Medieval Craft

A&SIn the SCA, we call what we study and recreate from Medieval times “Arts and Sciences”, and that’s the term you’ll see everywhere else on this site.


Picture a verdant field, surrounded by great shady trees,
Heraldic banners fluttering in the wind,
Knights in armour upon a field doing battle,
Ladies in embroidered gowns reclining in the shade,
Picnicking on splendid fare with fine beverages,
The marshals cry “Lay on” and the tournament begins …

Arts and Sciences

There are two main hands-on aspects of the SCA: Martial Activities and the Arts and Sciences. The Arts and Sciences add to the context of all we do, and help bring the recreated Middle Ages alive. For many in the SCA, A&S is about the wonderful period meals or feasts accompanied by delectable brews that reflect particular places and times prior to 1600 CE. For others it is about creating wonderful garb or clothing that reflects their persona (the person that they have chosen to be in period) ranging from a basic T-tunic through to elaborate clothing that would not have been out of place at the Court of Elizabeth I.

Other Arts and Sciences researched and recreated in the SCA include music, dancing, gardening, embroidery, weaving, creating period-style armour, equestrian activities (but no jousting, sorry), pottery, jewellery-making, calligraphy, and many more. Any part of Medieval life can be researched and (if practicable) recreated.

Getting Involved in the Arts and Sciences

Those who excel in the Arts and Sciences are known as Laurels and those who are working on developing one or more areas of skill are apprenticed to Laurels. However, not everyone strives for that level of expertise for a whole variety of reasons. Choose the level that suits you and the time you have available.

Not sure where to begin? SCAdians are always happy to share their skills and knowledge, and at any ‘big’ event there will usually be A&S classes being held on a vast range of subjects. Even at smaller local events it’s not uncommon for impromptu A&S skill-sharing sessions to crop up – if you see someone doing something that catches your interest, feel free to ask them about it, you may find yourself going home with a new skill. There are also a number of guilds within the Kingdom of Lochac, which you can join to connect with people interested in specific areas of interest.

DSCF7696  DSCF7745  weavingdancing  music

What is included under “Arts and Sciences”?

Here is a list of some of the Arts, Crafts and Sciences from A – Z that were practised somewhere, at some time, in history. The SCA period officially covers 600 AD – 1600 AD, but many of the crafts and sciences date from well Before the Common Era (BCE). So whether you want to try to recreate some arcane Byzantine craft, an elegant Renaissance art, or just research some history: A&S is a good place to start!

  1. Archaeology; Astronomy; Alchemy; Armouring; Animal Husbandry; Anthropology; Agriculture;
  2. Brewing; Blacksmithing; Bookbinding; Bow-making; Beadmaking; Basketry; Bone Carving; Bestiaries;
  3. Calligraphy; Cooking; Costuming; Cosmetics; Cheesemaking; Cartography; Corsetry;
  4. Dancing; Dance Reconstruction; Diplomacy;
  5. Embroidery; Equestrian Activities; Education; Engraving; Engineering;
  6. Felting; Finger-loop braiding; Fencing; Fletching; Fishing; Food; Fortune-telling; Furniture;
  7. Gardening; Greeks; Games; Glassmaking; Goldsmithing;
  8. Herbs; Health; Hats; Hunting; Heraldry; Hygiene; Hermits; Horns;
  9. Illumination; Ice-skating; Instrument Making;
  10. Jewellery making; Jesting; Jousting; Jams & Preserves;
  11. Knitting; Knifemaking; Kitchenware; Knotwork;
  12. Lacemaking; Leatherworking; Lamps & Lighting; Lyres;
  13. Metallurgy; Markets; Music; Maps; Milling; Masonry; Mangonels;
  14. Numerology; Nalbinding; Navigation;
  15. Ostragoths; Ottoman Empire; Onagers;
  16. Poetry; Philosophy; Printing; Pottery; Painting; Puppetry; Plays; Pets; Pageants; Privateers and pirates; Portraiture;
  17. Quilling; Quilting;
  18. Rapier; ; Romans; Regalia; Reliquaries; Royalty; Runes;
  19. Smithing; Swords; Sewing; Singing; Shoemaking; Soap making; Stone Carving; Ships & Sports; Superstitions; Subtleties; Sailing; Sanitation;
  20. Tatting; Tourneys; Theatre; Tablet Weaving; Taverns; Tapestry; Trebuchets;
  21. Underwear & Underpinnings;
  22. Vikings; Vintning; Vandals;
  23. Woodwork; Weapons; Writing; Wall-hangings; Wirework;
  24. X-Marks the Spot! [Maps/Piracy/Navigation];
  25. Yurts;
  26. Zoology; Zoomorphics.

Need a reason to get started?

In Bordescros we have monthly challenges as part of our Shire Championships that cover a variety of topics and crafts. You can see the most recent schedule of challenges below. Remember to complete a A&S Competition Entry Form each time. Feel free to email our Arts and Sciences officer if you would like more information.

Bordescros Arts and Sciences Competition Categories AS 57 (2022/23)

NOTE: There is always an ‘open’ category at our monthly gatherings in case you craft something that doesn’t fit that month’s theme. We want everyone to try their hand!

Month History Domestic Marshal Arts
July Ancient World Food Sword for Fighting Banners
August Beyond Europe Woven Item Soft Armour Calligraphy
September Tudor Pottery Coif for Fighting Maritime
October Pre-900 Norse Undergarments Hard Armour Health
November Mongolian Chemise or Smock Equestrian Science
December Yule/Christmas Yule Food/Drink Metalwork Yule
January Middle East Towels and Cloths Decorated Shields Middle Eastern
March 14th Century Footwear Leatherwork Illumination
April Iberia Surcoats Tabards Plants
May The Low Counties For Rich and Poor Shield Herbs

For the history category it is asked that a maximum of 4 pages of documentation be submitted, on one or more aspects of the topic. This is to allow time for judges to read them at the event.

Kingdom Arts and Sciences Competitions AS57 (2022/23)

An attempt has been made to couple monthly categories with upcoming competitions at the Kingdom level. These are submitted at/for the four Crown events each year:

Event Date Location Categories
Spring Crown Tournament 24-25 Sept 2022 Innilgard (South Australia) Heraldic; Edible; The Ancient World
Spring Coronation 28-30 Oct 2022 Cluain (Rotorua NZ) Maritime; Health; Beyond Europe
Autumn Crown Tournament March 2023 Anaela (Perth) Science; Threads; 14th century
Autumn Coronation May 2023 TBA For rich and poor; Plants; The Low Countries

Other Resources