Last year, Sarah and I started a West Kingdom Largess Makers group on Facebook, with the intent of encouraging more artisans in our SCA kingdom to make largess — that is, small gifts that royalty can give out, as they often need to. There’s a very active general-SCA largess makers group on Facebook, but we wanted something local, yo. And we’ve tried to run some challenges to get people to make more stuff. So far, the most successful has been Sarah’s idea of a Secret Santa Swap at 12th Night 2015. Each person was randomly assigned a name of another person in the swap, and you made one item of largess for that person and then you made one extra item that would be donated to the kingdom or principalities.
The turnout was great! I don’t know the final numbers, but we had SO much stuff. We gathered three huge, lovely piles of largess, one for the West Kingdom, one for the Principality of the Mists, and one for the Principality of Cynagua. And, of course, everyone involved received a nifty handmade holiday gift. There were a few people who couldn’t attend 12th Night at the last minute, so some items will still be coming in (such as the person who was assigned to me). But we’ll sort that all out. The coolest thing was to hear how so many people tried new arts to make their largess.
I did too, at least for one item. I’m not exactly sure how it turned out — I cut quill pens from feathers using these instructions, but I couldn’t find my ink to test one, and I ran out of time to buy more. So I don’t know if my pen nib cuts work very well, eek! So I included a backup, and the recipient took that one. It was a memento mori themed paternoster made of black wood beads and bone beads carved into skulls, made generally according to examples from Dame Christian de Holacombe. Both of these tips are included in my SCA largess class.
We’ll have to do this largess challenge again!