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apprentices-msg - 1/18/02


Comments on medieval and SCA apprentices.


NOTE: See also the files: squires-msg, fealty-msg, fealty-art, teaching-msg, occupations-msg, merchanting-msg, guilds-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Subject: Apprentice/protege

From: Mark Wallace <blackfox.mwal at webzone.net>

To: Ansteorra Digest <ansteorra at eden.com>

Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 22:23:10 -0600


Master William Blackfox sends greetings:


      Here's my 2 cents on the matter of being a protege or an apprentice.

      I was both at the same time under HG Willow for several years.   I was a

high-profile figure in Ansteorra back then and I'm not sure that my green

cord was all that much help.  However, my consultations with and the advice

that I got from Duchess Willow prepared my mind for the attitudes best taken

by a peerage cnadidate.


      I know that there are members of each order who did not attach themselves

to a peer before receiving the accolade.  I would simply council that there

are certain legitimate advantages to becoming an apprentice or a protege in

the same way that being a squire has its advantages.


Master William Blackfox



From: njones at ix.netcom.com

Date: Mon, 03 Mar 1997 23:18:15 -0600

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Subject: Re: Apprentice/protege


Master William Blackfox wrote:

>    I know that there are members of each order who did not attach themselves

> to a peer before receiving the accolade.  I would simply council that there

> are certain legitimate advantages to becoming an apprentice or a protege in

> the same way that being a squire has its advantages.


Hmm...Having just recently become apprenticed to Mistress Meadhbh, the

subject of benefits to apprentiship have been much on my mind.


When I do A$S, I do it because I enjoy the research and the construction

of the project.  And, because most often I do food items, I do projects

because I think they will taste good and want to share them with my



I entered in to a formal apprentiship with Meadhbh, not to advance my

"career" in the SCA, but because I am at heart a lazy person.  *grin*

Left to my own devices, I come up with nifty, creative project ideas...

and then let them drift in to the pile of future projects that I

never get around to.  I love and respect her, we work well together,

and she encourages me to follow through on my ideas.  


But most especially, I entered into an apprentiship because I have

learned over the course of my life, that I do well with a mentor.

I have a mentor to advise me in academics, one to advise me in my

life path, and Meadhbh to kick me in the butt if I don't get around

to doing the neat projects that I keep coming up with!






Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 02:26:26 -0500

To: ansteorra at eden.com

From: gunnora at bga.com (Gunnora Hallakarva)

Subject: Perrs and Students Revisited


Pug asked:

>I've noticed as of late that in several cases people have made

>"announcements" of squires and apprentices. I assume it happens with

>proteges as well....why are they actually announcing this? Is there a

>benefit of doing this? Is there a benefit to either person when making if

>official that they are teacher and student instead of leaving it an

>informal process?   Are peers made that are not students to someone else?


Heilsa, Pug!


        I pick a gathering of my brothers and sisters of the Laurel to

announce my new apprentices.  The reason I do this publicly is that I want

my peers to be aware of the apprentice so that they will (1) offer them

assistance in the arts as needed (2) pay attention to those apprentices who

are actively striving for recognition in the arts and rarely (3) know whose

apprentice this is if the apprentice gets in hot water, so that they can

come to me to complain of their behaviour if necessary. The announcement

makes the advent of the student-teacher relationship a bit more exciting for

the apprentice, and most apprentices I've spoken with feel that they are

being honored by being accepted into that relationship.  


        An apprenticeship is a closer relationship than that between teacher

and student, usually.  I'll teach anyone anything I know... all you have to

do is ask.  But someone who will be working intensively not only to learn

artistic techniques, but also research and documentation skills, display and

presentation skills, the "noble arts", and who look to me to help them

achieve personal growth and maturity as well is more than just a student...

they have to be a friend by that time.  I offer an oath to the apprentice

that I will both teach them and learn from them.  In effect, they are

becoming members of my household for the duration of the apprenticeship.


        And most certainly you don't have to be an apprentice to be a

Laurel, a protege to be a Pelican, nor a squire to be a knight.  I was never

an apprentice, nor were many, many others.  If you look at the belt I give

my apprentices, it is indeed green in token of the Laurel wreath.  But mine

also have a stripe of squire-belt-red and protege-sash-gold woven in,

because as my sig file below says, I tell my apprentices: "I will not teach

you how to win the Honor Leaf crown (i.e., the Laurel) but rather to have

the nature and bearing of a Peer."  I am not coaching my apprentices on how

to get a Laurel.  In fact, if that is all a person is after, I wouldn't take

them as an apprentice in the first place.  


        So what does a Laurel get out of taking apprentices? I can't answer

for others, but for me, I love to teach (I'd be doing it even if I had NO

awards).  And I love to learn.  I like having apprentices because they keep

me fired up and motivated.  I have to stay on my toes and keep growing

myself, and it is a poor apprenticeship that does not teach something to

both the apprentice and the Laurel alike. I never want to be caught "resting

on my Laurels" and so I try to keep cranking out master-level art projects

(although right now I'm not sure how I'm going to top the Scythian bowcase

and the carved "ivory" box...)  


Gunnora Hallakarva




Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 11:46:11 -0500

To: ansteorra at eden.com

From: Dieterich <cjw at vvm.com>

Subject: Re: Peers and students, my opinions..




I agree with the majority of what you have to say on this subject but I

think you might be overlooking a few aspects of what a Peer can do for you

in these types of relationships.


When the Laurels discuss your work in their circle (as I'm sure they will),

whose resposibility will it be to bring back their helpful criticism?  Whose

resposibility is it to tell you when you're doing well? Although you may

already be getting feedback, I find that it's exponentially more productive

if someone is specifically designated for this job.


Also, you can use your teacher as a springboard into the other arts.  You

pointed out that although Laurels may be expert in their chosen field, they

may have limited or no knowledge in another but I can assure you that they

*know* someone who is.  For instance, Squire Xs knight, Sir Q, is the

polearm guru on high... but his sword and shield style may not be as good as

it could be.  Sir Q goes into the belted circle and says: "OK, which of you

guys wants to help me out... my squire wants to learn how to use sword and

shield."  I've seen your postings here and I am certain that you will want

to do something else someday on top of your brewing and vinting... perhaps

cooping, vinegar distillation, cullinary arts... who knows.  And when you

do, a peer- *your* peer- is a great place to start.


Just a few thoughts,





Subject: ANST - Experiences as an apprentice

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 98 23:17:36 MST

From: "Rollie W. Reid" <carcassonnais at geocities.com>

To: "Ansteorran List" <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>


My experience as an apprentice is a little different than most.  I

spent some time as an apprentice in the medieval sense(at least

nearly).  I worked with Peter of the Golden Isles(Max) everyday for

over a year.  It started while I was unemployed and led to my own

armor business.  I worked in his shop and made armor which he sold.  I

thought of myself as an apprentice, but was careful never to call

myself one, because Peter was not a Laurel.  I never got the chance to

work daily with Master Peter, because he was elevated just before

leaving the kingdom, and by then I had my own shop.


Though I was not officially his apprentice, he was my master.  When I

would see him at Pennsic, he would critique my armor, and his comments

were always helpful to me.  One year at Pennsic I visited him one

evening at his booth, and he was stringing medallions on various

colors of cord.  I do not remember the conversation, but suddenly he

pulled out his roll of green cord, cut off a length, tied it around my

waist and said, "There, now you have a green belt to show that your an

apprentice."  So, I was an apprentice, even though I only saw my

Laurel once a year.


Most of what I learned from my Laurel, I learned before he was a

Laurel, and the improvement that I made from the time he was made a

Laurel and moved out of kingdom to the time I was made a Laurel was

done on my own, building on the foundation he gave me.  I consider the

time I worked with him to be my apprenticeship, the years that

followed were my journeyman years, until I was made a Laurel, though

to misquote another Laurel armorer, "When I look at the period

armorers I have trouble using the words master and armorer next to

each other."



Laurel Armorer



From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 20:11:08 -0400 (EDT)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Apprenticing Again


>   Just remember that if you don't get apprenticed to a Laurel it might

> be harder to get your Laurel.  I know more than one Laurel who was in

> the SCA for years and years and doing Laurel stuff for years and years

> before anyone noticed that s/he *wasn't* already a Laurel!  By being an

> apprentice, you have been formally recognized by the system.


An observation from someone who isn't a peer or an apprentice or

protege, for blatant reasons. In some places, being beholden to a Peer

teacher can also limit your opportunities:


- in some areas, other peers seem to feel the need to get your Peer's

permission to teach you or work with you.


- in some places, people will hold your peer responsible for

'controlling' your behavior-- sometimes a peer will be asked to sponsor

someone as a 're-education case'.


- if people need the recommendation of a Peer teacher in order to consider

you, think about how much power that person will have over you if your

relationship goes sour.


-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa



Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 16:45:04 -0800

From: "Laura C. Minnick" <lcm at efn.org>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Proteges Belts


"Craig Jones." wrote:

> Are there many cases of apprentices/proteges "markers" in things other

> than a belt.  Such as a hat/pouch/sword/other item with your

> mistress/masters device upon it?


Or just a favor. Or nothing. Taking an SAP is frequently done in public,

and sartorial splendor is not usually part of the ceremony. ;-)


> Also, are there many cases of apprentice/master (I doubt that this

> would work well for proteges) relationships that are solely long

> distance either because of the remote locale of the student or

> teacher, or because of the obscure nature of the specialization of the

> subject that is being studied?


I wouldn't say 'solely', but there are some cases, yes. My #1 student

lives 300 miles away, fortunately in the same area where James lives. #2

student lives oh, 5, maybe 7 miles south. Whom do I see more often? You

guessed it. But I work with both of them via e-mail, some by phone. It

really does depend on the nature of what the teaching/learning is about.

It is tough to teach someone to throw a blow via e-mail. But I can send

a list of possible sources, and explain some techniques on-line. And

most of all, it depends upon the relationship between the two. Some

people work out just fine long distance. Some don't. And quite frankly,

having a Relationship (capital R) is very difficult long-distance, and

it can require the same amount of energy and committment- if you don't

think you could deal with an SO far away, there is a good chance that it

would be hand to have a Master far away.


And Drake? Asking thoughtful questions is not evil. It is in fact quite

wise. :-)



whose SO got in the van this morning to drive 300 miles south... life

bites and I'm tired of the communting thing, but he's worth it... (I

just wish we didn't have to!)



From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 19:48:26 EST

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Proteges Belts

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


craig.jones at airservices.gov.au writes:

> Are there many cases of apprentices/proteges "markers" in things other

> than a belt.  Such as a hat/pouch/sword/other item with your

> mistress/masters device upon it?


My husband carries a small silver flower with a garnet set in it on a tablet

woven strip as a favor from his Laurel (Mistress Isabella of York).  He also

has a belt from the man he serves as senior man-at-arms, and for times when

that belt is not appropriate, a small leather loop with the lord's arms to

hang on the appropriate belt.


A friend of mine in An Tir who is a Pelican gives a sleeve garter (which is

only partially yellow) to his proteges.


Brangwayna Morgan


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org