Barony of Wastekeep

Baronial ARTS & Sciences Champion Criteria


The Baronial Arts & Sciences (A&S) Champion will be a representative of the Barony of Wastekeep.  The champion will be chosen by the Baron and Baroness.  Their Excellencies want to encourage all the skilled gentles who enter the Baronial A&S Championship to enter their items in other competitions. Their Excellencies intend this process to build confidence among the barony’s A&S populace and provide a way to recognize gentles who have not been recognized before.



 The victor is selected "to further the interests of their area of endeavor", and to represent the arts and sciences in the barony.  Each Champion will performed this duty by utilizing their own unique skills.  The Baronial A&S Champion should teach if they are able, and assist with local A&S fairs, representing the Barony in all they do.


Entrants for Champion 

 WHAT'S AN ART, WHAT'S A SCIENCE? This is a long-standing debate in the SCA.  Costuming, needlecrafts, weaving, scribal work, music, drama, and dance are usually considered arts. Armor and weapon making, woodworking, leatherworking, metalworking, brewing, vintning, medicine, games, and glass are usually thought of as sciences. Cooking, mapmaking, herbs, horsemanship, and a number of others have been viewed sometimes as arts, sometimes as sciences. You must have one item from each category




To assist the Baron and Baroness with their choice, input from Previous Champions, A&S officers, Peers and selected individuals from the general populace will be accepted.  For those times when it is not possible for the Baron or Baroness to be present for displays, a panel of judges will be chosen by Their Excellencies to serve as Their eyes.


Criteria for Baronial A&S Competition


Baronial A&S Competition will be judged on the following Criteria:


·         Appearance or presentation;

·         Authenticity (including documentation);

·         Design or Complexity

·         Workmanship



The presentation of a piece should ideally be in the same or similar setting that it would’ve been found in period.  At the very least, some effort should be made to present the piece in a way that enhances the piece.  For performance pieces, presentation involves both visual and performance (performance is judged under workmanship).  The best way to present a piece is in 'context' so that the judges can get a feeling as to whether or not the piece meets all of the above criteria. An example of this would be for the contestant to wear the piece of clothing or accessory they had entered along with other clothing or accessories that would've been found with the piece.  Another example would be for performance pieces to use as period an instrument as the performer could find.


The appearance of a piece is somewhat different than the presentation in that appearance looks at the overall look of the piece itself.  Primarily, the appearance of the piece should reflect the examples in period. If a piece looks ruff and unfinished and there is documentation for that, then the appearance of the piece is completely satisfactory.  Appearance is not workmanship. Appearance takes into account the individual design elements of a piece and how well they go together.





A piece of work is judged on how historical it is. The focus of documentation is to place the piece in a historical framework. The focus of authenticity is to judge how close the piece came to actually being period.  First, does the documentation prove that the piece would've existed in period?  For S.C.A. categories, does the piece approximate in an S.C.A. way a piece in period and is this reflected in the documentation?  Secondly, are all the elements used in the piece able to be used with each other in period?  For example, a cheesecake is period and can be documented but is not authentic if a modem recipe or store bought mix was used.  Another example of this would be the use of design elements in a piece that were difficult or impossible to place together historically- the use of chocolate or coconut in a recipe from 5' Century Norway or Italian arpeggios in an 8" Century Celtic music piece.  Lastly, does the piece look/behave/sound/taste authentic?  Again, documentation should be able to prove that the piece looks/behaves/sound/tastes like the piece it is trying to approximate from period.




A piece, which is trying to approximate historical pieces, should also approximate period design concepts and ideas.  Primarily, the design of the piece should reflect period ideas and concepts. An example of this would be trim patterns on an Elizabethan gown, which reflect Elizabethan design concepts.  Unless the gown is for a unique event such as a masque, the trim design needs to reflect the Elizabethan ideas of what trim was used for as well as where it was placed. The design of a subtlety should reflect period ideas.  Ultimately, the documentation of the piece should be able to prove whether the design of the piece is period by the examples of historical pieces that are used.

The complexity of a piece needs also reflect the complexity of similar pieces in period.  A piece, which is much simpler than the piece it is trying to approximate in period, is not reflective of the period ideas for that piece. A good example of this would be an entry that stated it was a "suit of Gothic armor" which was made up of a single piece breastplate, minimally articulated arms and legs, and a simple helmet. Unless the documentation states that the piece in question is simple because it is reflecting a similar historical piece, in such an example, the "suit of Gothic armor" should be expected to have fluting, complex articulation for joints, gauntlets or mittens, and a complex helm. 




Workmanship takes into account the time, care, and thought that went into making and finishing the piece. Questions such as how well made the piece is are the first ones asked. Beware of judging a piece according to modem standards of workmanship. Two excellent examples of this are the non-erasure of pencil marks on a scroll when there are examples in period of marks left or the finishing of internal seams in a gown when examples in period can be found showing that the seams may have been left open or finished in different ways.  Secondly, take into account the period examples of the piece.  Is the piece made and/or finished appropriately to the examples shown?  As with appearance, if the piece is very slick and polished or very ruff, is there documentation of examples in period, which can prove that the workmanship of the entry is appropriate?  Lastly, the piece should be functional or able to perform in the manner that is ascribed to it.


The Event


At the event your entries will be set up "County Fair" style (all together in one place) in a large room along with other contestants’ entries. You will be responsible for setting up your entries.  A panel of judges will judge each contestants items. The judges will come and meet with each contestant at his or her display. They will discuss the entry with you in detail. The judges may ask many questions. These questions are not meant to intimidate you, but to get a better understanding of what you were trying to achieve with the item and to find out the depth and breadth of your knowledge on the item. You can also ask questions of the judges. The time with the judges is your chance to educate them about your item. Take the time to do this. Do not assume they know that you grew, spun and wove the flax to make the Elizabethan shirt you have on display. Organize your thoughts before the judges arrive making notes if necessary on the critical points you want them to notice.

Judging time is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per contestant.  This 30 minutes includes the time speaking with the contestant and examining the items, as well as any discussion the judges may have between themselves and the time it takes to fill in the judging forms.