TreeArtisans' Village

The goal of the Artisans Challenge is to create a friendly and supportive environment for artisans to increase their skill, or to try something new

About the Artisan's Challenge

Members of the populace have until March 1st to issue a challenge related to an SCA-period art or science. Anyone is welcome to submit a challenge, and all are encouraged to take up challenges. Challenges will be listed on the event website as they come in, and after the deadline a full list of challenges will be announced throughout the kingdom.
Artisans will then have several months to complete the challenge(s) of their choice before the event. On Saturday at the event, the work of those who have taken up a challenge will be displayed, and time will be set aside to let Challengers and those taking up a challenge talk face-to-face so the participants can all learn from each other. As a result, both challengers and those taking up a challenge should be present at the event on Saturday. The participants and winners of each challenge will also be announced before feast, so all are encouraged to stay if possible. Conversation between challengers and those who take up a challenge is also encouraged both before and after the event.

For advice about creating and offering a challenge, and to see a list of past challenges, please visit the following document: 2015 Challenges

Please submit challenges or questions about the Artisan's Challenge to Baroness Isabelle de Montreuil sur Mer at

List of Challenges

Create a potable using a period source that is either a Liqueur/Cordial, Mead/Wine, Beer, or Cider
Challenge Issued by: Thane Alexander Makcristyne (

Your creation has to be able to be drank and not break any US laws in the process of being made. Documentation is not required, though it is encouraged. (It is also is a good place to strike a conversation about what was submitted.) All people that enter will win as we all will sit down and try each others booze, but the best over all may win a brewing log book from our Abbey. My Abbey will decide the overall winner based on: process, taste, and any historical information of the potable.

Create a 16th Century Italian Item of Clothing or Accessory
Challenge Issued by: Kataryn Mercer (

The Renaissance in 16th century Italy resulted in a plethora of artwork depicting clothing in a more realistic manner. I challenge you to take inspiration from Italian artwork of any kind to create a 16th century item of clothing/outfit or accessory. An exact reproduction is not necessary, just be inspired. No documentation is required, but inspiration pictures are highly encouraged. The goal of this challenge is to introduce you to 16th century Italian garb, or to encourage you to continue exploring Italian fashion.

London Grocers- Make It Today
Challenge Issued by: Baroness Alesone Gray of Cranlegh, OL (

This challenge is a day of, make it on site Grocers challenge. I will provide ingredients (fruits, roots, spices, sugar, water, etc), tools, cooking vessels, fire source, and period recipes. You will have 3 hours to create something that would have been available for purchase at the Grocers (electuaries, syrups, waters, oils, ointments, plasters, powders, and all conserves and confections). This challenge will run outside in the science area. You will not have access to the kitchen, but we will make sure that there are enough heat sources and cooking vessels for everyone who wants to try this. Documentation is not required for this challenge. Instead you will be asked to explain what you created and the choices you made.

**Please contact Baroness Alesone ahead of the event if you intend to take up this challenge**

Kingdom Inspired Largesse
Challenge Issued by: Mistress Elysabeth (Lissa) Underhill (

Those taking up this challenge are asked to make an item that uses the Kingdom's colors/heraldry, or which uses some aspect of the kingdoms history/spirit for inspiration. Items may be created using any art form, but participants must be willing to donate their item to the kingdom to be used by royalty as gifts for the populace or for visitors to the kingdom. Items should be based on a period artifact (very brief documentation should accompany each item), and they will be assessed on that documentation and on the uniqueness of the way they reflect the kingdom.

Recreate a Period Glass Bead
Challenge Issued by: Mistress Elysabeth (Lissa) Underhil (

Do your best to recreate a glass bead from period (pre 17th century). This challenge is open to glass beadmakers of all skill levels, from novice to expert. As a result, entrants are welcome to enter beads that have been formed into shapes as well as beads that have been decorated with different colored glass.

Participants in this challenge should use a photograph or drawing of a period bead as a source for their recreation. Participants in this challenge should also write (or be prepared to talk about) what challenges they faced in recreating their bead, and what lessons they learned.

If you have never researched period beads before, I am more than willing to help you find research sources. If you find that you are having problems with your recreation efforts, I am also available to help brainstorm a solution with you. The goal of this challenge is to encourage bead makers to take a closer look at beads from period, and to realize that you can practice and learn new skills while making period beads!

Add finishing work to your garb
Challenge Issued by: Baroness Ysmay de Lynn (

How many pieces of your garb would appear more finished if you add trim, embroidery applique, or the finishing work of your choice to the garment? Please bring a garment (you can be wearing it) that has finishing work on it. Tell me why you made the choices you made, the material used and how much the work relates to the period of the garment itself. If you have a picture of the piece before you added finishing work, bring that along too.

Bag of Holding. Make a thing that carries other things.
Challenge Issued by: Sarah le Payller (

When I first started going to SCA events -- entirely in loaner garb -- one of my first problems was "where do I put my stuff?" This challenge is to make any sort of pouch, bag, basket, or other device for carrying the things you need to carry with you, while in garb. Please provide some brief comments on how and why you choose to make this particular item, and any documentation you found while researching, designing, or creating the item.

I'd Like a Drink, Too
Challenge Issued by: Eleazar ha-Levi (

I'm a diabetic, which means that I can't drink alcohol except in disgustingly small medicinal dosages. I also can't drink anything carbonated for other medical reasons that most definitely fall into the TMI category. I don't mind just having water to drink at feasts -- not too much, anyway -- but I'd like something more.

So... brew me something I can drink that's suitable for a feast. This can include making a simple syrup or other sugar-based drink using an artificial sweetener. The drinks should be Period and I do want to see (and keep) copies of the recipes.

Show Us the Minstrels
Challenge Issued by: Sabine de Kerbriant (

Use any SCA-period art form you like to depict medieval or Renaissance musicians: embroidery, illumination, poetry, etc. Documentation encouraged but not required.

Tool-Using Thumb Monkey
Challenge Issued by: Master Magnus hvalmagi, King's A&S Champion (

As artisans, we often need to make use of specialized tools to accomplish our purposes; in many cases, the period forms of these tools were very different than modern iterations. We often have to make substitutions because we lack the appropriate tool.

Substitute no more!

I challenge you to research, document, and reconstruct a period tool that you would normally use in your thingmakery. "Bonus points" for either comparing the period tool to your usual modern substitution, or for making a thing with said tool.

The prize will be a hand-made consumable of some sort.

Some Like It Dirty
Challenge Issued by: Master Magnus hvalmagi, King's A&S Champion (

The process of creation is rarely clean, even though we often strive to present shiny or pretty finished items.

I'll have none of that!

I challenge you to research, document, and reconstruct something that is dirty, repulsive, vile, revolting, rough, or in any way, shape, or form aesthetically unpleasant. "Bonus points" will be awarded for projects that are particularly messy, extremely hands-on, exceedingly unpleasant, or uniquely repugnant.

Note that none of this means "particularly unsafe." Consumables must be technically safely edible, and objects must not be actually harmful to the user when used for their intended purpose. Remember Rule 0 of A&S: no ER visits!

The prize will be a hand-made consumable of some sort.

Actually consumable, not "technically" consumable.

Learn something new
Challenge Issued by: Isabelle de Montreuil sur Mer (

Is there something you've always thought about trying but needed that little push to take the leap? Or an art form you admire but you've never been able to get started? Take a step outside of your comfort zone and try something new: A new art form, a new skill, a new technique, a new medium. This does not need to be a finished project or piece-- works in progress are most welcome, especially if you can share what you've learned and where you are going next. I will leave the decision up to you as to how far out of your current skills a "new" project needs to lie, but feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will also happily accept challenges who try something new AT Artisans Village before the end of the artisans challenge display.

Teach me something
Challenge Issued by: Isabelle de Montreuil sur Mer (

Do you love sharing your skills and art with others? This challenge is less about demonstrating what you can create and more about demonstrating how well you can share that knowledge. Can you teach me how to at least start your art within about 30 minutes? I am not looking to create a finished product in that time frame, but enough knowledge that I would feel comfortable going home and trying it again on my own (after acquiring the needed materials, of course).

Those wishing to take up this challenge should contact me in advance so that we can schedule a teaching time during the event. Prizes will be awarded to all participants.

Copyright 2008-2015 Naomi Hampson.