2024 Novice Day: Arts & Sciences Recap

Greetings to the Shire,

It was a scorcher of a day. The weather had also promised rain, and delivered toward the day’s end. Now that I know how well the wooden pavilion works at keeping out the rain, I am no longer so leery of holding future Arts & Sciences displays and competitions there. I will also know to bring paperweights for paper entries. Clear tape was fine, but could only hold up for so long.

Two intrepid gentles, Ana de Roma and Violetta de Bren, submitted a sestina and a translation of a German fencing manual respectively. That fencing manual also included a poem about the rules and strategies of defense. 

The categories of voting this year were a vote if you were a member of the general populace, or a vote if you had ever received an arts award at the baronial level or above, including if you had previously won the Novice Day arts prize. The tally was incredibly close: By three votes overall and by two votes among the arts awardees, the poetess Ana de Roma took this year’s Magistra Isabeau d’Orleans Novice Day Artisan’s Prize. She will soon have the scroll completed as a labor of love by Sister K of the Monastery of Saint Gabriel (MSR), a friend of Magistra Isabeau. All that is missing with this scroll now is the name of the winner and what they had won it for.

Speaking of the scroll, the original one is at long last making its way to last year’s winner, Ezra dei Bazzi, scheduling difficulties for the professional calligrapher and illustrator being what they were and are. The noble Ezra completely understood and is looking forward to hanging it up on the wall.

The commemorative cutting board was another story. There was a breakdown in communication: It had been finished but had never been sent to Ezra. However, it was brought to the event. The original gentle who was carving the name into board, the good Sir Culann mac Cianain, has said he cannot continue to carve succeeding names, so I will be looking for someone else to carve the next name and send it to Ana de Roma, with the charge that she bring it or have it brought back to next year’s Novice Day. The good knight has my thanks for the lovely way the board turned out.

The good Lord Aharon ben Ze’ev has rendered an image of the noble Ana de Roma holding the scroll, so as soon as I have that, and the good lady’s permission, I shall request that it be posted here and on the Shire’s Facebook page.

I also wish to give a hearty thanks to Valentine Ambrose for organizing the classes that were available throughout the day:

Beginner Weaving Demonstration taught by Lady Cillene O Caollaidhe
Folk Tales and the Hero’s Journey taught by Drustan of Old Stonebridges
Newcomers Class taught by Lady Cillene O Caollaidhe
Measurements and How to Take Them taught by Ana de Roma and Valentine Ambrose

Drustan also had a short bardic session attended by a small group of drummers and lyre players whose names I will endeavor to collect.

There is no rest for the wicked, so there will be a demo at the Louis Bay 2nd Library in Hawthorne this coming Saturday 06/29. I will be telling Moroccan folktales then, but in advance of that I will be hosting a virtual class on Jackal: The Trickster of Desert Folklore on Wednesday 06/26. The link is both on the shire website and various Facebook pages.

At the service of your honors,
M. Ana de Guzmán
Arts & Sciences Minister, Shire of Rusted Woodlands