King and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championships

March 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Yesterday was the King and Queen Arts and Sciences Championships. It was a fabulous day. I entered two projects, one on single-worker fingerlooping recipes from Natura Exenterata and the other chronicling my progress in trying to extract saltpeter. I tried to stand with my project as much as possible. Competitions and displays are a lot of fun because they are generally attended by people who are just as excited about these things as you are. As much as my good-sport husband is willing to listen to me be enthusiastic about finding a resource that finally explains something that has eluded me for weeks or months, it’s just not the same as sharing that resource with someone who is just as thrilled, or, better yet, someone who can recommend a whole list of other resources that I might be interested in.

I talked to lots and lots of people about fingerlooping, dyeing, and the saltpeter. Many artisans had suggestions for how I could improve my saltpeter extraction process, which I can’t wait to try out in the very near future. That particular project garnered a lot of interest, since it’s not something that a lot of other people are doing. Getting all that feedback helped to reinvigorate my enthusiasm for the project, since I had been sort of disheartened by my apparent lack of progress.

Since the saltpeter, while interesting, had not been entirely successful, and the fingerlooping project was up against an almost identical entry by a more experienced fingerlooper, I did not think I had a chance of winning. I hadn’t expected to anyway: my goal for the day had been to meet and talk to other people. So I was absolutely stunned when I won the Queen’s Arts and Sciences award. I still am having trouble believing it. A friend said afterward, “You looked so solemn when you were called into court, and then when you were standing behind the Queen. I was worried you were sick.” No, just poleaxed! It honestly hadn’t occurred to me that I might win.

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