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Jason Bufkin
Industry Professional



Location: Mankato, MN, USA
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Reading list: 16 books

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 9:41 am    Post subject: Gearing up for the season         Reply with quote

Greetings everyone,

I'm going through a hard time at the moment and I'm wondering if others are experiencing this, or have experienced it in the past. I live in Minnesota which means, unless you're a winter sports aficionado, you stay inside for most of the season. As we're getting closer to spring, though, I'm feeling a stirring in my blood to be out under the sun, wearing my kit or period clothing and enjoying the company of others that like to do the same... and it's driving me batty.

I can usually put it aside and concentrate on some of my other hobbies for the winter months, but I made the mistake this year of starting to gear up for the coming season WAY too early. I ordered my new boots, started stocking up on beeswax candles, tinder and char cloth, and other camp supplies and sundries... and then realized I still had months before things got into full swing again. Cabin fever is one thing, but God's blood, this is almost unbearable.

Do the rest of you experience this? Like you've started running down a hill before you were ready and you can feel yourself leaning WAY too far over your running stride and ready to fall on your face, but you can't stop your momentum? If I'm not careful, I'll just buy a new toy out of desperation... *checks bank account* Blast!

A bit about me since I rarely (understatement) post, my name is Jason Bufkin. I've worked with Arms & Armor, both at the shop and at their various Renaissance Festival booths, for 20 years... working at the Arms & Armor shop was my first full time job when I got out of high school, actually. Working with Craig and the boys has really opened my eyes to the deep history that lies behind all the physical manifestations of this pastime we love so much. Before, they were just shiny or sharp... but they then became something much more meaningful. Creating these beautiful objects you learn the process, the history of the process, how that process has changed, how history affected that process, how society viewed it and them, how the end result affected history, and on and on and on. The toys are a joy, but the history and the knowledge keeps me coming back for more. They are but the first step into a world I could never have imagined when I walked into their MN booth that very first time all those years ago, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for ushering me into a hobby that eventually becomes a lifestyle. Happy

I have no decent pictures as yet, but my new kit, when finished, will be 17th century french cavalier. My arms, despite their anachronistic effect on the rest of my outfit, are a hyper-detailed Milanese rapier and the first prototype of the Milanese parrying dagger.

My thanks again to all of you for creating this incredible community and for sharing your knowledge so freely.
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 660

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Jason,

How are you doing (besides going nuts, that is)? It's good to hear from you. We last spoke at the A & A booth at Bristol, where you sold me the Serenissima side sword. I too cannot wait for the "season" to begin, and although I tend to play in the 18th century most oftten, I am looking forward to the Renaissance Faire season to officially (for me, anyway) begin. I hope to get with a group of late 15th century reenactors this year, even if I don't have a full kit yet, and expand my knowlege and activities, but it's months away.

Hang in there, spring is on the way!

Best regards,

Christopher

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Beau Salsman




Location: Tulsa, OK, USA
Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason,

I know exactly what you are talking about. Here in Oklahoma, I usually start gearing up and getting antsy for the season to start around the beginning of March. This year though I discovered both Albion Arms and myArmoury at the beginning of Feb. and the extra reading, not to mention purchase of an Albion, has really started me off early.

I find I have plenty of kit to prepare though, so the extra time isn't a complete curse. Happy

Cattle die, kinsmen die
the self must also die;
but glory never dies
for the man that wins it.

The Havamal
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Jason Bufkin
Industry Professional



Location: Mankato, MN, USA
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Reading list: 16 books

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher,

I'm doing well! How is that Serenissima treating you? It's in good company with all the other fine weapons you have in your collection. I remember when you ordered the custom venetian (or Italian, I can't remember what we decided to call it) broadsword . Gosh, was that all the way back in 2000 already? Where does the time go? I thought I remember seeing that one for sale in the Marketplace. Did it end up going to a good home? I sold one of my own personal favorite custom pieces a few years ago, and it's like giving up a family member in a way. Tom Ashwell is the one that picked it up. 3/16ths fullered viking blade with a broadsword tip with a musketeer pommel and custom cross guard. I believe he re-named it "Soulstealer'. Happy

It still surprises me when someone remembers me as the sales person at a Festival, sometimes years later. Probably because I just think of myself as a grunt, not a personality like Craig or Chris... or that massive landsknecht Tim Mathews. I have to remind myself, though, that I may craft or sell 100 swords before or after the one the customer buys from me... but for them, it's a shining, blindingly vivid, frozen moment in time where they get to take home a dream, an ideal, something they've been yearning for for months or years, or perhaps just struck them that day and fired their blood and their imagination, and they will never forget it.

Great to hear from you Christopher.
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
Joined: 02 Sep 2008

Posts: 239

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here in north Italy its terminating one of the most colder winter that I can remeber...

A week from now I will give my last two exams of the half-year, and then I can give my full time to all the project, most of all the trebuchet we are reconstructing, but even some mail projects, some jewelry, the sword sparring course and the faires (we star officially the 18th of april): we have even to go to a school to speak.

Oh, the 29th of march there is a huge fair in Piacenza, titled "armi & bagagli"...
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 660

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Jason, yeah, the Italian (Venetian) broadsword went to fellow forumite William Champlin, who owns many nice swords. I enjoyed it for many years, but the collection must evolve! The Serenissima is treating me just fine, and I plan on bringing it with me to Bristol and Minnesota this year. Maybe they'll be another A & A in my future this season? Who knows!

We often don't see ourselves as making much of a impact on people, but the fact I remember you (and you ME, for that matter), shows that ours is a special hobby, and an impactful one at that. I also appreciate the sword technique instruction you gave me a few years back - I still remember how insightful your demonstration was. Hope to see you at Bristol in July, and I look forward to seeing more posts on myArmoury!

Cheers,

Christopher

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Jason Bufkin
Industry Professional



Location: Mankato, MN, USA
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Reading list: 16 books

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beau,

I'm incredibly jealous of your early start to the season. I'll try to live vicariously through you, despite our 2-3 months to go before we get decent weather here, and the 6 months to go before Festival. Sad

Christopher,

You're absolutely right. That connection, whether between crafter and crafter or crafter and customer, or researcher and crafter or curator and researcher, whatever, is part of what makes the community around these collected interests so unique.

And when you extend that community onto the interwebs, myArmoury is what you get. Too many places on the internet, the 'forum' has become a festering pit of insult, contention, arrogance, and argument that is anything BUT what the name implies. It's great to find a community that knows exactly what the word 'Forum' is supposed to mean... in many languages, no less!

Speaking of gearing up for the season, though, I've found good reference for most of the rest of my kit, but I'm having trouble finding two things.

The first is a pair of period appropriate or reproduction 17th century boot spurs. I've contacted the spurrier at Medieval Spurs but I have yet to hear anything from them, and there are no indications on their site to tell whether it's defunct or not.

And the other is reference for the strap system for attaching the spurs and the butterfly to the boot (these are square-toe bucket top cavalier boots). I've amateur-leatherworker'ed my way to a functional and fairly decent looking strap system... but, let's be honest, it's the work of a hack, and I'd love some historical guidance. Happy
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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I live in La Crosse WI so I can relate to the cabin fever. Usually I try to keep busy with projects, but that only goes so far. Another thing that helps me is I get together with other reenactors on a regular basis throughout the winter to work on stuff or just visit.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,170

PostPosted: Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It varies every year but in Montreal something resembling Spring happens usually at the end of March or mid April.

The days are just starting to be longer right now and the seasonal depression is lifting a bit.

Slippery sidewalks are making walking difficult and since I like nice 5 or 10 miles walks this can be frustrating: Good way to stay in shape and keep my weight under control during the nicer seasons.

Not directly related to Renfairs or Reenacting but related to being indoors too much. Big Grin

Although in the Summer my Longsword group practices in a local park on Saturdays, and I might costume up for a local renfair our group goes to, to promote itself and find new students.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Sat 21 Feb, 2009 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can agree. Growing up in So Cal the weather never made much of a difference to me. Moving to several places with the winter season has been a growing pain. Here in England in the south it is not soooo bad, but still much of everything slows down. My research is more often than winter just as involved in derailing my current reenactment activities so until this PhD is done I think reenactment will have to wait. I had originally decided not to do any for the full program but that only lasted 4-6 months....

Good luck there! My Mom keeps trying to get my entire family to northern Minnesota. Not sure I can take super long winters though.

RPM
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