I’m not a metalworker. I’m not a lapidarist.
I’m not a very good cook, or skilled embroiderer, or impactful bard, or a leatherworker, or a cobbler, or a butcher, or a candlestick maker. I can bake with a recipe and a reliable oven, and it’s usually edible.
I play with textiles and fiber, I can pattern something, I can sew something, I can make fabric do stuff if I stare and poke at it long enough.
But really – I’m a researcher and a crafter.
And you know what?
It’s okay to not be All The Things or Do All The Things in Arts and Sciences. I’m a dabbler, because I like to jump down rabbit holes and poke around for a little bit. Sometimes I go rather deep. Sometimes I just stick my head in. But lately, my “how far down” has been tempered by the following:
- I have limited finances.
- I have limited time.
- I do not have the storage/workspace to acquire new sets of tools specifically for new materials.
You do not have to be a one-person workshop for all the things you want to have for your kit. Skilled artisans, guilds, and merchants existed throughout periods, regions, and cultures. It’s okay to buy the thing, or the pieces half-made, or whatever you’re comfortable with. It’s okay to have some aspects of your kit that are more modern in construction than others because you don’t have the resources/ability to make/ability to purchase 100% the real deal.
Case in point: Jewerly
Be it hair bits and bobs, bracelets, or necklaces – I’m not a jeweler. I’m not a lapidarist. I’m not a metalworker. But I can take bit A and bit B, both stamped out of copper and shined up to look like gold and either glue or wire them together. I can use resin to cast a cabochon that looks like a gemstone or agate, pop it in a bezel, and then glue that on. I can buy findings for a Sui Dynasty era necklace that is Bling with a Capital B and pop some real stones into it, but I can’t afford to spend over $100 on actual freshwater pearls to finish it off – so resin will do. And that’s okay.
You Do Not Need To Break The Bank To Have This Hobby.
You Do Not Need To Have Every Set Of Skills.
A particular set of skills will do just fine. The rest can be “store-bought.”
Thank you for coming to my personal pep/TED talk.
3 thoughts on “Doing All The Things”
Li Jinxun, the nine-year old who previously owned the Bling Necklace, was the granddaughter of an empress-turned-grand princess of the realm (her grandma’s dad overthrew his son-in-law’s dynasty). She was “up there”, status and wealth wise, for sure.
Most SCAdians play minor nobility or gentry, but very few have incomes that are equivalent to ones had by these people in-period. Newcomers in particular may find this social homogeneity, and the associated monetary and time expenditure involved quite daunting.
Perhaps it’s time to encourage people to consider personae outside of the traditional milieu. The year is 2020 AD, and we know so much more about a lot of SCA-period societies and cultures than when the SCA firsts started out.