In 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.
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!
- Archaeology; Astronomy; Alchemy; Armouring; Animal Husbandry; Anthropology; Agriculture;
- Brewing; Blacksmithing; Bookbinding; Bow-making; Beadmaking; Basketry; Bone Carving; Bestiaries;
- Calligraphy; Cooking; Costuming; Cosmetics; Cheesemaking; Cartography; Corsetry;
- Dancing; Dance Reconstruction; Diplomacy;
- Embroidery; Equestrian Activities; Education; Engraving; Engineering;
- Felting; Finger-loop braiding; Fencing; Fletching; Fishing; Food; Fortune-telling; Furniture;
- Gardening; Greeks; Games; Glassmaking; Goldsmithing;
- Herbs; Health; Hats; Hunting; Heraldry; Hygiene; Hermits; Horns;
- Illumination; Ice-skating; Instrument Making;
- Jewellery making; Jesting; Jousting; Jams & Preserves;
- Knitting; Knifemaking; Kitchenware; Knotwork;
- Lacemaking; Leatherworking; Lamps & Lighting; Lyres;
- Metallurgy; Markets; Music; Maps; Milling; Masonry; Mangonels;
- Numerology; Nalbinding; Navigation;
- Ostragoths; Ottoman Empire; Onagers;
- Poetry; Philosophy; Printing; Pottery; Painting; Puppetry; Plays; Pets; Pageants; Privateers and pirates; Portraiture;
- Quilling; Quilting;
- Rapier; ; Romans; Regalia; Reliquaries; Royalty; Runes;
- Smithing; Swords; Sewing; Singing; Shoemaking; Soap making; Stone Carving; Ships & Sports; Superstitions; Subtleties; Sailing; Sanitation;
- Tatting; Tourneys; Theatre; Tablet Weaving; Taverns; Tapestry; Trebuchets;
- Underwear & Underpinnings;
- Vikings; Vintning; Vandals;
- Woodwork; Weapons; Writing; Wall-hangings; Wirework;
- X-Marks the Spot! [Maps/Piracy/Navigation];
- 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!
|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|
|January||Middle East||Towels and Cloths||Decorated Shields||Middle Eastern|
|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:
|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|
- Banners, Standards and Heraldic Display (from a previous competition, but still useful)
- Event position descriptions
- Introduction to Heraldry
- What is documentation?