My last entry was two years ago. Guess I dropped the ball on that one. Looks like this site hasn’t been at the front of my attention but I thought it deserved an update.
That job I mentioned last time was fantastic. I got to live and breath medieval history every day. I put myself in the shoes of the people who lived in 14th century Europe. (Literally - I worked as a shoemaker.) It was a great chance to expand my leatherwork from masks into just about everything else. Period leathercraft is a fascinating area of study - Shoes, water bottles, sheaths and scabbards, belts and pouches. I learned a lot more about stitching and construction than when I was just doing masks. I did some modern stuff, too. Phone cases, holsters, wallets, quivers… with plenty more on the to-do list still! I also started filling in as a backup blacksmith for when our main one was out, which ended up being most of the time. So that took off. I’m not very confident yet after only a few years of regular self teaching but it was a skill I never even expected to go into and it was great to have access to the tools. Then it was mentioned that our cider press has been inoperable for the last two years before Is showed up, so a few more weeks of research and equipment maintenance and now I’ve got several gallons of period-brewed cider aging in my pantry. And some timber framing and mortise and tenon construction, and armored martial demonstration and classes in the German and Italian styles.
I love learning new things and working with my hands, so being able to work at a living history museum was really a kid in a candy store lifestyle. Which is nice, because I needed the distraction. I had an amazing time in the monasteries of Japan, and finishing up college, but I entered the next step in my life in some financial straights. I know there are opportunities like Peace Corps or teaching abroad and the like, but I can’t bring my leather tools or my armor around the world. I don’t have access to a forge, or sparring partners. I don’t like travel because I get to go around and look at stuff. I like it because the world has so much to teach me. Even when I am just looking it’s typically through a camera lens so even the tourist parts of a trip are still helping me improve on a skill. And there is so much I want to learn from other countries and cultures and people. But there are other things I want to learn that require me to come a step closer to the idea of settling down than I used to be comfortable with. And I have been feeling a little sedentary. I guess there would be a few background regrets either way.
I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities. After two years at the museum I finally shifted to volunteer status to pursue other paths. I still visit very regularly but I used my time teaching the construction and use of the English Longbow to get a summer job as a youth archery instructor, which a few months later turned into another full time job as an archery and firearms technician at an outdoor outfitter. Just today that also landed me a part time position as an archery consultant for a local director in one of his upcoming fantasy films. I see your silly capitalist concept of supply and demand and I raise you four paid regular archery jobs.I can make it in this rough modern world as an archer, and there’s something to be said for that. I won’t pretend I’m not proud.
I know of at least one person who’s reading this, but after my inactivity here I don’t know if my audience extends much past that. That’s okay - it allows me to make the monologue a bit more internal versus some sort of public announcement. It’s kind of a sad update but I guess that’s not really the intention here. More like an open letter to someone who may have some catching up to do.It might be about time to hang up the towel here. I’m going to be performing a bit of an art dump just to keep it as updated as I can before I slip back into obscurity so forgive me for that. This place has been absolutely instrumental to my growth as a multimedia artist and I’m sorry the moment of spreading my wings and leaving the nest went pretty much without pomp.
Thanks for the trip everyone! I might be around again but don't wait up. Either way I'll never stop creating and I want to thank everyone who's befriended me here for providing critique and encouragement to keep pushing myself and trying new things.