A&S Persona Challenge for Sca 50th Year Celebration

(This is a repost from two years ago, since then I have added to this list of 60)


Giata’s Arts & Sciences Challenge for SCA 50th Year Celebration

The Three Kinds of A&S 50 Challenges:
• The Depth Challenge – 50 of any one type of thing, in order to push your skills and knowledge to new levels
• The Breadth Challenge – Do/make/learn 50 new and different things (how new, and how different is up to you/your group), or,
• The Persona Challenge*** – Do/make/learn 50 different things that your persona would know, have, or know how to do

Pink Linen Gamurra Inspiration
Pink Linen Gamurra Inspiration

About Giata:
I have entered the Persona Challenge by doing, making, and/or learning 50 things that my persona would know about, have, or know how to do.

In Venice During A Persona “Research” Trip

My persona is Signora Onorata Giata Magdalena Alberti, widow of Signor Mateo Barbaro. Giata was born in Florence (1480), married in Venice (1494), and is now a responsible for her father’s household in Venice. She organizes his weekly salone at Casa Dario where his circle of cittandini and nobili friends showcase the talents of the artists and writers they patronize.

Giata Alberti
Giata Alberti

Things I have done/made/learned:
1. Made a pearl necklace with cameo pendant, something many Venetian ladies wore
2. Entered a paper at KAS detailing the meaning of friendship in Renaissance Florence
3. Researched and commissioned a pink linen gamurra with requisite linen apron, linen day sleeves, and damask court sleeves
4. Took a class on late medieval embroidery stitches at Gulf Wars and read articles on Italian noblewomen and their handwork
5. Made an oxymel that might have been served at a salone in Venice
6. Made a sekanjabin that might have been served at a salone in Venice
7. Made acqua rosa (rosewater) that would have been used in a Venetian and/or Florentine toilette
8. Made unguentum galeni, a cold cream that would have been used in a Venetian toilette
9. Took a class on braiding lacetti (laces) with a lucet, and am practicing making one
10. Read Castiglione’s “The Book of the Courtier”, a well-known work from Giata’s time period
11. Read about how to properly set out a table for an Italian Feast
12. Put together a period feast gear set with majolica ceramic plates and bowls, glass goblets, pewter Venetian fork/knife/spoon, red damask tablecloth and gold damask napkins, period-style salt cellar, and beeswax candles.
13. Made a 16th Century handwash from Isabella Cortese’s Book of Secrets
14. Acquired an authentically made Italian linen velo (veil)
15. Waited on the Queen at an event (Giata may become a lady-in-waiting for a noblewoman)
16. Purchased a string of paternoster beads to wear with my outfits and learned how they were used in period
17. Read about how a salone would be operated and taught a class on this
18. Researched Florentine and Venetian ventaglio (fans) and maschere (masks) for a ball at APA
19. Put together a period sewing kit (based on artists renderings of tailors in the 16th Century)
20. Read about the Florentine palazzo and the Venetian casa, layouts, gardens, architecture, furnishings, etc.
21. Learned to play three period dice games. Taught a class on them.
22. Ran a game of Gioco dell’Oca, a period path game, at the GA Social during Gulf Wars
23. Had period games (smerelli, draughts) printed onto canvas for classes I taught at APA
24. Translated Filosofia Cortesana, a 16th Century Napolitano game patterned after Gioco dell’Oca
25. Wrote a blog post on a famous noblewoman of the Renaissance, Isabella d’Este
26. Wrote a blog post on a famous noblewoman of the Renaissance, Caterina Sforza
27. Translated the rules for Scartino, a 16th Century card game played by Isabella d’Este
28. Researched cosmetics worn by noblewomen during the Italian Renaissance
29. Researched performances and readings given by noblewomen during the Italian Renaissance
30. Researched the wardrobe differences between 14th, 15th, and 16th Century Florence/Venice
31. Patterned my guardaroba (wardrobe) after the dresses of Florentines and Venetians of the 14th, 15th, and 16th Century (gonelle, gamurre, sottana, and even their idea of how to dress up in a chiton)
32. Researched shoes of the 14th, 15th, and 16th Centuries to pair my dresses with proper footwear
33. Translated cosmetic recipes from a 16th Century Book of Secrets by Girolamo Ruscelli
34. Translated cosmetic recipes from Gli Experimenti, a book of alchemy by Caterina Sforza
35. Researched stemma (arms) of Rome, Florence, and Venice and registered arms in the style of 16th Century Italian armorial examples, then worked with an artist to have the arms graphically designed in an achievement appropriate for a female
36. Registered a design for a personal badge, in the spirit of the impresa
37. Learned 15th & 16th Century Italian dances of Ebreo, Domenico, and Cornazano taught at Gulf Wars and APA (petit vriens, amoroso, anello, giloxia, and rostiboli gioioso)
38. Decorated a 16th Century tamborello (tambourine, with ribbons)
39. Researched 15th Century Italian cincture (belts)
40. Researched letter-writing and the parts of a 15th Century letter in Florence/Venice
41. Researched calligraphy in 15th/16th Century Italy, specifically humanist and italic hands, and how they originated with from Roman and Carolingian hands with the emergence of humanism
42. Researched the recipes of 15th & 16th Century feasts in northern Italy and Naples
43. Researched and wrote a blog post on Bassetta, a game from Italy
44. Researched and wrote a blog post on writing implements in Renaissance Italy
45. Entered a performing arts piece (KAS 2014) to read Sappho poems in persona as Giata
46. Entered a comportment piece in SCA Life (KAS 2014) detailing how SCA members can emulate the characteristics of an idea lady or lord from The Book of the Courtier

Display of Items a Woman During the Renaissance Would Have or Use
Display of Items a Woman During the Renaissance Would Have or Use

Things in process:
47. Studying Venetian and Ferrarese dialects
48. Researching extant Italian herbals
49. Have been collecting items to display a complete toilette
50. Making a camicia, gamurra and cioppa in the style of the Veneto
51. Researching what books Giata might have owned and reading them, I have already read Boccaccio’s Decameron, Aretino’s Dialogues, and Petrarch’s poems
52. Sponsor a persona pentathlon and triathlon in my own kingdom to promote persona development in the area of A&S
53. Assist in planning and running an Italian-themed Salon in Gleann Abhann

500 year old book
Holding a 16th Century Book of Secrets at the Biblioteca Marciana

Things I Plan to Do/Learn:
54. Make a wool cappuccino (little hood)
55. Put the stitches I learned to the use by actually embroidering a couple of handkerchiefs or napkins
56. Make a menu for an Italian feast and cook those dishes
57. Learn to play trionfi (card game)
58. Make medieval pizzelle/piazelle/piazella (wafer cookie or “Fine Cakes”) a historic treat from Abruzzo, or biscotti (cookie) from 15th C Italy.
59. Complete the persona questionnaire on the Yahoo Group and Facebook Group for A&S 50
60. Continue to research, read, emulate, and teach about women in the Renaissance Italian City-States


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