arts & crafts village


in a demonic voice


After weeks of sculpting, planning and such. I’ve finished my Zabuza figure. All the parts are separate and I don’t plan on glueing them. I am still looking for a matte glaze that will not give my sculpture the shiny look (I want it matte af) and…..odd thing is….I’m planning on making another.



Ankha WIP

Also finished sculpting Ankha! I don’t know how far I’ll get painting her and Marina but I’ll hopefully at least finish one of them. Still busy apartment hunting so I’ll have to see how it goes. Anyway, here is the sculpting process!

Random Dalish Culture World-Building Headcanons

-I’ll bet the Dalish make mean crafts. Not just of weapons and armor, but potters, weavers, sculptors, jewelers, etc. I’ll bet they base their designs on ancient elven designs they’ve found, which they keep hoarded away in those giant aravels, which they then sell and trade to each other and human villages. 

-That said, I’ll bet Dalish art (music, crafts, poetry, etc) is limited to capturing the style of ancient elves. Artisans and craftsmen are encouraged to try to recreate the style of the ancients as closely as possible, so as to revive their dying culture. While I’m sure this is just fine for most, I’ll bet there are some artists who feel creatively stifled.

-That said, I’ll bet different clans have different levels of creativity. Some clans might be okay with creating styles “inspired by the ancients,” while others are more conservative and dogmatic, who say “copy the style as closely as possible!”

-Same goes for music. Every culture has music. The Dalish must have music!

- I’ll bet Dalish elves play drums and dance around the fire during holidays and celebrations, just like many small native and tribal cultures.

- I’ll bet the Dalish Arlathvhen is like a giant swap meet. Think about it: all the Dalish clans (who can make it) get together once every ten years. Do they just sit around solemnly exchanging new archeological finds? No! It’s an opportunity to say hi to friends and relatives from other clans; exchange goods, crafts, and recipes; load up on foods and spices from climates your clan doesn’t typically travel (if your clan tends to stay to the south while another clan stays to the northeast close to Antiva and Rivain, you’re gonna load up on those Antivan and Rivaini spices and dried animal meet); exchange stories and songs, slang and dialect; share music and art and poetry your clan has discovered or created in the last ten years, learn some of what they have learned.

-I’ll bet during the Arlathvhen each Clan sets up their own tent and bonfire so it looks like a festival, and most of the elves mingle with each other. Children play with children from other clans; women weave and bake and talk and trade; the men talk and trade and share hunting and fishing tips. Craftsmen exchange their crafts and learn crafting techniques from others, etc. I’ll bet at their own tents they set up lots of goods and crafts to sell, roast clan recipes at the fire, play traditional clan music, and have the hahren tell stories to those want to listen. Those who want to learn about another clan will go right up to their tent and learn about the traditions and stories this clan developed here, the dialect that clan developed there, etc.

-I’ll bet most social mobility happens during the Arlathvhen. Since most Dalish are small clans that wander aimlessly, excluding random run-ins the Arlathvhen is where clans interact most. They probably use the opportunity to move mage children between clans (those with an excess provide for those who have too few), those with too many of one type of craftsman encourage that kid to go join a clan that has two few; individuals who feel discontent in their own clan find another whose customs seem more their style; young bachelors and bachelorettes meet and marry outside their own clan (doubles as a measure against incest); etc.

-I’ll also bet Arlathvhan is the best time for clans that’re too small and struggling to survive blend into another clan, or a larger clan has extra members join the smaller clan to flesh it out. Clans that’re too large officially split up into two smaller clans (recruiting new Keepers and/or Firsts as they need them from other clans with mage children to spare), etc. That’s not to say they don’t do these things the rest of the time, but I’ll just bet it happens most often and most easily during the Arlathvhen, where it’s easiest to “see a need, fill a need” since everyone is right there.

-I’ll bet the Dalish eat without eating utensils, since they’re such a pain to wash and carry around. (That, or they use chop sticks made from random twigs they find lying around, strip, and clean.)

-Kind of like how humans sit around the dinner table, I imagine Dalish elves sit around the fire and talk and laugh while they eat.

-For some reason I imagine the Dalish eating from small, smooth, round bowls that make it easy to eat with their hands, and/or tip back into their mouths. Plates? Spoons? Forks? What a hassle. Bowls are easiest to eat with because you can put anything in them—soup, salad, hunks of meat and rice and veggies… And the food won’t slip off because it’s not a flat surface without a table like the plate.

-We know the Dalish bury their dead and plant a tree so their spirits live on in nature, but what about other life rituals? Marriage? Childbirth?

-Someone once mentioned “Sylaise Hearth,” or a sacred hearth where the Dalish pray to Sylaise. Since Sylaise is basically a copy of Hestia from ancient Greece, I’ll bet there’s a special ritual at the sacred hearth to welcome newborn Dalish children into the world just like the ancient Greeks did with Hestia’s hearth. (It’s similar to the Christian baptism for newborns, or the Jewish brit milah for newborn sons.) The ancient Greeks had a ritual where they placed the child on the sacred hearth, walked over a special symbol, and said a special player to Hestia that officially welcomed them as part of the family. I’ll bet the Dalish have a similar tradition inducting newborn Dalish children and Sylaise.

-I wonder if there are special Dalish priestesses that dedicate their life to the Way of Sylaise while tending this Sacred Hearth, or the whole clan helps tend the sacred hearth, kind of like the whole alienage is supposed to help take care of the vhenadahl.

-Come to think of it, one thing we’ve never heard of are Dalish priests! Yeah, the whole clan is supposed to be ubber religious and up-to-date on religious facts, but the thing is there are priests and wise men in EVERY culture, no matter how small or tribal. Even small African hunter-gatherer tribes have what we know as shamans or priests.

-Do some Dalish dedicate their life to the study, or worship, or following the example of one particular god? Yeah, there’s the vallaslin, but I mean taking it a step further. Like, the one who dedicates herself to living like Sylaise tends the Sacred Hearth, the one who dedicates his or her life to following Ghilan-nain becomes the halla-tender…

- Okay, as of this moment I headcanon that priests or priestesses of Sylaise tend the Sacred Hearth, priests or priestesses of Ghilan-nain become the halla-tenders; followers of Dirthamen the Secret-Keeper take a vow of silence (instead dedicate their life taking in words instead of spilling them out), or vow only to speak elven—

- OH! Just like Chantry priests who vow to speak only the Chant of Light, real-world natives who vow only to speak their ancestral language, and early Israelis who revived the Hebrew language by vowing only to speak Hebrew, I’ll bet there are some Dalish who take “a vow of elvhen,” where they choose only to speak the ancient elven language.

That’s all I have for now.