Interview with Lady Eyvor Halldorsdottir

Eyvor Halldorsdottir

(Eye-vore Hall-doors-daughter)

Barony Tir Ysgithr

When did you discover the SCA?

I officially joined in 2005, in the fall of that year. I was attending the University of Arizona for school and I knew it existed prior to me joining, so I was determined to find the local chapter when I got out to college. Several years before, while working for our local library one summer, the local SCA group did a demo as part of the summer reading events. I thought the society was amazing and interesting, but I did not have the means to do anything further with that information. . My parents thought it was an interesting hobby, but it wasn’t really their deal, so I wasn’t going to ask them to take me to events. 

Dragon’s Horde was my first event here in Atenveldt. I chose the name Eyvor, because I liked it. Mistress Marta said that a herald can (and will) mutilate it any way possible. Halldorsdottir is basically the daughter of Hal, and as my father’s always been called Hal, it suited. 

What would you say you are known most for?

Probably nalbinding, as I’ve taught it for some time at wars. Otherwise, glass beadwork is the thing I’m doing the most of right now. I did consort tokens for the last crown we did before the world shut down. I don’t really publicize my beadwork, though. Glass is where I am circling back to, and it is something I really want and it is sort of taking over my life at the moment. In my house there is a bunch of glass that my husband and I have made over the last few months.

Have you competed in any Arts and Sciences competitions?

I have competed for Arts and Sciences Champion for the Barony of Tir Ysgithr a couple of times and have won once.. I have also competed for Kingdom before, three times so far, I believe. I very much enjoy competition. I like the aspect of writing. I have learned I am in the minority of that, which is frustrating to me but I’m working to get beyond it. I am a goal oriented-person, and competing serves as a very clear way for me to accomplish those goals.

Advice for new competitors?

Do it. Don’t worry about things like documentation. Do the really basic. The basics exist. Get a little bit of information on it. Don’t be intimidated by other peoples’ entries. When it is a format that is working, it is good. You will get something out of it. Ask someone who does that art you are interested in to find out if it is something you want to do, or compete with. This can give you a better idea for what to expect with those things.

It’s very personal for me to compete, and I get enjoyment out of having my projects looked at and being told how it stands up to period methods and or work others are doing in the field.. That is definitely something that not everyone enjoys, and it’s okay if you don’t. But, please, do at least give competing a try. And if you’re not totally enamored with all of it, then talk about what you liked and didn’t. Give feedback. And don’t be put off by it all!

Was glass the first arts and science that you ever did?

It really kind of was. Duchess Ian’ka brought out her Hot Head torch during an arts night and I made a few beads. For whatever reason, it never really stuck long term for me. I remember my husband bought me a whole kit to start it. It wasn’t until about two maybe two and half years ago that I started to really get back into it. 

We don’t live too far from the Sonoran Glass School and my husband bought me the intro to glass beads for my birthday through them. Once you’ve gone through the intro, and you’re a member, you can use their shop during open shop time which is really wonderful for getting hands on time. Prior to Covid, I could go out Wednesday nights, there would be a group of people working during that open time I would ask for tips and learn different ways. These days, because of Covid, I only have that for a couple of hours weekly because we are in the middle of several mundane things. The additional practice there has meant that I’m now at the point where we’re looking at setting up a proper studio at home. It’s also meant that I’ve been looking at more aspects of glass, and so in April did a week-long class on making and mixing studio glass. It was more geared towards glass blowing, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t compatible with what I do. We were doing more modern stuff instead of straight soda lime, which is more period.

As a result of what I learned there, I ended up teaching a class on glass production for the Kingdom of Atlantia. It’s spawning some additional research and rabbit holes because now I want to learn all about how it may have been done in period, and what would have been the differences between then and now.

I love how much there is with glass. There is so much that you can do. Right now, I am working with more modern glass types, such as ones with high metal content. There are so many wonderful period bead shapes and forms and I want to work to make period glass beads, but using modern glass to make them. I find the idea of using some of those modern colors and tools, but very old styles, to be fascinating.

You also work on Nalbinding. What is that?

Nalbinding makes me gloriously happy. I call it the bastard precursor to knitting and crochet, and it’s a series of knots that you then join together. There was something about the density and compactness of nalbinding that I found intriguing. As I do more fiber arts, I love to go places and say “Hey, I do nalbinding.”

Part of it is the appeal that not everyone does it. The warm nature and how it felts up.. There is so much with it that you can do. I love how dense you can get things. The fact that you end up with what’s even more fabric-like than other fiber forms, or it could also be practically netting. It’s just interesting to me. Right now I am knitting more, just because I’ve gotten into some colorwork rabbit holes that are really fun. There is still that moment that if you ask me what I am, I would say I am a nalbinder. I have made hats, socks, and a few other things.

When you were awarded with the Pilgrim, how did you feel?

Honestly, it kind of baffles me, because I do not think of myself that way. Sure, for various reasons, it still feels very weird. I am not always dressed perfectly period, and I enjoy talking about modern techniques quite a bit. But it’s also the first award I think I was really aware of as something more than the AoA. It meant that you were doing really cool things, of a specific kind. You were encouraging others to do more historical things and you were an example of what the SCA wants to be.

I worked hard to get there. Not consciously, I realize now, but it was definitely a journey. Looking back. I find it funny, because at the time I got it, I was in the ‘all out’ stage of jewelry for my persona, but I started to tone it down and take a more less is more approach I”m working with right now. But it was a war practice, and one of our fellow ravens, Wolfgrim, was offered his knighthood. I had to be called up several times, because I was not really paying attention. I had just taken all of my jewelry off and was winding down. I was completely surprised.

 The SCA has the ability of mixing the modern with the historical. What do you like about that?

The possibilities are kind of endless. I love the moment when something old meets something new and it just seems to fit amazingly well. The idea as well that you can do things that bend the rules of modernity or history, and it suits. For example, I have very modern waterproof fabric that I plan on making a hood out of, because it pleases me. 

And it isn’t to say I wouldn’t do things historically, but mixing in the modern things just amuses every single part of me! We have very respectable examples of pottery and things that we use modernly! I drink mead that my husband and I brew regularly. I love the ability to use things outside of just events and SCA related things. I bought a lot of things because I like them. Finding a balance between modern and historical, you feel a lot more rewarded. There is something more enjoyable about it. And it doesn’t just sit on a shelf and collect dust. Will it get broken? Maybe. Do I care? No, because I bought it or made it to be used.

What would be something that you wish someone would have told you back when you started?

You will fail. It is completely and utterly fine to not look amazing the first time you do something. You look at all the laurels and all the amazing stuff that they are wearing now, but, you don’t see the work from 15-20 years ago and there is not enough talk about failure. If someone had told me about the blood sweat and tears that goes into projects when I started, I’d have laughed. 

There is the constant joke about, “It’s not a real project until you bleed on it.” Well, that is totally true! I wish people would speak more on what did not work with their arts more. Good documentation has a bit of it, of course, but I wish to see more people telling others, hey, literally, don’t do what I did because it sucked a lot. Here’s what I did to find that success and I tried all the ways that you are talking about. Let’s all be more upfront with what did not work and why, and not hide it. 

Written By: Artisans Now!

This is Artisans Now! We interview populace all around in the Kingdom of Atenveldt for their talents and knowledge! Lots of fun, lots of Arts/Science, lots of populace!

July 24, 2021

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