The Dreiburgen Coronets
By Baroness Megan deBarri
Long Ago and Once Upon a Time, there was an emerging Artisan who lived in the Barony of Dreiburgen, within the borders of the Great Kingdom of Caid. This lady was learning how to work the metals of the earth from her mentor who, as it sometimes hap-pens with mentors and students, became her lord and husband. During this time between courtship and marriage, the Artisan’s mentor was chosen to ascend into the position of Baron along with another well deserving lady. As it happened, it had previously been decided that the former baronial coronets should be retired and new ones immediately commissioned. The new Artisan took pen to paper and designed new cornets that included the Towers of Dreiburgen and various animals to represent the wealth of her beloved barony. The fashion in the SCA at that time leaned favorably towards Celtic knotwork, and that being a style that suited her, she felt equal to the task. She toiled in silence many nights, working her pen upon the paper until at last, she was satisfied. Finally, the finest parchments were produced and the coronets were drawn out in final form. Then, through a magician’s alchemy process, the drawings were etched onto a metal of golden hue. The coronets were cut and shaped and then polished, polished, and polished before the blue lapis stones were set. Pad-ding was added for the comfort and care of the heads upon which these coronets would rest. And when Thurstan de Barri and Allaine de Beaumont of Glastonbury stepped up onto the baronial throne, their heads were adorned by the shiny new coronets. were over the Crowns of Caid.
Now it must be said, that John ap Gwyndaf of Holdingford was sitting King of Caid at the time and had the pleasure of placing those golden hued bits of decorated metal upon the brows of our new baronage. Very tall coronets. Exceptionally tall coronets, taller even than the Kingdom Crowns. Our Good King John, himself a metal worker, made note of how very tall and how much TALLER these new baronial coronets were over the Crowns of Caid. King John was bemused by this, despite how well they were made and how goodly a king he was. Nor did this fact of overt tallness please the Artisan who had meant no disrespect and miscalculated muchly in her design the height, nor did it please the new Baron and Baroness, and some many others. It pleased Baron Thurstan even less, when at the following Estrella War, a moderately intoxicated gentleman with horn of mead still in hand, fell upon his knees in the street proclaiming the bewildered baron as great a King as he had ever seen… It was shortly thereafter decided that the new pointy tall coronets could be perhaps trimmed down ever so much, but not so much as to disturb the design. The Artisan went to work, sawing and filing and filing and sawing, until the animals and towers danced freely about on the top. Other Barons and Baronesses, seeing the work of the Artisan and wishing they too had such wonderous coronets, inquired of the Artisan if she were, perhaps, able to fashion another and another and perhaps, yet an-other. Some were for baronial awards of the court and then, with great honor, some were commissioned to adorn the sitting baronial heads of state. The coronets of Starkhafn, Naevehjem, and Altavia all remain as regalia for those baronies to this day. The Artisan learned volumes. She went from sending the metal to be etched by others to her own ability to create design and cutwork with drill, saw and chisel. She learned how to join metals with fire and not melt too many holes in her pieces, all to her great delight. One day, the Caidan Scribe Amarius asked Thurstan and the Artisan to create new Great Seals for the kingdom scrolls.
The Artisan sculpted the seals out of wax and whimsy, a dolphin for one and a sea lion for the other, both sitting upon the water with the seals themselves tucked up under the waves. The waxes were encased in fine, fine clay akin to plaster, and fired in the kiln, melting the wax away and leaving only the ghostly empty space of the creatures inside. She and Thurstan put metal chunks into the crucible, fired up the forge and pumped the bellows bringing heat so hot it turned the hard cold metal into molten sun, and cast the pair in bronze.
After the bronze had cooled and the plaster clay had been removed, the pieces were cleaned and with a bit of alchemy Thurstan colored the watery base bluish green so the great seals could be born into the world. Long Ago and Once Upon a Time started in A.S. 28, or 1993. I am the Artisan. It has been my great honor and pleasure to pro-duce items that are still being used and enjoyed today. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I was given the chance to design and make the Dreiburgen Coronets that led to the renaissance of learning and creativity I was allowed to experience. For the opportunity that the community of Dreiburgen afforded me, I will forever be grateful