Artisan & Crafter For the Month of October  

Greetings all and welcome to our 2022 series, Artisans and Crafters of Bryn Gwlad (and friends).  Monthly we interview populace about what they create, and why they create it or do it ! Now on to the The interview !

This month we are chatting with Honorable Lady Giulia di Marco Gonzaga.  She is an amazing and very talented artisan in both Service and craft forms. She is what I refer to as an SCA Diamond, some one who comes New to us shining and sparkling with the experience of all the other Kingdom’s, Barony’s, and groups they have been polished by !  

I hope you all enjoy this little snippet into her Art , as much as I have enjoyed getting to know her ! 

1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE SCA ?  I have been in the SCA about 20 years, and have lived in three other Kingdoms.

2. WHAT IS THE ART FORM OR SERVICE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US TODAY ?  So, it would be about being artful in your service ~ The making of largesse.  Those lovely things that are given as gifts to thank others for their Service!  The lovely things that get tucked into gift baskets! 

3. DID YOU START DOING THIS BEFORE YOU CAME TO THE SCA ?  Short answer,  yes because I have always enjoyed making things that people will enjoy.

Once upon a time, in another century, I came from the Original Renaissance Faire.  I was known to say I would never make anything that could be sold at Faire. (Laughs humbly)  I was wrong !  I made garlands (head wreaths) and hats! I made pins, signs, ornaments and rag dolls that I sold at craft fairs too.

And I was that mom who came in to do Arts and Crafts with the kids in my sons’ classes.

4. IF YOU DID THIS PREVIOUS TO THE SCA – DID THIS HELP TO DRAW YOU TO THE SCA ?   While making gifts and the things I sold at Faire, I became a merchant.  It was being a merchant that brought me to the SCA.  Later, when I stepped away from being a merchant, the Barony I lived in was in need of a Youth Officer. That lead me to see that there was so much more than crayons and coloring pages to be put in front of the Youth of my Barony and later my Kingdom.  

My personal soapbox is: It is marvelous that there is Youth Combat of all the forms that will lead to future Knights and Masters of Defense.  (One of my ‘kids” is a Knight and Vicount!). It is also Important that our Youth can do Service and future Pelicans will come!  There is a substantial need to put pre-skills for service ! Beginning Arts and Sciences need to be taught in front of our Youth as well !  For where else can our future Laurels be grown?  And now stepping down from my soapbox…

Somehow, I ended up baking for a Baronial fundraiser and that lead me to making cookies and biscotti that were included in Royal gift baskets. Largesse of my making have found themselves in gift baskets in three of the four Kingdoms I have lived.

5. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT THIS ENTAILS, AND THE CREATION ASPECT OF IT.   Because my time was mostly spent in service (I held several Youth offices ie. Baronial Youth Officer, later Kingdom YO, sub-steward for Yp and even department head for Pennsic 39 YP, oh and Tween and Teen Regent for Colleguim), I rarely got to take classes.  I did take a class on Bead knotting and there, my beginning steps towards making largesse began!

In my view, it is an Artful Service and it really entails being willing to contribute, even if if is just baking biscotti or making embroidery scissor leashes.

6. HOW WOULD SOMEONE GO ABOUT BEGINNING DOING OR RESEARCHING ON THIS ?   Where to begin?  Good question!  What do you already have in your wheel house or what did you learn to do in a class?  Looking at what is being made at a Largesse Donation Derby and seeing what you could make!  Asking your Baronial or Kingdom largesse coordinator what they might be in need of !

The honor was given to me to be Duchess Eillis’s (West Kingdom) Largesse Coordinator for her last reign.  Some made big things and some made lovely little things! Some lovely person made scented soaps.  Oh, and the lavender and cedar bags!  Rag dolls dressed in period clothing!  

Take baby steps and before you know it, you will be donating to the Royal Gift Basket given at Pennsic!

7. HOW CAN THIS BE SHOWCASED IN THE SCA WHILE ATTENDING EVENTS AND THINGS?   Contributing to Largesse Donation Derbies are a lovely way to showcase your skills ! As well as donating to your Baron and Baroness, donating to prize Baskets, and keeping things on hand to give out yourself to those that touch your heart and soul at events.

8.  IF SOMEONE WANTED TO LEARN, AS A BEGINNER WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE ON A STARTING POINT?   My best advice to a beginner or newcomer is not to be overwhelmed because little things count just as much a big ones!  Everyone starts somewhere!

9.  TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE JOY AND COMMUNITY YOU GET FROM THIS AND MAYBE SHARE SOME THINGS YOU’VE DONE.   There is an assortment of things I have made or make that have been largesse.  Silk bead knotting necklaces, cookies/biscotti, candied orange peel, embroidery scissor leashes, little wool felt dragons, Roman wireworked necklaces and paternosers!  

The joy I have gotten is in knowing that something I made brought joy to someone I may never know!  It was quite a thrill to see someone wearing a necklace of my making!  Silly little thing but gives me great pride!  And that in many Kingdoms I am known for my cookies, biscotti and candied orange peel!

Thank you so much for your time and willingness to share a little bit of you with us ! Your craft and Artistry in the service arts is amazing and helping to explain and guide us is monumental.  Largess has always been a very intimidating thing for me and I have never really been able to wrap my head around the whats and hows, and I feel really compelled to make things now !  The next time I see a Largess Derby happening Im definitely going to go have a look !! 

If you are inspired by her words, her excitement and willingness to share all she has learned in her time of SCA and Faire life,  please reach out to her.  She is an amazing and caring individual and would be happy to share her knowledge and support with you ! And Welcome to the Barony HL Giulia di Marco Gonzaga, We are extremely pleased to have you here with us now !!!

Until next month 


Sigrun Sveinungsdottir iBiarka.   Halberd MoAS