Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A thank you card


The initial for this card was inspired by various T's in the Codex Admontensis 2 (12th C):

f.28r f.128r
f.53v f.77r

© 2007, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Magnets for Christmas gifts

Earlier this fall Joel bought some magnetic strips for a project which they ended up not being suitable for. So, we had these long pieces of fairly lightweight sticky-back magnets. Rather than throw them away, I stuck them on a piece of cardstock, cut it into strips, and made some magnets for Christmas presents. (These have the advantage of being incredibly cheap to mail home!) The exemplars are on top, and then my interpretation; as usual, my exemplars are all from the Visconti Hours.

exemplar one
exemplar two
exemplar three

© 2007, Sara L. Uckelman

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Monty Pythonesque rendition of my arms

The image here isn't the finished one; I have a photo of the finished version (which has a few more curliques), but haven't gotten it up onto the computer yet.

my arms

Not the best scan: the purple isn't so dark, and the pink isn't so orange, or so bright. This is based on two images from LF133-v of the Visconti Hours. The first time I saw these, I knew I had to do something with them. They're so Monty-Python-esque!

exemplar oneexemplar two

Here are the docs I put together; this was my first entry into an A&S competition. It took me two days to complete this, Nov. 24 and 25.

Design: The design is based on LF133v of the Visconti Hours (Italy, 15th century) [1; see figures 1 and 2]. I substituted my own arms, "Purpure, a bordure ermine", registered 01/1999 via the Middle, for the Visconti arms, and simplified the flower from which the arm issues because my drawing skills are still pretty minimal.

I was unable to find any examples of ermine spots in Italian armory, so I modeled my ermine spots on ones found in a contemporary (late 15th century) English manuscript, the Edward IV roll [2, part 2; see figure 3].

Choice of colors: According to Pastoureau [3, pp. 101-2], until the beginning of the 15th century the heraldic tincture purpure was an indistinct color between grey and brown, and only in the 15th century did it start being drawn more like what we call purple today. I tried my best to mimic a color which is somewhat between indistinct grey/brown and modern purple.

Material: The paper is Canson watercolor paper, 200g/m2. The paint is Plakkatverf gouache. Both were recommended to me by the scribes on the kingdom scribal mailing list as being suitable for beginners (which I very much am!).


[1] Meiss, Millard, The Visconti Hours, National Library, Florence (George Braziller, 1972).

[2] Blanchard, Laura, Edward IV Roll, electronic edition (WWW: Library of Philadelphia),

[2] Blanchard, Laura, Edward IV Roll, electronic edition (WWW: Library of Philadelphia),

[3] Pastoureau, Michel, Heraldry: An Introduction to a Noble Tradition (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1997).

Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3.

© 2007, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wedding card for my grandparents

My grandpa is getting married in September, and I wanted to give him something he didn't already have, so I thought a little marriage announcement card would be neat. As usual, the design is based on two pages from the Visconti Hours, one page of which was, properly enough, the marriage of the virgin.

Here is the card:

The scanning doesn't show the colors the best; the ivy vines are all done in the same ink as the actually calligraphy, and the first border is more reddish than orangish.

Here are the two exemplars:

folio BR90folio LF126v

The card was done the last two weeks of August and finished Sept. 1.

© 2007, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Notecards for Alban Saint Albans

These are a set of note cards I made for Alban St. Alban, as part of the art that I owe him. They were done Aug. 18-19. All of the designs are based on the Visconti Hours, the only book of illumination that I have. I made five, each in a different design. They're presented below in the order that I did them (the first two on Saturday, the second three on Sunday), with the original on the left and my interpretation on the right. I'll note that the scans of the originals are not the greatest; all of the dull brownish/greyish parts really are gold.


© 2007, Sara L. Uckelman.