The Accuracy/Accoutrements Curve and Where I’m Going

So, anyone who’s spoken to me in the last… six weeks or so, has heard me talk about what my plans are from this point. Having gotten my Laurel, I’m now thinking where I want to go. Certainly I’ve got commissions to work on and finish, and some other things that I need to complete that are long overdue. As mentioned before, I’ve got some long-standing personal projects to work on, plus more glasswork and a few other things here and there. But that’s continuing what I’ve been working on, and I feel like it’s not pushing me quite how I want.

After all, as a Laurel, shouldn’t I push myself? Shouldn’t I find new challenges that make me happy and can be used to spread more joy (and as an excuse to teach)? Something to get me out of my head and pushing ever onwards. Because, after all, How Hard Can It Be?

So what do I want to do? Well, let’s talk about what’s been going around in my head. There are two parts to this plan.

First, we’ve got the Accuracy/Accoutrements Curve, which really needs a better name. But the idea is simple – when you start out reenacting/recreating (my experience is, honestly, more the latter), you are basic. What fabric you can afford and pretty items that may not be as accurate, but still look alright. You also don’t have much. You pass the 10-foot rule, definitely. Then, as you get more involved (and grow up, getting more money, let’s be honest), you buy the bling. And maybe as you get more you focus on certain regions, with the intention (in theory) of being more accurate. As you go more accurate, you realize that the amount of jewelry you should be wearing is less than you are, and so now you’ve got some choices. Bugger.

But you look all kinds of awesome with so much metal and jewelry, don’t you? And honestly, it’s really neat to be able to go ‘all this stuff is from this particular grave/geographic site’. And we’re told (in a very basic sense) that more jewelry = high status, and so forth. It means that there’s a good amount of an excuse/reason to show off, because you *want* to look like someone of high status. (Even subconsciously.)

And I was that way for awhile, to an extent, still am. There’s some absolutely gorgeous pieces I own, and that I probably should wear more. But I’ve also been thinking about how I wear clothing, and what I want out of everything. And I realize, for most events? I’m happy wearing something fairly simple, and that I go with certain sets of jewelry more often than not. They’re pieces that make me pleased, and admittedly that I can find more quickly in the absolute mess that my kit is.

I do recreation, not reenactment – despite what I’d like to believe. I look right-ish, but not until you start looking closely, do you realize I’m not quite right. You also definitely need to know a decent amount about the period I’m working with. My *goal* is something that’s reenactment quality, but I’ve got a ways to go. Part of that process will involve streamlining what I’m after, and putting together a more cohesive, tight if you will, kit. Not wearing all my jewelry, and working on what goes with what.

So where do I go? How do I make these scattered thoughts come together? Am I making even any sense in this case?

This brings us to our second set of thoughts today – let’s talk clothing, and how it ties in. Well, let’s go back just over a year when I saw this video. Ideas started to run through my head which haven’t left. Namely, I wanted to make this for my husband, because we’ve been talking about getting more accurate. I like the look, the few layers, and it seems like a pretty versatile outfit for what he tends to go for when not fighting. (He likes it as well, which is most important.)

This has been a project sitting in the back of my head for awhile, and it was on the list of ‘things for 2023’. As 2022 progressed, however, I’ve also been thinking about various aspects of consumption, my personal life, and streamlining – especially my mundane, personal, wardrobe. I love the idea of going almost capsule with it, and developing my personal style. It’s started, and I’m pleased with how it’s turning out, and how much I’m liking it all.

So why not carry this over to my SCA wardrobe? It feels like it would make sense to narrow down what we have as well, and to create new things we’ll be regularly wearing. I also like it on a historically accurate level, because having many, many, outfits wasn’t the norm. Wouldn’t it be better to have a few outfits, rotate them, and add more thoughtful pieces? The tentative plan, as it stands, is we’ll alternate who gets a new set of clothing each year. I need to inventory fabric as the shop gets organized, and probably will be making some choices as to the stash. We’ll likely end up wearing a good amount of wool as well, because light-weight wool is perfection.

I’m circling Hedeby more and more, and he’s looking at 10th/11th C Novgorod. Having a definite place will help with narrowing things down for projects, which helps my squirrel brain. This isn’t to say that there’s not going to be things that are modern callbacks – The Wookiee’s got the Overlook Hotel carpet charted for me, and I want to put that on something once it’s woven. But I want to go from ‘accurate-ish’ to ‘more accurate than not’. If it’s slow, that’s alright, because we’ll always be working on things, and making improvements.

It’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to, Something that should help to keep me engaged and that will allow us to grow and talk about what we’re doing and why.

It should be fun.

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