October 5th, 2008


Class Is In Session

Yesterday after taking care of Teh Ranch and over Houdini, Smudge, and Squrrl's objections, I hied on down the road to do something I've not done in years. I taught a class at an official SCA event.

The opportunity came with Herselfs invitation. She's still very active in SCA, where I'm not and haven't been for over a decade. Her shire, Amurgorod, hosts an event every fall called 'Road to War'. The past two years were done with a Japanese theme, and with fairly good attendance (though down a bit this year). Last year the theme drew so much commentary that they decided to do so again this year, and expand somewhat on the offerings, hence the invitation to myself.

Good to know people with an in, I suppose.

At any rate, I suppose I know a wee bit about Japanese Clothing, even if what studies I did are now around 20 years out of date. So I caught up a bit on an old pamphlet I started right about those 20 years ago, and put aside as of '92. That's when I shifted my time expenses from SCA to AORN. Caught up a bit on that pamphlet on how to sew kimono (popular and generally accepted name, though the word does literally mean robe or clothing or things to wear) and hakama (baggy trousers for those who don't recognise the word). Printed up some copies, tossed those into the car. Loaded up the clothing I'd made back in the day as well as some Herself made for herself and a couple pieces I made for her. She added a few examples of Made In Japan clothing (not historical period for SCA, all probably made in the 20th Century). Plus a few accessories, and some added by another friend present.

Oh, and a plastic storage crate of fabric chosen some time ago to make Japanese Clothing for the SCA. To show as examples.

Overall, a good class. ofuroyama accompanied me as Teaching Assistant. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I did bring him along deliberately, as there is a project for some items he needs, as well as Fat Fred. First step in that process is taking measurements, and taking Ofuro's measurements is as good a place as any to demonstrate which measurements need to be taken to make a kimono. Shoulder width, chest, waist, length of arm (shoulder to wrist), and height i.e. shoulder to ankle. With those measurements made, it is time now to start working up the smaller pattern and making some clothing.

I've made small people Japanese clothing before, so this shouldn't be much different.

And I got a photo of ofuroyama as my Teaching Assistant. Look for it later; just getting up now haven't finished coffee.

So on the drive home I was thinking about some of the reasons I stopped playing SCA. The biggest really was time available, what with dedicating more time to my professional association. However, when one thinks about it if one enjoys something enough (and I did enjoy playing SCA for a goodly length of time), then one will make the time for it regardless. Thus, one can not discount that it had stopped being a great deal of fun for me, making it easy to say hey, other things, only so much time.

How evil is it, then (and this may only be apparent to those of you who are somewhat familiar with Japanese culture and theatre), that on the drive home I started thinking about organising something...

Making or acquiring Japanese clothing for a group of the Ottarz, taking them to an SCA Event, accompanied by Myself and an appropriate number of Others, all of whom would be wearing the midnight blue-black unadorned kimono and hakama of Bunraku theatre...

The Ottarz Mob storms the Knowne Worlde and the Current Middle Ages.