This week we talked with HL Octar Wolfkiller, the instructor for the Turn Shoe construction classes at Sport of Kings.
“The SCA must be shod”
Octar has been in the SCA for more than 20 years. He had heard of the SCA as a teenager, but didn’t have the opportunity to go to an event until 1991. With his brother, Guy of Avern, his first event was an Eggils: when the Dun Cow was in its glory and Viscount Manfred Kriegstreiber was the Baron of Three Mountains.
When asked which award or honor in the SCA he is most proud of, he instantly replies: “The chivalry awards”. There are 9 of them: seven for fencing and two from heavy combat, and they are from 5 different baronies across the kingdom. In addition to those honors, he is squired to Sir Octamasades, protégée to Master Gabriel Michael MacFarlane and apprenticed to Master Torfin Torgulsson.
Octar Wolfkiller was once Jacques Avec De’leau, a French caviler. The need for period cavalier shoes led him to make his first pair, and he didn’t start small. He made a pair of 16th century leather boots with 20 buckles. Several years later he wanted to try out heavy fighting and developed his current persona, a 6th century Alani adopted by a Hun. It was quite common in period for Huns to adopt the children of subjugated tribes like the Alani.
Although he teaches several classes, his favorite to teach is Turned Shoe Making, which is fortunate for those attending Sport of Kings this year, since he’ll be teaching it twice. It’s hard to say how many people he’s taught to make shoes at this point. He’s taught several formal classes and far more impromptu classes. He also has a video on YouTube teaching turned shoe making that’s had more than 500 views. You can see it here: Turn Shoe Making
We asked what most inspired him about the SCA and he responded with this: “Those who encourage others to excel through their own words, deeds and actions – they show people how to excel, they don’t demand it.” And on that note, thank you for talking with us Octar, we look forward to seeing you at Sport of Kings in just a few weeks.
Staff Writer & Editor, Sport of Kings