I’m actually going to Italy… I’ve been trying to get there for three years! It’s happening this Fall! I’m doing extra walkies! I’m learning Italian with Duolingo! I can’t stop using exclamation points!
I plan, obviously, on an ancient-focused trip. Lots of time in Roma, at museums, at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, Tivoli, Orvieto. Plus Florence and Venice so we don’t get too myopic. 🙂
Poor Robert… he’s never going to want to look at another statue again! LOL
I recently presented my stola paper at An Tir’s Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship as a single entry. You can see a video of my presentation here (20 min talk, 20 min Q&A). Since I know not everyone wants to read a giant tome, I’m going to break up important bits of my paper into a series of blog posts.
Color by Dulcia MacPherson, captions by me.
The stola had four major identifying features:
- Worn as an overdress
- Made of lightweight wool
- Constructed as a simple tube, with straps, round pins, or fabric knots at the shoulders, that created a “V neck” with draping.
- Worn double belted, to create an extra folded layer at the hips
The stola was popular for about 400 years (mid-Republic to early Empire), and was integral to the Roman matron’s sense of self. It gave its wearer special social and legal protections.
PART I: WHY WOOL?
Upon hearing that the Roman stola is wool, most SCAdians think of thick blanket wool, and are reluctant to use such a heavy material for fear of over heating. Hold on, my friend! My current favorite stola is so light as to be mistaken for cotton by most people. Keep that in mind as you read…
Part of a woman’s duty was to make wool clothing for her family. The linking of wool working to feminine honor goes back to the Roman monarchy. Continue reading
It’s so addicting… literally the day I came home from the competition where I presented my paper, I started making this necklace, based on a 1st-3rd century Fayum mummy portrait from Roman-controlled Egypt. The color isn’t showing up well but I used dark green aventurine beads, and they look *just like* the ones in the painting.
Here are a few more I re-created: Continue reading
Tis the season… 2/25 was Stromgard’s Baronial Arts & Sciences Championship. The next weekend, 3/4, was Dragon’s Mist. The Kingdom ASBC (bardic is included too) is this coming weekend, 3/11-12. I, like an obsessed goofball, decided to do them all.
Stromgard in some ways was the biggest challenge. Two prepared entries, plus a 3 hour period to make stuff with the contents of a box provided… and no clue what was going to be in the box beforehand. We also had to start a fire using period methods (flint and steel) and use the fire somehow. We got lucky with the weather – although it was chilly, it wasn’t raining, snowing or super windy!
My two pre-written entries were on Roman jewelry and the Roman stola (papers will be posted within a week – I like to incorporate what I learn from the judging process). With the first one, I was focussing on “assembly” type pieces, that I could make in my living room without a studio or fancy equipment, but would still duplicate the aesthetic of Rome from 100 BCE-300 CE. On the left is a largesse box – basically a kit to help others get into basic jewelry making and create period ornaments. One was donated to Dragon’s Mist. Four more will be delivered to Queen Stjarna this weekend.
I had fun putting together my “Roman jewelry shop.” I wanted to use period materials, rather than velvet busts from JoAnn Fabrics. This was wood, linen, and brass nails. Continue reading
I scored some gorgeous pottery over 12th Night. The redware is by Jeanne C. Wood. The surface is terra sigilata, a very fine, polished slip. It covers the clay underneath and is semi-waterproof. The indented cups and the Pompeiian oil lamp are by Reannag Teine.
This competition was for a complete outfit, including undergarments. I got high scores on my documentation, oral presentation, and accuracy, but lost a lot of points in complexity because Roman just isn’t that hard. It’s a bunch of rectangles, with no fancy sewing or fitting (one of the reasons I love it, to be honest). My competitors brought some truly impressive complex late-period outfits, and I was fine with losing to them… but then I found out I won Best Documentation! I got some bonus points for dressing my slave Drusa, too, and explaining the difference between the two outfits and how they showed status. Note: Undies were brand new, never worn for the judges’ comfort. *grin*
My *other* Halloween costume: Cloacina, Roman goddess of the sewer! Her scepter, of course, is a sponge on a golden stick. Info here: https://romanasum.com/2016/09/04/biffy-history/Toilet History