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After many years of making ceramics, wood items and carved stone I have decided to enter the marketplace. While working on Jess and Mike’s wedding plans I contacted my old pal Kirby D. Wise, the master swordmaker in AZ who made my two steel maces. He used to offer inexpensive swords for just mucking around, but he has stopped this practice and so most of his swords are anywhere from $500 to $1500. While chatting with him though we had a great idea: I will be Kirby’s representative on the East Coast selling his weapons and my crafts and we’ll both make money and his superior quality gear will flow into the re-enactors world on the east Coast. Kirby’s daughter is also a bladesmith and his wife works in pierced brass decorations. Freya made a spear for me, seven foot long and with beautiful pierced brass decoration. It is so light and strong and you can wield it one handed! It cost me $500 but a similar one can be sold for $1000. This is how we will help pay off the wedding. Meanwhile I have been firing the kiln, making glazed ware for sale, serving dishes, beakers and bowls. I feel like I am getting better at hand building things and except for the perpetual pain in my upper back and shoulders things are moving well. Margaret is making me some new Norse style clothes and for herself as well. I have made some necklaces for her, some shoes and hat for me. The amazing thing is that back when I was active in the SCA there were no markets, no dealers… just the rare craftsman. Now checking online I see hundreds of places to buy weapons, clothes, even tents! It may be that as our “modern” society decays and fades away… “Bye Herr Drumpf!” ancient societies may spring back up to provide some form of safety and community. There are many “living museums” now as well, with people living year round in costume, working as they did in the Middle Ages. I plan to visit a few and see how their ceramic efforts are going. I still think it would be fantastic to assemble a book showing all the owner built kilns in the nation, there are so many! Likewise a similar book on medieval craftsmen might be good, people like Kirby who live halfway into the past. But before the books come the contacts and the markets and that’s where we are headed now. On the 30th of June we will set up our first BirkaMart and see how people react. The next event we’ll be able to show Kirby’s work… we had hoped to get it this month, but the Arizona desert shot up to 125F and Kirby cannot fire up the forge before 10PM and even then the temps are 100F. So we are being patient and hoping for the best.