Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Still plugging along

Well, let it never be said that life has to give you a break between activity. 

No sooner was I done with Crown (Thank God!) than I got an e-mail from the Skorgarrd herald asking me to come down and teach them list, site and populace meeting heraldry. This wasn't totally unexpected, mind you, she and I have been talking about this for a while, but I got the e-mail on monday....and Crown was on saturday, so you do the math. 

Not to mention that I am hoping to get warranted as a herald at King's Round Table in two weeks. This on top of me being in charge of setup breakdown and cleanup. (hay, Im smiling about this, really!)

And then...

I'm in charge of heralding--read "I am the Herald in Charge" -for Mooneschadowe's Triumph of the Eclipse. in September. 

And we have out of kingdom royalty coming!

and because of that, we may have IN KINGDOM royalty coming.

And I not only asked for that...I campaigned for it!

What was I thinking?

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Signed, Sealed and delievered.

Well, I knew crown tournament would be a chance to personal heraldry, so I decided to ham it up a little. I borrowed a page from Lord Brian's class at this years heraldic and Scribal symposium. I got some good paper, as well as some ribbon and a few black candles and did really nice looking wax seals. The real kicker was my using the site token-a pewter coin--as a wax insignia seal.

All in all, it was a good thing. I heralded Pete, Vlad, Aldric and Randal lee before their Majesties The letters looked really cool, and with a good script written out, I was happy with how they went over. HL Vara-Pete's Lady-at first said was I going overboard, but after it was all done, she said it came togeather well, so I was glad for it.

Randal lee was a last minute deal, he literally flagged me down just as he and his lady were heading up, evidently their herald went MIA at the last minute, and didn't make it back in time, so I had to wing it. I wasn't thrilled with the result, but for a 'wing it' I wasn't unhappy.

Then, well, things go a little backwards with the event and I wound up being drafted into list heralding. It was kind of last minute, and my one major complaint was that I was in a black shirt in 100+ degree heat. But I stayed hydrated and stuck with it for a round. All in all, it went well; Count Gunther prevaled at the end of the day. And despite the heat, thing worked out.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quick update.

Okay, so its been a while since I posted. Not that their hasn't been a lot going on, just that not a lot of heraldry type stuff going on. However, I am in the process of trying to wrangle a group of people together to get warranted at King's Roundtable as heralds, myself included. I'm hoping I can get five people in there, that is to say five people other than myself and those who were already planning on going. The Big hope is a crew out of Namron and its Canton, Skorragarðr. They have a whole new crop of eager students who want to be herald, and I'm hoping to help them out any way I can.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Populace heraldry and whatnot.

Well, I guess its safe to say that my populace heraldry options are few and far between. Not that I'm Complaining. I seriously doubt that my eight years of calling pop meetings at Mooneschadowe will just fade away from a few months of disuse. With Talbot called the Northkeep populace meeting, and Elsa rotating between Mooneschadowe's three or four qualified heralds, my traditional venues are rather taken. I never really had a chance to call a Wiesenfeuer pop meeting, and Namron... well I'll get to them in a minute.

But again, I'm not complaining. I kind of take partial credit for training Talbot, though I know that Kevin deserves the lion's share of that reward. And for a long list of reasons, I don't ask to herald Mooneschadowe's meetings, though mostly to make room for others to get the same experience that I did.

I don't know for sure, But I think its safe to say that his excellency Ian hasn't take any more flack for letting an outside herald Northkeep's meetings. Frankly, I would not be surprised if part of his motive for letting me in was just to goad some of the locals into stepping up to the plate. And Ian, if you are reading this, trust me, I'm smiling at the thought. A group should have its own heralds, and I'm sure Ian knows that as well as I do.

However, thats not to say that my abilities as a herald are wasting away. Lady Adelheid, the new Namron Herald and Sarait Inghean Beathain, the new Skarrgard herald are both conspiring to get some Heraldry meetings going between the two groups, and both of them were eager to ask me to come down and teach, so I'm still more than able to make good on my self appointed mandate of teaching.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk

Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra

"God Save the King!"

Some more Blog Updates

Okay, now that I have had some time to actually sit down and worth with google a little, I have managed to do some improvements to my blog and make it a little more functional as a learning place for students.

The New set of links on the right side of my page are:

About Me

Here you will find some more information about my past as a herald.

The Blackfeather News is a monthly new show that I produce


Here you will find my online classrooms for prospective students to the voice heralding arts. Feel free to look around and use all of the materials I have provided to you.

First, I took full advantage of Google sites, and made up some simple web pages that link off of my blog so that the blog itself isn't automatically loaded down with images, text and all that. I like the cleaner, simpler look of the page now that so much stuff is moved off onto its own little corner of the web.

The first thing I want to brag about--yes I'm bragging!--is the creation of my online classrooms. Right now I only have 1 really up and running, and that's my List heraldry, but it comes with class notes, an introduction and a slide show, so I've done about as much as I can do with Google Documents, not that I'm complaining. The change to reach people online with more than just stale, black on white text is a major boon for me.

Also, I managed to pull out my personal information, my list of events that I have heralded and the links to places I travel and give them each their own page, which I think works well for what I am trying to do. Again, it cleans up the page a lot, and makes the Blog itself look a little less messy.

Anyway, now I can put together other classes, and other class notes, and make them available online... "good stuff!" as my friends from High school used to say.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!

Ansteorrian Heraldic and Scribal Sympsoium

Last weekend was the major kingdom event for heralds and scribes. The only catch...

It was in Houston.

Well, the first thing I can say about this event is that ten hours locked in a van with six people--each way--will quickly make or break friendships. Fortunately for me, in this case it was the former of the two.

I knew that I would be attending The Kingdom Heraldic and Scribal Symposium months ago when i signed up to teach, but actually getting down there turned into quiet the little adventure all by itself. Untimely, the final party consisted of myself, my wife, Master Robert Fitzmorgan, Lady Katrine la Esclopiera, Honorable Lord Haldane Sparhawk and Honorable Lady Estril Sweet. in all, we fit the general "type" that was expected at the event, book worms, heralds and artisans of varying degrees. We pulled out of Mooneschadowe just before six thirty in the afternoon, which was about as early as we could mange between work and other conflicts. Children were left with relatives or friends across the board, and food was packed to minimize stops along the way.

Robert and I traded off driving as we went down, stopping for dinner south of Namron, and then making regular two hours stops for all of us to stretch our legs and the like. We didn't make it to the Canton of Westgate and to our host's place until close to 3:30 in the morning, and it was close to four before I was able to get to sleep.

The morning wasn't much of a break, we were all up by about 8:00 or so, and pulling out the door by 8:40. The trip to the site wasn't too bad, but between getting breakfast and traffic it was just a little nerve wracking.

I must say, the site itself was spectacular. It was a church with a wonderfully done design that just wanted to carry you back to the later 1200s. High vaulted ceilings and stone walls set the tone perfectly in the great hall, and the classrooms were more modern, but very accommodating and easy to work in.
The first Class I took was Vocal projection. Now, Ill be the first to tell you that I have some seven years of middle school and high school choir to my name, not to mentioned a decade of SCA bardic and voice heraldry. Does that mean that it was a blow off class? Hardly. I deliberately took it because I knew I was so used to doing things my way that I probably needed some 'retuning'.

My hunch turned out to be right; The class didn't actually teach me any factual information that I didn't know, but it did break it down into component parts and concepts that I had not heard before. proper breathing and breath support were suddenly more managable concepts for me, rather than the overly technical tasks that they had always been before.

I took the next hour off and hung out in the large hall, talking with old freinds, making new friends and then getting my head handed to me in a game of chess. Actually, the game was hardly one sided, was loads of fun, and the corisponding conversation was well worth the untimate punishment that my ego took at the end.

I must say that the next class I took almost justified the whole trip down there by itself. Lord Brian O'hUilliam taught a one hour course on the highly showy, highly persona based world of personaly list heraldry. This is exactly the type of thing that I was so eager to study, and while his overall presentation wasn't the spit and polish of a college professor, the materials, experiecne and research he was presenting were amazing. Its not just a mater of calling rounds at a list field with his game. When you play at beign a herald at that level, you are the personal spokesmen and mouthpeace for your employer. The pagentry, the drama, the flare... all of it was what I wanted to learn about.

After that... Lunch. I was going on less than 4 hours sleep and my stomach was empty. Fortunately, the event included a lunch as part of their site fee, and what a lunch it was. Rice and chicken, grapes, peach cobbler, rolls, and pleanty for everyone at that.

The afternoon was slated for my classes, three hours worth to be exact. Not a small investment in time or energy, but considering that that was why I came down, I was still all stoked and ready to go when two o'clock rolled around.
Now, let me be clear on something, my first class, the Site heraldry class, only had two people in it, (a sadly too familiar number), however, these were people from the southern half of the kingdom, from different areas, different cultures and different perspectives. So, I was ecstatic about this turnout, where I had been a little disappointed at previous showings at northern events or King College.
The first class went exceptionally well, with two more students coming in after the first hour. I told everyone that while I consider myself a good herald, as a teacher I'm always open for advise, and that got some chuckles, but no complaints so at least I didn't put anyone to sleep.

The second class only had one (another all too familiar number) but again, I was glad for this given the location and the fact that this was actually a baronial herald who had never had to do List heraldry the way we do it in the north.
Between Brian's class, and the turnout for my own, the trip was well worth the investment in both time and money.

The event ended in the late afternoon, and my party and I wound up leading a three car caravan around Houston to find dinner. It was a little wild (okay, very wild!) and a little hair raising, but we wound up at the Amazon Grill upon the recommendation of one of the other people in the party. It was a good experience, and I got to socialize with all sorts of people over dinner.

Of course, that was a large part of why I wanted to eat out down there. The chance to meet people, to get along with people, to make new friends... These were and are the major reasons for me to travel south.

Well, we got back to our hosts place relatively early, (eight o'clock... I think) and then all hung out and socialized until nearly midnight. We got up the next morning, ate at Dennys, hit a Half Priced Books and were then on the road by about 11 as I remember.

Again, ten hours (not counting stops and food breaks) in a van with six people... I think I got lucky because we were all still friends when we pulled into Stillwater at 11 o'clock.

But in all, it was definitely an event that was well worth the effort.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Province of Mooneschadowe
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"