Pent Documentation

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Don’t know where to start your documentation journal? Have trouble “reading” the judging criteria? Don’t you worry, we’ve got you!


If you are not familiar with documentation writing styles, start by treating the criteria questions as an interview, and answer each question in a conversational style. Reprinted below are the categories (bold) and questions (italic) covered by the judging criteria. Answering - per category - those questions that apply to your project would help you make sure your documentation journal covers the necessities, if not more.

Methods

The methods, techniques, and processes used in a project can affect its ultimate appearance and historical accuracy. They should be explained and justified, especially if documented in historical context but not literally followed.

Are the methods of construction correct for the project?
What are the reasons behind the choices of constructions?

Other questions you could consider:

Did you describe and explain the process or method used to create the project? Does your journal show how competent you are with period appropriate skills, techniques and processes? To what extent were period appropriate methods, techniques and processes used? How much did you deviate (did not follow) from period, and how well is this deviation explained?

Materials

The materials and tools used in a project can affect its ultimate appearance and historical accuracy. Please explain logical and reasonable substitution of modern materials when there are issues related to for instance safety, cost, or availability.

Are the materials & tools used for construction correct for the project?
What are the reasons behind the choices of materials & tools?

Other questions you could consider:

Does your journal show how competent you are with period appropriate materials & tools used to create your entry? To what extent were period appropriate materials and tools used? How much did you deviate from period, and how well is this deviation explained?

Historical Accuracy

Describe how period appropriate the project is. This can include creating a piece based on period elements, but not inspired from a particular exemplar. It can also include recreating lost elements needed to replicate a specific object or process using techniques of experimental archaeology.

Does the project replicate or vary from the historical example(s)?
What are the reasons for deviations?

Other questions you could consider:

To what extent do the elements of the project create a pleasing "whole" while maintaining the "flavor" of a period piece? If there is no exemplar, why could it be plausible?

Quality of Workmanship

This is the difficulty, challenge, and level of ambition represented by the project, as well as the period appropriate skill set, the level of craftsmanship involved. Consider only its context within its genre, not in comparison to other projects in the competition. It is not required to produce all components from scratch; in period different artisans often created different elements used in a given object. Please briefly discuss who-did-what then & now to indicate you are aware of the division of labor.

Other questions you could consider:

How creative did you have to be to create your entry? This can mean creating a piece based on medieval elements, but not inspired from any one object or process. This can also mean recreating lost elements needed to replicate a specific object or process using experimental archaeology techniques. How complex is the project? How challenging are the materials & techniques? What is the level of skill and/or commitment?

Research and Project Planning Journal

The documentation journal should tell the judges what the project is, how it was made, what was used and how it is historically authentic. It establishes the historical context of all aspects of the project, as well as its relation to other objects or processes of its type. When evaluating sources take into account the number of resources available in a given area, and how relevant the sources are to the project.

What is the historical background of the project?
Are historical exemplars presented and referenced?
Can the project be recreated using the (step-by-step photo) journal?


Other questions you could consider:

To what degree does your journal describe the process to create your entry? How thoroughly did you research your project? What is the project (extant example), how was it made (process) and what was used (materials)? Could another artisan recreate this project based on your journal? Are your choices explained and justified? Is the information organized and cited? What is the quality of sources used to validate the historical context of the project?

Basic documentation journal organization (also see http://www.larsdatter.com/ezdoc):
  • Then & now comparison (no explanations, one page – if room, add pictures of both)
  • Introduction (why did you do what)
  • Body of text (how did you do what, how did they do what, with explanations – all directly relating to your project.
  • Broad step-by-step instructions)
  • Conclusion (what did you learn, what will you do differently next time)
  • Appendices (indirect background, cool tangents,detailed step-by-step, photo journal)














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