There is a term that circulates around the Faire crowd that I have often thought very accurately explains how I feel about the 9-5, day-to-day life; it is Mundane. The term can describe objects, activities or people. A person can have “mundane” clothes,  they could be doing the very “mundane” activity of watching TV, or the person themselves can be “mundane” especially when they come to a renaissance festival in plain clothes and sneer at any one in a costume. 

If you look up the definition of the word, it is described as being anything that is “Of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one.” I really like this definition when it is translated in to Rennie terms, not that faire is heavenly, but it can be spiritual. I don’t mean spiritual in a sacrilegious sort of way, but spiritual as in a thing that contains a spirit or essence.   A good faire contains a bounty of activities that are antiqued and out of date, with the only reason for maintaining either these crafts or activities, is for the spirit of the thing.

As the case with our leather working, it is a bit out of date, not many people have a reason to wear it in the "mundane" world, and even the way we make our products are antiquated.  There are many more modern ways to produce leather goods, but we start with a hand drawn pattern that we lay out and cut out of leather with scissors or a knife. I am a very exact person when it comes to measurements, my favorite spot in the tool aisle is right in front of the levels and t-squares, and at time I get frustrated by how un-exact the process is. Not that we don't spend plenty time on making our products as perfect as we can get them, but regardless of what we do, our lines will never be as exact as those on products that are mass produced. When I get to frustrated, I try to take a step back and remember our leatherworking is about the spirit of the process, and the eventually uniqueness of the end result. I can pick up every one of our products and find a mistake, but I can also probably tell you a story about it as well. 

I believe it is this essence, or spirit that attracts people back to faire, year after year, mile after mile. Many people can feel so lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day activities, I know I do, but at faire I feel like I have a chance to slow the pace down a little and enjoy something just for the sake of enjoying it; to be able to create something that has a history to it; that wasn’t meant to break or wear out in just a few years, but that is meant to last at least a lifetime, if not generations.

If the world outside of faire is Mundane, then that means there is something special going on at faire, and I am so excited that I am finally part of that again.