Baroness Machteld Cleine, picture by Willem Van Antwerpen
My name within the Society is Machteld Cleine. Having grown up in Flanders, I considered this to be an eminently pronounceable name. I found out since this isn't exactly the case, for which my abject apologies! The easiest way to guide you to pronounce it would be Mach (think of Bach, but with an M) teld (like the end of Battled) and for my last name: Clei (think of clay but without the y) ne (Nuh). As you may have guessed already, I am not originally 'from around here.'.
I first 'heard' about the SCA when I was still living in Belgium through some friends with whom I did medieval roleplay online. However there wasn't any SCA group in Belgium so nothing ever happened. After I moved here and had kids, one of my roleplaying friends and I reconnected on Facebook. He too had since joined the SCA and told me I REALLY should join, that it was JUST what I needed. In fact he even looked up my kingdom, my canton, and then we found out practice was every week, less than 6 minutes driving from my door. My Midrealm friend pushed me into the SCA's arms. I went to one practice and.. I was home.
The Canton of Cyddlan Downs within the Barony of Nottinghill Coill welcomed me, made starting easy and supported me from 'awkward newbie' to full fledged Scadian. Several years later, a new group was formed in Drachenwald: The Incipient Shire of Trivium, which is located in Belgium. While my home and heart is in Atlantia, I won't deny that a small sliver of my heart also belongs to this Shire.
13th Century Flemish, living in the great City of Antwerp. Wife to a merchant and scholar, Machteld takes her duty to support the name of her city by supporting artists very serious. She sees to her household, her prayers, and enjoys the work of scribes and bards. Within suitable settings, she may even perform to the greater glory of the Lord and her city, though she is not of course, a paid actress!
I started my journey in the canton of Cyddlan Downs by attending a Collegium. I was made to feel right at home, and still happily reside within the same canton and Barony. What I 'do' within the SCA however has changed quite a bit. When I started I mainly thought I could fit an existing love for embroidery perfectly within the society. I did, and I have, but part of a journey is discovering new loves, and I doubt at this point anyone knows me for my embroidery -which is mediocre at best- but one doesn't necessarily have to be good at something to still love it. I credit the canton and the barony for allowing me to try my hand at everything to find which things I love most.
Embroidery made way for water bearing, my first SCA love, and something I will still always pick up a shift if I can. Morwenna Trevethan was my first guiding light there. There is something innately satisfying in offering help in a very direct way, and there is little more direct than offering a panting fighter water. I dabbled a very little bit in autocratting, being a deputy for a Collegium and actually being an autocrat the next year, but while I loved leading a team of amazing volunteers, this was not 'my path' as one would say. "Troll" or "Gate" was an easy service and I love, love, LOVED being the first smile that greeted people at an event. Somehow, a few years ago at War of the Wings, there was a troll volunteer shortage and I ended up picking up quite a few shifts. That somehow lead to me being deputy the next year and "head gate" the year after!
Between Water Bearing and Gate however, a new constant within my SCA experience rose up. As am amateur photographer, I brought my camera to one event for a specific project. One thing led to another and photography became my main service within the SCA. I specialize in portraits, both unexpected and staged. I will always try and capture arts and science and court. I am not as adept at fighters photography but I am learning there. I've twice been a Blackfox finalist for my cover art and have recently developed the first demo books: photobooks, intended for demos that people can browse and learn the basics of the SCA.
Last but not least over the last few years another constant within my SCA have been the performing arts. I've spent most of my life outside the SCA in the theater in one form or another, from a kid in the local amateur group, to practicing and performing with a semi professional company as a teen and young adult, with Masters in Theater, Film and TV Science in between. It took me a few years to find my spot in the SCA. A Shakespeare contest was the beginning, and since then I've been frequenting bardics, performing and starting to develop a repertoire of 'appropriate songs', period pieces, and my own work. My main skill would be in the theater. I have a masters of theater sciences from the University of Utrecht, and a keen interest in both medieval theater, amateur theater and audience interaction. I have taught several classes on theater history and am preparing several more for the upcoming Known World Theater Arts Symposium.
It feels strange to talk about service. It's hard to consider a resume because I've never fully kept track, I simply jumped in where I saw a need or I thought I could help. I've been a webminister, deputy autocrat, and at least once and autocrat. I've sat troll, been deputy troll, helped with reservations behind the scenes, and even had the amazing opportunity to head troll for War of the Wings. I try to help out in the kitchen, usually as a dish washer but I recently had a chance to help with the preparation of feast. I do water bearing whenever I have the can. I've taught at universities, collegiums and demos. I helped my son originate the Children's library at War of the Wings, and in A.S. LIII organized the first Children's bardic at the event.
My main service would be my photography, I believe. I rarely go to an event without a camera, and then spend the next weeks processing pictures. I've started specializing in court photography, portraits and A&S. I have organized special sessions at events, like Golden Hour Portrait Sessions, a dress based photoshoot and the Water Bearer's session or the photograph your art session at Kingdom Arts and Science.
Argent, a crampet vert.
"What is it?"
"It's a crampet (like a crumpet with an a.)"
"No, seriously, WHAT is it?"
"Oh, it's the metal tip at the bottom of the scabbard! It's a place to sheath your weapons."
It's period, it's pretty, it's simple, it's peaceful, and the heraldic representation has a heart: peace through love.
After my first time taking out the camera, I was encouraged to take it with me to more events. What I love most is that I have the chance to capture memories for people: both when they receive an award, or just in an unguarded moment of joy and emotion. Equal to that, I love to give people a chance to see how truly beautiful they are by making portraits. I will always try to work with natural light, though I am working on having the right equipment to be able to photograph portraits with a specific lighting set up as well.
I think my proudest moment must be when Master Ursus approached me and said that he saw something in me, and offered to be my mentor. Being his protegee and becoming his friend is an amazing honor, though he'll scoff at that notion. Below are some examples of my work in the SCA.
|Award Date||Award Name||Event||Bestowed By|
|7/12/2014||Award of Arms (Atlantia)||Collegium (Cydllan Downs)||William I and Kára I|
|5/9/2015||Award of the Golden Cord (Atlantia) (Nottinghill Coill)||Feast of the Saints: Feast of St Sebastian (Falconcree)||Takeda and Ariel|
|10/17/2015||Companion of the Opal (Atlantia)||War of the Wings X (Sacred Stone))||Christoph I and Adelhait I|
|4/23/2016||Companion of the Gordian Knot (Atlantia) (Nottinghill Coill)||Tourney of the Dragon (Saint Georges)||Lucien and Brig|
|1/27/2018||Companion of the Golden Dolphin (Atlantia)||Nottinghill Coill Baronial Birthday (Nottinghill Coill)||Amos II and Kára II|
|5/5/2018||Companion of the Coral Branch (Atlantia)||Spring Crown Tournament (Charlesbury Crossing)||Dietrich II and Una I|
|12/8/2018||Courtesy of Nottinghill Coill (Atlantia) (Nottinghill Coill)||Yule Toy Tourney XIII (Nottinghill Coill)||Lucien and Brig|
|1/26/2019||Companion of the Coill's Guiding Beacon (Atlantia) (Nottinghill Coill)||Nottinghill Coill's Investiture and Baronial Birthday (Nottinghill Coill)||Lucien and Brig|
|9/28/2019||Court Baroness (Atlantia)||Border Skirmishes (Cyddlan Downs||Christoph II and Adelhait II|