As promised here is the much anticipated inside look at our “Better Pennsic Encampment Walking Tour!” To catch everyone up, this past year at The Pennsic War, my husband, Phelippe le Vigneron, and I organized a walking tour of several different Pennsic encampments. This tour was inspired by the Facebook Group: Better SCA Camping.
In the Better SCA Camping Group, an individual posted in the spring about wishing she could “see all of the lovely things people were doing in the group in person”; our thought was, “Why not”?! We weren’t necessary looking for encampments that were the most period, or most posh, or most anything specific but rather people making a genuine effort to come up with creative ways to enhance their SCA camping experience and the experience of their neighbors. We wanted ideas on how to make what you already have look better, how to hide essential mundanities, and so forth. We also wanted to make sure we included not just large encampments for many people, but also smaller family encampments– how were people dealing with the same challenges but on different scales. In the end we visited five total encampments with a touring group of eight individuals. One of those five encampments was mine and Phelippe’s personal encampment (which I shared in the part one post); this article will focus on two of the other encampments.
After meeting at the Great Hall, on Friday evening of Peace Week, we journeyed off to our first destination– the encampment of Wycked Wyvern (E02). We were hosted by Alison Wodehall.
One of the current projects that Wicked Wyvern is spearheading involves the detail painting on their sheet walls. Wicked Wyvern is slowly adding in the history of their group on each sheet wall.
Once inside the encampment, I was immediately struck by the gorgeous common area. What a beautiful place to relax on a Pennsic afternoon?!
As you enter the encampment, immediately to your right is the personal home of our host Alison Wodehalle. She serves as their land agent and currently hails from the Shire of Hartshorn-dale in the East Kingdom where she serves as their Pursuivant. She has also served both the Shire as Kingdom as Chatelaine, as well as teaching numerous classes and frequently serving as an event steward. She also certainly has a gorgeous home!
Items to note in this photo: All the furniture either breaks down flat, or folds flat for transport. The chandeliers holds ten candles, and she specifically recommends the ones from IKEA. She commented that they burn well and without much dripping (she has used the chandelier for 18 years).
The benches were created by Master Tommaso Valeriano and Alison won them during a Private Fundraiser Auction for an incoming Eastern King and Queen. I also love all the little details– the embroidered tapestry, the Savonarola chair, and even the period towel (which was purchased from Historic Enterprises).
While standing in Alison’s encampment- if you were to turn around you would see Ratnavati Bai‘s complete showstopper of a tent! It’s gorgeous and impossible to miss!
The mix of textiles, scarlets and golds, alongside of all the beautiful painted details of this tent really takes your breath away. But this home is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is also innovative and extremely functional! Ratnavati Bai’s foot pump sink was a fan favorite.
Perhaps one of the most innovative items inside of Ratnavati Bai’s tent was how she is dealing with her ridgepole. She, with the help of her husband (who doesn’t play in the SCA), has come up with a beautiful solution to avoid breaking up the central space of the tent with poles.
This is truly a lovely home! Perhaps one of the most shocking things about this beautiful tent is that Ratnavati Bai is actually putting up for sale. Keep your eyes peeled in the Better SCA Camping Facebook Group for details.
It was hard to walk away from all the beauty we found in the Wicked Wyvern encampment, but our tour group started to notice the Pennsic skies looking a little stormy so we ventured onward hoping to miss any rain. Our next stop was Westengale (N03) where we were hosted by Brangwayna Morgan.
When we popped in on the Westengale camp they were actually in the middle of dinner, however, the were so hospitable and happy to show us around. In their common dining area I did note the lovely handmade oil lamp chandeliers.
We saw many beautiful things in the Westengale camp but there was one item that seemed to be a source of camp-wide pride (and understandably so). It was an amazing self-draining refrigerated chest, created by Master Angus of the East Kingdom.
As I began to look around the camp more, it was apparent that Master Angus’s work was indeed everywhere…
Master Angus‘s work is in fact so prolific inside Westengale camp that he even has his own wood shop!
Departing Westengale marked an end to our second encampment stop, the rain was still holding off (we all kept our fingers crossed), and so we made our way to our third visit– the home of Chiaretta di Fiore inside the Sign of the Rampant Dragon (N05).
But more on that soon– in “Welcome Home! (Part Three).” Thanks for following our journey!
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The embroidered tapestry is actually vintage, printed, 100% linen. You can sometimes find it on Etsy.