On Guidance for Gentles who Aspire to the Maunche
If you are an Artisan and Aspire to the Order
The Arts and Sciences in the SCA are so diverse, that there cannot be a simple checklist. Everyone’s path may differ. Furthermore, since the formal definition of the order does not provide much detailed information, members of the Order will often develop their own ideas about what makes a person deserving of a Maunch, to help them better advise the Crown.
To help artisans aspiring to this order we have created a space where order members can share those individual thoughts on what it means to become a member of the order.
How the Order Works
The Maunch is not a stepping stone to the Laurel, members may or may not have had a formal mentor, and there is certainly no set expectation for mundane credentials or how long you have been practicing your art.
Individuals are submitted for consideration to the Crown. The names are then submitted for consideration and advising to the Order. The Order provides feedback to the Crown, who makes the final decision. Typically the individual does not know they have been submitted for consideration. The Order’s proceedings are confidential.
Thoughts & Advice from Order Members
Elysabeth Underhill (Lissa)
When I advise the Crown I look for an artisan who has worked to attain an intermedidate skill level in their art. However, more importantly, I'm looking for an artisan who has begun to show an interest in the Historical Context surrounding their art. How would their art have been done in period? What tools would have been used? Who engaged in this art, and what meaning did the art have to its society? These are all questions that I would like to see a Maunche express curiosity about, and begin to investigate.
Magnús hvalmagi (Magnus)
I have a lot of thoughts on this topic but I will endeavor (and fail) to be brief.
In general, I very much believe that the Maunche is about Arts and Sciences - we are not only looking for artisans, but also scholars, and I expect a candidate to possess a measure of both.
How much? I don't have a codified guideline, but I use a combination of the definition of the Order in EK law ("excellence" in an art or "surpassing competence" in several), the mission statement of the SCA (study and recreation of pre-17th century history and culture), and the minimum standard to participate (a reasonable attempt at pre-17th century clothing) to define "competent."
To me, "competence" is when you make a good-faith effort to portray an aspect of pre-17th century culture with a reasonable attempt at factual accuracy. "Surpassing competence" is when you do that but in a way that stands out a bit more than many.
"Excellence" is as much a mindset as a level of achievement. A mindset of excellence will generally involve challenging yourself to grow, admitting faults and using them as learning opportunities, seeking and taking feedback, and generally trying to better and more knowledgeable than you are right now.
So, in summary: I look for people who are both artisans and scholars (I consider research which yields a "deliverable" of some kind to be essentially the same thing as physical craft), who are trying to challenge themselves and develop a better knowledge of pre-17th century history and culture, and who are putting that into practice with a degree of notable accomplishment.
Lord John Kelton of Greyhorn
- An area of study which is pre-16th century. Cutoff dates can be a bit fuzzy depending on your area of study.
- If it extends to post period, how does it relate to period?
- Excellence in a field /surpassing competence:
- This does not presume complete in-depth mastery
- Research and quality documentation is very important
- The ability to explain your process
- Quality documentation is important. This would preferentially include primary sources, i.e. period writings, art, and artifacts.
- Original/innovative research is not a requirement or expectation
- Progress is important, this includes acknowledging and addressing stumbles and failures.
- An interest in teaching or sharing your knowledge and skills.
- This is not an expectation of teaching formal classes or publishing
- Interest and enthusiasm in furthering your art/science
- Willingness to accept feedback and critique
- Courteous behavior. Although “Peer-like” qualities are not required, attitude and conduct does matter
- Publishing and Participating in A&S demos and competitions are helpful but not required. These are simply very high profile means of demonstrating your work. An advantage of competitions is the feedback you will receive from judges. You may find a blog, Facebook page, Wiki, etc, a convenient place to put information on your work.
- Outside academic publishing is never an expectation or requirement
- Become an apprentice. Again, by no means required. Serving as an apprentice to a Laurel gives you a mentor and guide who is knowlegeable in your craft.
- Be visible, sadly as in many areas of life, those who work quietly in the background may be overlooked. This is not malicious it is simply reality.
- Be nominated. Although humility is a noble trait, it does NOT mean you can’t express your interest in the various Orders, including peerages.
- Do not be afraid to approach a Maunch if you have questions