First, a few guidelines:
1. It should be simple. Keep the fancy for personal and household devices. Any brewer should be able to paint this on something.
2. It should evoke Atlantia somehow. I don’t see tying Spike into brewing, despite the Royal Brewer’s badge (which has Spike between two mugs – see the picture on the left).
4. It should not look like other kingdom brewers guild badges – there aren’t very many of them.
5. It should reference beer, wine, mead, cordials, and our favorite non-alcoholics like vinegars, without discrimination. Our Guild includes all of these.
6. When people see it, they should be able to associate it with brewing without too much trouble.
7. It should be easy to get approved by the Kingdom and Society College(s) of Heralds. To that end, I’ve enlisted the aid of a couple of tireless book heralds, who know this stuff, and am allowing myself to be guided by them.
8. It should look nice.
So, we start with the basic shield shape, known as the field:
You gotta love a tabla rasa, a blank slate. The field is a good place to hint we’re Atlantians. Here’s the Kingdom device:
Usually you see white on the top/bottom or right/left, and blue in the middle, but we can go either way. Heraldically speaking, white is argent/silver and blue is azure. So let’s get some polling on which of these you prefer, and in what color order – or neither, and you’re going to email me your preference (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To one of those fields, let’s add a charge, or a figure. I vote we pick one thing to put smack in the middle of the middle stripe, no matter which way it goes.
According to the Heraldry Primer on the Atlantia website:
If the charge is on the white/argent/silver part, the charge itself can be gules/red, azure/blue, vert/green, purpure/purple, or sable/black.
If the charge is on the blue/azure part, the charge itself can be silver/argent or gold/or.
So let’s poll some more, while I have you here. What color shall our charge be?
Other kingdoms use the following charges, so I suggest we avoid them:
Barrel – Aethelmearc
Cup and bunch of grapes – Caid
Beehive and grapes – East
Crossed malt rakes -Lochac
We don’t want to compete with our own brewing groups, Woodside Priory and the Company of St. Arnulf. Woodside uses a barrel, and I’m not sure that St. Arnulf’s has a badge of any sort. If I’m wrong, folks, let me know.
For charges that would pass Heraldic inspection, I consulted A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry, by Master Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme. It was recommended on the Atlantia heraldry page. It’s been around a long time, but bless him, he’s put it online, and done a good job of converting it to a web-enabled tool rather than a flat document.
There are three ways to search the site. One is by first letter, another is by category. Not all the charges in there are indexed, some are only linked from other devices – vessel, for instance, links to quite a few. There’s also a link to “Full Alphabetical Search”. The search box works fairly well. If you can’t find one of the charges I mention below, don’t despair – try another route.
If you search by letter, you are getting all the charges that start with that letter. The only way to navigate then is to scroll to the bottom and click “older posts”. The one you want can be many pages in. I recommend the search box or
Master Bruce has marked each charge with a) whether it’s period and b) whether it’s passed before. Remember we want to reference beer, wine, mead, cordials, and non-alcoholics like vinegar, so we don’t want anything as specific as a malt rake anyhow. Here’s where it gets fun. We have lots of brewing-related choices. Not including the charges already used by other kingdoms, according to Master Bruce, we can choose any of these. You may have to scroll down the page to get to your item:
Drinking bowl (Misha makes these)
Cup/beaker/goblet- just not the one Caid uses, which has a small stem. There are several shapes available. For what it’s worth, I vote we avoid the British covered cup; no one will recognize it.
Bottell (leather, made for hanging, probably from a horse’s saddle)
Bucket (it’s a stretch)
Well (no picture given, only descriptions)
Mazer (Misha makes these)
Bottle (what are we, lushes?)
Bowl (looks a lot like the mazer, what a surprise)
Of these, there are several I like. The bottell is pretty cool – it was designed to carry on horseback, and I like the hint that we travel and share. Amphoras, flasks, and pitchers all invoke making in bulk and sharing, and are graceful besides. I like the mazer/drinking bowl a lot, but like the drinking horn, that may not appeal to everyone. There is probably a cup shape we all could work with – it just has to be different from Caid’s. If you don’t think there’s ever been a cup of vinegar, look to your hip socket – the part your thigh bone fits into is the acetabulum, the vinegar cup.
I think wells and buckets are a stretch for people to think of brewers. Bottles remind people of drunken bums, and we’re trying to get them to see us another way. Cauldrons are forever associated with witches; if we want to use any of the pots we’ll have to be careful to get one that’s recognizable. I’m not sure whether people would see a flask and assume we’re alchemists.
I could poll on this, but the tool only allows me to give you one choice. I think we need more discussion. Let me hear you! Leave a comment, post to the e-list, email me separately. What charges do you like, and why? Which one(s) do you prefer over others?