian collections. St. Birgitta’s convent in Vadstena, Sweden, which was established in 1346, included a workshop for producing very exclusive church textiles of which a small proportion have survived up to today. The only garment that will be discussed belonged probably to Queen Margareta. Not only does this garment exist and is at the present known as Queen Margareta’s Golden Garment; but a copy was made in the 1990’s to give today’s viewer the sensation of how impressive this luxurious garment originally was.
Speaker: Hanna Martinsen

Simple Medieval Dice and Table Games
8 different dice games, and two easy medieval games using the backgammon table - suitable for children aged 4 to 104! Gambling optional. Teacher will have take-home versions of the games available for a small cost if the participants are interested.
Speaker: Jo Duke

Spinning Silk (intermediate spinning)
The ins and outs of spinning silk. The different types of silks available to us, the more historically accurate fibres will be discussed, along with tips and techniques for spinning silk on either a spindle or wheel. Please bring your spindles or wheels to this class. Niddy noddy's or ball winders would also be useful tools to have in the class.
There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Nina Bates

Tablet Weaving - Advanced
This class is for those individuals who have some experience with tablet weaving or who have attended the introductory class. A hands-on introduction of various brocading techniques used on tablet woven bands. Historical applications and designs will also be discussed. Observers are more than welcome.
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Tablet Weaving for Beginners (2 hours)
A hands-on introduction to tablet weaving. The participants will be shown how to string up a loom, as well as a few basic techniques and patterns. Observers are more than welcome.
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Take this bodice and...
Now that you've drafted your ~1530's bodice, what can you make with it? This class will take a "from the dummy out" look at the layers of Court, Noble, and Yoeman clothing, and discuss the different ways to construct a kirtle or corset with the drafted bodice to then create the desired look.
Speaker: Adrienne Dandy

The Mary Rose
A discussion of the ship and the artifacts found on the Mary Rose.

The Modern Method of Black Hours Illumination (You can do it)
This will be a "hands on" class that will walk you through the modern method of producing an illuminated black hours bookmark. Please bring at least two watercolour brushes (if you have them), preferably sizes 004 and 010. If you do not have the brushes, there will be some used ones available, but not many. Other materials such as paper, paint and palettes will be provided. I will supply the design, ready to paint. At the end of the class you will understand how black hours has it's own unique set of challenges and how to overcome them and what materials work best with this medium. There will be some limited class notes available.
Class is limited to 8 people.   
Speaker: Linda Kalusik

The clothing descriptions in Rigsthula
Rigsthula is a poem from the Elder Edda which describes people and what they wore. It represents one of the few written descriptions of women and men in the viking age, and is quite unique in that it actively compares the dress of people of different social classes. We'll spend some time on each social class, to get an overall sense of who is wearing what, and then discuss a few of the more tantalizing hints in more detail. Warning: Rigsthula contains coarse language, sexuality, and discussions of slavery. This is not a class for children.
Speaker: V.M. Roberts

Venetian Bodice circa 1530-1570 (2 hours)
Ever wondered how those shoulder straps stayed up? What about that almost-falling-out lacing on the centre front? Just how were those bodices holding the wearers' "equipment" where they should be? Want to look like you stepped out of Veronese or Titian's frescoes and paintings? I have the answers. This practical class will walk fitting buddies through the steps of achieving that right fit and appearance, how to attach the shoulder straps so they don't droop from your shoulders when supporting a sleeve, and how to lace an open front bodice to get the right look. You'll leave with a fitted toile, suggestions on stiffening interlinings and fashion layers, several theoretical styles of lacing and as many extant skirt cutting layouts as I can find. Registering in pairs with at least one of the pairs experienced in fitting toiles is preferred, however singles will be paired off. You the option to bring along someone you trust with pins and scissors. You need to bring a yard of muslin or broadcloth for each partner being fitted, a contrast-coloured pencil crayon, scissors and pins. Please understand that this style is largely expected to have some cleavage shown, so please wear good support and a fitted shirt -we don't want any clipping accidents, a bodice too flat or supported too low.
Class is limited to 10 people.   
Speaker: Kathy Page

What's on your loom? - A weavers round table
Participants are invited to bring along their loom if it is portable, pictures, yarn samples, patterns, drafts, and/ or the archaeological piece that is their inspiration and to talk about how it relates to weaving & cloth in period, & what period, culture.
Speaker: Jo Duke

Why does Mediaeval Music sound different?
This is a quick introduction to the Mediaeval modes and how they differ from most 20th century music. No musical experience required.
Speaker: Ann Graham

Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions