Friday, November 21, 2014

Lindquistringes for Arianhwy Wen


I have been waiting to do this scroll for ages, and had the exemplar picked out for nearly as long (the exemplar is Oxford Bodleian MS Auct. D.4.6., fol. 91r). When I got the assignment Nov. 3, I had to get work right away -- sketched out the initial and put in the words. :) Nov. 14 (I think?) I painted in the frame of the letter and the green flourishes on the left. Nov. 17 I finished painting the inside flourishes. Then, the fun of drawing out the lines, which I did Nov. 18.

I composed the text that evening, and it reads:

Domina Arianuia Alba quae dicitur Gemina Mala, scriptrix, sag ittaria, callida doctaque, serviens Drachenwaldensis est autem hinc ordonis anuli lindquisti. Fit manibus Leifi regis et Morriganae reginae xxix novembris xlix.

In translation, this is:

Lady Arianhwy Wen who is called the Evil Twin, scribe, archer, cunning and learned, servant of Drachenwald is moreover henceforth of the Order of the Lindquistringe. Done by the hands of Leif king and Morrigan queen, 29 November 49.

I left it at that as I wasn't sure what to write for the subtext yet; I didn't want to merely translate. I wrote the subtext on Nov. 21, and was extremely pleased with the end result. I hope she likes it, for it was made with lots of love and affection.

Here's a close-up of the initial:


© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

AoA for Thora Greylock


I chose the initial, Codex Gottwicensis 30 (2), f. 206v, on Nov. 1. The design was influenced by other folios in the same codex, specifically f. 204v, f. 235v, and f. 85v. I started sketching things out the same day, and finished the lining on the next.

I waited awhile uncertain what color to do the silver/grey bits in -- silver leaf? (don't have any.) cerulean? (don't have any; and what I found on line just didn't look right). ultramarine? (it would work as a color combo with gold and vermillion, but wouldn't really match the exemplar). And then Nov. 4 I found this grey/blue that I'd mixed for another scroll, and decided it was a good choice, and painted in the "N". After finding my gold size (hurrah!) on Nov. 8, I put down the first layer on Nov. 9. The next few days were busy with birthday celebrations for one important now-3-year-old, but on Nov. 12 I got out the gold. Shiny! Even more shinier Nov. 13, after I cleaned up the gilding and painted in the red. Nov. 20 I did the calligraphy. I think I picked the wrong nib. There was not enoug white space.

The text was composed while writing, and reads:

Nasr and Eleanor prince and princess of insula draconis to all those seeing, reading, or hearing these words shall likewise know our will. Thora greylock has, for all her contributions as archer, scientist, and artisan, for all her enthusiasm and inspiration, made our lands better. We for our part better her by awarding her all rights to her arms. Witness ourselves at coronet tournament xxix november xlix.

Nov. 21 was finish-up day: I did the red punctuation and the two smaller initials.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

AoA for Alays de Lunel


The exemplar is Codex Plagensis 127 (454 b. 49), f. 47v, and I picked it Nov. 1. Not having the right paints to work on Thora's, I spent the evening of Nov. 3 sketching out the initial, and painting in crimson in the initial. Nov. 4, I painted the seafoam; it wasn't quite as green as I would've liked, but I had this paint already mixed and I wasn't confident I could mix the shade I wanted. Nov. 6 I mixed up some ultramarine + white to get that bright popping blue, and painted in the rest of the letter. Nov. 8 I found my gold size (yay!), so Nov. 9 I painted in the white dots and put down the size for the gilding. Nov. 12 I had a brief panic where I couldn't find my gold, but it was short-lived, and I was able to do all the gilding that evening (minus the cleaning up bits...that's for another night.) On Nov. 13 I cleaned everything up, and then realized I'd forgotten to pencil in the lines, so that was next. Nov. 19 I inked in the lines and all the detials on the initial. Really pleased with how this turned out!

The text was calligraphed the same night and reads:

All gentles seeing, hearing, reading these words shall hereby likewise know the will of the right radiant princes of Insula Draconis Nasr and Eleanor who by common report and the testimony of many trusted nobles are truly advertised and informed of the deeds and doings of our subject Alays de Lunel who by these words is proclaimed a lady of our court. xxix nov xlix.

I should've used a smaller nib. There isn't enough white space.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dragon's Pride for Edith of London


The exemplar is BL MS Harley 3049, fol. 30v:

BL MS Harley 3049

I'd started working on this on Feb. 15, for the Gulf Wars gift basket, and eventually decided to not include it, but instead do it with gold leaf and save it for a Drachenwald scroll. I saw Edith's amazing embroidery a few weeks later and decided then to write a recommendation for her and ask to do the scroll. Unfortunately, I then found out she wasn't going to be at the event originally planned, and TRM decided to give it out at an earlier one -- 10 days way. Due to other commitments the next evening, I didn't get this started until Mar. 28, one week before the event. I got the borders partly sketched and then drew most of the text lines, and then realized that I needed to test the text.

Because English is the recipient's third (I think) language, I wanted to go with a language she was more comfortable with, which would be German. The German text was written for me by Herrin Margaretha von Rückingen, and I paired it with a Latin intro, so that the entire thing reads:

Incipit verbis Prothelai et Cecilie, regum Drachenwaldenses.

Sie hat sich mit großem Interesse, Hingabe und Eifer in dem Bereich der Kunst und Wissenschaft unseres König reiches gewidmet. Ihre Geduld und ihre Durchhaltevermögen erfüllt uns mit Stolz. Deswegen möchten wir, Prothall und Cecilia, König und Königin von Drachenwald, voller Stolz unser Mitglied Edith of London in den Orden des Dragon's Pride aufnehmen, auf das sie das Abzeichen des Ordens immer tragen kann.

Ausgehändigt am v April im Jahre 48 in Polderslot während Crown Tourney.

But because I didn't write the text I didn't really have a sense of how much space it would take, and I had the suspicion that my base design was too big. I sketched out the text, something I very rarely do any more, and realized I was right. So I took in the left-hand margin, so I'd have space for more fancy flourishes, and resketched the initial. At that point, it was then bed time. Mar. 29 I sat down as soon as Gwen went down for a nap and managed to get all the text calligraphed, since I had to do that before the illumination (not my usual order), so I could know how much to shift up the lower margin if necessary (Some, but not too much). Then the very careful erasing of the text lines, followed by painting the blue of the initial and the blue, red, and purple decorations in the text. And then Gwen woke. On Mar. 30, I painted the blue in the border, and on Mar. 31 I lay down the size for the gilding of the inner most border.

Apr. 1, I gilded all that I had put down size for the night before, albeit in a rather messy fashion. I've decided I don't like the gold leaf I got in München as much as I like the gold leaf I got from Ari Mala, which sticks to the waxed paper better. But, it at least all gilded, all I needed to do was clean up lots of floater bits, which always makes me feel wasteful, but, hey, someday I'll have a completely gilded desk as a result. I still need to put down the size for the other bits of gilding, and then gild it, and then do all the penwork decorating, so the chances of this being done by Thursday night are low, but it'll be done enough to have something shiny to show off, and I'll take it home and finish it and then will be able to enter it in the next baronial A&S competition at Arts in April. :) Apr. 2, I try to clean up the gilding that I'd done the previous night. It did not go as well as desired, so I was reluctant to put down any more size.

There was then a long gap, as I pondered how best to continue. Finally, on Aug. 22, I sketched out in pencil where the remainder of the size should go, and then put down the size, along with some more size over the bits that hadn't taken well the first time. On Aug. 24 during Gwen's nap I put down the gold, and then cleaned up the edges, making it clear the places where I'd need to go back and put down another coat. Still, it mostly worked, better than I would've expected. The next night I touched up the last bits of the gold, and began doing the exterior rubrication. I completed the external decorations on Aug. 26. I'm still finding that I'm not as good at translating these sorts of designs from image to page as I think I will be; nevertheless, divorced from the exemplar, this is quite lovely, I think, even if I had a bugger of a time with the paint beading in some places -- a problem I rarely have.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fox for Catlin le Mareschal


The exemplar is Codex Altenburgensis AB 13 C 4,f. 134r , and I picked it out Jul. 14. I decided the next evening I wanted to do an unusual shape, to accent the "F", and luckily had a long narrow piece of perg on hand which was just right. So on Jul. 15 I started sketching everything out, and even was able to begin painting in the initial, completing the vermillion and most of the blue lake. The evening of Jul. 16 I mixed up the pale peach and painted it in. On Jul. 22, I completed the rest of the base coats and some of the whitework. A mistake in painting the inside of the initial settled the matter as to whether I'd do gold paint or gold leaf. The night of Jul. 24, I sketched out the lines for the calligraphy, and put down the size. While waiting for the size to set, I did some of the blackwork and whitework, and even managed to put down about half of the gold before bed time. I completed the goldwork on Jul. 25; curiously, the bit where I had to put down two coats of size to make sure all the blue got covered up worked just fine, but the other bit I had problems with. I tried to put down more size and then gild again, but it didn't really work so well. So I decided not to push it. I also finished the white work.

On Ju. 29, I realized I needed to draw out more lines before I could calligraph. Grr.

I wrote the text on Jul. 14 and Jul. 29, taking full advantage of Ari Mala's help finding more words beginning with "f". It reads:

Full fleet and fast fares the fox fort wily and sly. Far fleeter and fairer is the vixen with the blade Catlin le mareschale. Fain are we, faithful princes of the isles, to fulfill our free and royal right to make fabled vixen into a true fox. Witness ourselves at Ffair Raglen and dated below:

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dragons Pride for Angelica of Guildford


I received permission from TRM to go ahead with my proposed idea for something extra in the scroll text on Jul. 11, and began sketching out the structure that evening. I knew from as soon as I'd gotten the assignment that I wanted to do something from the Macclesfield Alphabet book, but didn't decide on which alphabet until that evening as well. I decided to go with one of the simple ones where I could then, hopefully do every initial in that style, which I thought would look cool. I managed to sketch out the first L before it was time to head to bed.

On Jul. 23, I inked and calligraphed from the beginning up to (but not including) the third initial. Jul. 25 I calligraphed from D through to the end of the next line, but it was Too Hot to do any more. On Jul. 27, I calligraphed through the initial "A" during Gwen's nap and while she painted, and then after she went to bed got all the way up through the final capital. I finished the calligraphy on Jul. 28, working my usual magic to get the text to end at JUST the right place.

The text was composed on the fly and reads:

Leif and Morrigan, king and queen of Drachenwald, to our princes, dukes, bishops, and most especially to the members of our most ancient and honorable order of the dragons pride: who throughout our land serve as examples to all that skill in arts and sciences does not respect age and that even amongst our youth may our teachers be found, greetings and salutations. It is our right and royal prerogative and privilege to increase the members of the orders of our kingdom in accordance with law and custom, and further to recognize and give special mark to those who have distinguished themselves in deed and word above the rank of their peers and one such person is Lady Angelica of Guildford, damoiselle de Covenham, companion of the dragons jewel and champion archer of the court of Paul and Aryanhwy, who has long and diligently striven to reach the heights of heraldic excellence, who has made a name for herself throughout our lands and whose service to our persons at our coronation we deeply and joyfully wish to reward and recognize and so do we the abovenamed king and queen do hereby enlist, enroll, account, and create the said Angelica abovementioned in the foresaid Order of the Dragons Pride, with all rights, responsibilities, and privileges appertaining thereto: inlcuding the rights of bearing the badge of the order and styling herself in all places as a member of the said order: We hereby further assign to the same damoiselle the privilege to be held by herself a lone for so long as we sit the dragon thrones to serve as the herald of the order and to be known in all our lands as Dragon Prides Pursuivant: Witness ourselves in our court at castle Raglan on viiij august anno societatis xlix.

I'm quite pleased with this one.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lindquistringes for Cassandra della Corona


This was done on a blank illuminated by Herrin Elysant Walters. I received the blank from her over the weekend of Jul. 12-13, and wrote the text and calligraphed it on the night of Jul. 14

The text is derived from Rotuli litterarum patentium in Turri Londinensi, derived from the "miscellaneous letters patent" from the time of KingJohn in the introduction. It reads:

The King and Queen of Drachenwald to Signora Cassandra della Corona, seneschale in our western lands, greetings. Know ye, that by these present letters we have elected you to the status of member of the ancient and honourable Orden des Lindquistringes, with all appertaining rights and responsibilities, witnessed ourselves at Castle Raglan, on the 9th day of August, anno societatis xlix.

I tried a new hand of calligraphy -- trying to get something along the lines of an elegant Italian secretary, and it wasn't entirely succesful. The perg wouldn't stay flat, and my ink kept glooping. However, I did get the letter forms basically uniform, and the spicing is good, so I'm not too unhappy.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Role d'Arms des Escutcheon Herauts

Role d'Arms

For the 2014 Nobelesse Largesse exchange, I received one of the past Escutcheon Heralds of the Midrealm as my recipient. So I decided to do something heraldic -- a roll of arms of all Escutcheons. This involved some covert research via mk-heralds, to make sure that I had all of them in my list; I was surprised that there have been only 10 so far! That makes for a nice 3 x 4 grid, with two left over. At first I was going to do 4 x 3, but then when I started sketching out the escutcheons, on Jun. 20, I realized they'd fit better in the other orientation. Over the course of the evening, I sketched all the escutcheons, inked them in, and began the interior designs. By the end of the night, I'd completely inked in those of Angharad, Ana, Brynniulfr, Estelle, and Calybrid; the remaining ones were at least partially pencilled in but I knew I need more time to do the chevronelly, the compass stars, the lion, the crossbow, etc.

I did all the calligraphy the morning of Jun. 21, while Gwen happily played behind me. I had just started the painting when I realized...I drew one of the arms wrong. And I don't know of any way to fix it. ARG.

On Jun. 22, I decided it was at least worth trying to scrape and paint over the error; I only got as far as the scraping though, and didn't have the heart to go any further. The next evening, optimistic enough that the fix could work, I pulled out the paints again, but this time stuck to azure, doing the fields for Angharad's, Ana's, and Estelle's arms. On the evening of Jun. 24, I finished inking in the corrected arms, and wetted up the green paint to do the field on Paul's, Estelle's, and Brynniulfr's. On Jun. 25, I completed drawing and inking in the remainder of the arms. Only thing left to do is paint!

Painting began in earnest the next night, which was SCA night at our place, when I finished up everything except for the white. Which means that when I picked up brush Jun. 29, I was able to finish everything!

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lindquistringes for Thomas Flamanc of Kelsale


I began the illumination at Arts in April, during my intro to illumination class; I had the border printed out, and it seemed nice and simple, and a good way to illustrate various techniques. I continued using it for the same purpose for my intro to illumination class at Double Wars. Then a few days later, Margaretha came over for C&I night and was looking for advice on gilding, so I took the opportunity to put down all the size and then, rather than deal with gold that night, painted in all the black outlining. It started turning out really nice, so I decided then to use it for Thomas's Lindquistringes, rather than trying to start a completely new design from scratch in the remaining time I had left. So two nights later, Jun. 1, I returned and did all the gilding -- or at least, I put gold over all the size, and left the matter of cleaning up the edges and removing the extra bits for another night. That other night was Jun. 5, when I discovered a nifty trick of running my finger very lightly over all the gilded parts, which did remarkably well of cleaning up the edges and removing the extra bits. Then I went in to painting the inside of the initial, which I had previously forgotten to sketch when I was sketching everything else. I managed to get that, and a little bit of the whitework done before needed to turn my attention to other things.

I put down the size for gilding the inner part of the initial the evening of Jun. 6, and during Gwen's nap on Jun. 8, I gilding that, finished, the whitework, and re-went over all the outlines in black. Only thing left, now, writing the text and doing the calligraphy!

Joel offered to watch Gwen some on Jun. 9, which allowed me to get the lines ruled out and the text written. The text reads:

Drachenwaldenses reges, nominaliter Leifus et Morigana, ad Thomam Flandrensis de Kelsale, salutationem, gratiam, et benedic tionem. Agnitionis muni quod prebuisti nobis, offerimus ideo tibi admissionem in nostris ordo nis anuli lindquiste, qui confert jus ostendere insigne ordonis, anulus factus draconi aurei sine pennis habentis ornamentum rubrum. Ut usus commune: The drachenwaldish rulers, Leif and Morrigan by name, to Thomas abovementioned, salutations, goodwill and greetings. In recognition of the service which you have rendered unto us, we therefore offer unto you admission in our Order of the Lindquistrin ges, which confers the right to bear the badge of the order, a ring formed of a wingless dragon or maintaining a gem gules.

Datum apud Castrum Bolton praeter Depe dene supra Wychewood, xiiij kal. junii, anno societatis xlix. Teste huius Arianuia Bona nostra scriptrix fecit hos presentes, signatos Leifo regi, Morigane regine.

It took just under two hours to do all the calligraphy, along with all the internal capitals and flourishes, interrupted only three times by a small child who recognize the power of the toilet as a "get out of bed free" card. The internal decorated initials are drawn from BL MS Egerton 751 f. 13v.

And I was just about ready to wrap up shop for the night...and realized I'd forgotten to put the green bits around the golden balls. Out come the paints and brushes again... V. pleased with the result; the green made the border pop, quite a bit more than I would've thought on the basis of my exemplar.

Here are some close-up details:

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Winner's cards for "Beauty and the Beast" contest

At Double Wars this year, the Order of the Rose hosted a "Beauty and the Beast" cross-dressing contest. My contribution to the contest was illuminated cards for the winners. I volunteered to do these about a week before the event, so I couldn't do anything too elaborate, but I figured it'd be a good time to dig out a pretty, flowery B and a grotesque B for the respective winners.



I picked the exemplars out on May 16. The exemplar for Beauty is Codex Gottwicensis 125 (115), f.83v. The exemplar for Beast is adapted from examples in the Macclesfield Alphabet. I didn't expect to find the Macclesfield letters to be so easy! I started the initial that evening, and quickly did the rest of the calligraphy and most of the initial, all except for the grotesque. It's all done in ink (Winsor & Newton's calligraphy ink), with three different size nibs (3mm, 1.5mm, and drawing tip, I believe), and took about 45-60 min. Love it!

May 17 I was able to sketch out the initial for Beauty while Gwen took her nap, and paint in the green. I painted the orange while she took her nap. May 18 she slept late and didn't take a nap, so I had to paint with her in the room...always a distraction. There was a spilled cup of water (on the floor thankfully) and a finger in the blue paint (then dragged onto the dress not so thankfully), but I did get the blue, carmine, and gold done with her supervision. I figured, "Oh, I have only the whitework and the black to do after she goes to bed". Yeah, and all the shading. Those bits alone took ~1.5 hours dedicated work. But the result made Joel go "Wow -- that's really good!" when it caught his eye, distracting him from his work. So, result!

I did the calligraphy for Beauty May 19; I had wanted something a bit more delicate and feminine, but my ink was glopping on me. It still looks nice. That left the grotesque for beast, which involved some practicing. The good thing about grotesques is that, almost by definition, they're basically impossible to screw up. This one isn't as nice as I might've wanted, but it fits well with the initial, and how could I have a card for the Beast that doesn't have a grotesque on it?

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

PCS for Shauna of Carrick Point

shauna    Harley 3841, f. 1

Shauna is a good friend, and when she confessed that she'd never received a scroll for her PCS, I volunteered to fix that. The text is adapted from the Letters Patents of King Henry the Seventh Granted unto Iohn Cabot and his Three Sonnes, Lewis, Sebastian and Sancius for the the Discouerie of New and Unknowen Lands and reads:

Ulric and Eleo nora, by strength of sword, Prince et Princess of Drachenwald, to all, Gree tings. Be it known that we have gi ven and granted, to our wellbeloved Shauna of Carrick Point full and free authority, to sail all parts, countries, and seas of the East, West, North, and South under the banner and ensignes of the Popular Com- pany of Sojourners, depicted plainly above, to seek out, discover, and find whatsoever isles, lands, or provinces of those benighted who do not know of Drachenwald to tell tales of our lands to all she may discover or find. In witness whereof we have caused these presents to be drawn up, signed ourselves the iii day of March, a.s. xxii.

The text was written on 9 Mar., and the exemplar, BL MS Harley 3841, fol. 1, was also chosen that day too. Next up was cutting down the perg and sketching out the margins and lines, etc. And that about used up my evening. 10 Mar. I sketched out the initial, painted it and the PCS badge, and all of the red penwork on the inside. It's so very satisfying. 12 Mar I did the rest of the penwork on the initial.

I calligraphed it on Apr. 19; I'm relatively happy with the script, but not with the sizing or spacing. This nib was too big; the next size down I have was way too small. Grrr. But I like the way the little yellow detailings on the capitals really tie things together!

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fox for Irminric æt Eoferwic

BL MS Burney 216, f. 14 Irminric

I picked out the exemplar on Mar. 25. It's BL MS Burney 216 f. 14,, and I sketched the layout and initial on Apr. 10, and inked in the initial. Then I wrote the text, which reads:

Nasr et Eleanorae, prin cipium insulenses draconenses, haec verba sunt.

1. It is, in the laws of the is lands, that people go by rank, each according to his condi tion, Martlet, Ffraid, Fox.

2. And if there a scholar is, who through learning thrives, so that he has good education and art, then is he thence forth Martlet-right worthy.

3. And if a gentleman thrive, so that he serves the prince, then is he then ceforth Ffraid-right worthy.

4. And if there a fighter is, who through diligence thrives, so that he attains the acclaim of his fellows, then is he thenceforth Fox-right worthy.

5. And one such fighter is Irminric æt Eo forwic, and we the aforenamed princes enscribe him as a member of the order of the fox during the Oxford Roll Tournament, xxv aprilis anno societatis xlviii.

The text is based on extracts from early Anglo-Saxon laws concerning people's ranks.

While at the Scriptorium Nordmarkensis over the weekend, I was able to complete the painting of the initial, on Apr. 12. I also took "before white-work" and "after white-work" pictures, because it's always good to be reminded of just how awful the before versions are, and how much improved the after ones are:

pre post

I'm not entirely satisfied with it, but I cannot articulate why, which is part of why I am unsatisfied with it! I did the calligraphy the evening of Apr. 14, and overall, I'm actually rather pleased with the result, even given the misspelling and the misplacement of the "iv", and my reservations about the initial.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blank M for Nordmark


This weekend I attended the Scriptorium Nordmarkensis, and during the "free scribe" period I wanted to prove to the people taking my puzzle initial class that yes, they really are that easy and did this one up in about half an hour. I then left it with Alfhild, the Nordmark signet, for future use. The exemplar is BL MS Burney 28 fol. 1.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blanks for the Gulf Wars gift basket

Gulfwars '14 Blank 1Sloane 265
Gulfwars '14 Blank 2Burney 6
Gulfwars '14 Blank 3Harley 4903
Gulfwars '14 Blank 4Royal 6 D VI

Since the easiest light-weight, easy-to-pack contribution that I can make for overseas gift baskets is scrolls, I wanted to do a few blanks for TRM to take to Gulf Wars. I picked out one exemplar on Jan. 1, because I remembered how fun other initials of this style were to make for last year's Pennsic basket. I sketched out the margins the same day, but then did not have time to return to this until Feb. 14, when I picked out for more exemplars. Feb. 15, Gwen actually played happily and let me sketch out the margins and base frameworks for all of them, and then I began painting while she napped. I managed to complete the first one (based on BL MS Sloane 265 f. 2) that day. I completed the second (based on BL MS Burney 6 f. 4) on Feb. 16. For as simple a design as it was, I made a lot of mistakes! I definitely want to do this one again, since I think I could improve it quite a bit. I completed the third (based on BL MS Harley 4903 f. 137v) the same evening after Gwen went to sleep. I love this style -- it's really pretty amateurish, but I think the palate and the bold leaves are really striking. And when you do it with gold leaf instead of gold paint, it doesn't look cheap. I then started and finished the fourth one (based on BL MS Royal 6 D VI f. 58v) on Feb. 17. It took "Northanger Abbey" plus about 10 minutes of "Emma" to complete.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Letter for Nobelesse Largesse gift


I was asked to step in as an "angel" swapper for the previous Nobelesse Largesse gift exchange. The theme for that exchange as "high persona", and included the requirement to write a text in-persona to your recipient. I miffed the intro to my text, intending to spell my name in Latin and then failing. Oh well.

I hope to transcribe the text of the letter and add it soon.

© 2014, Sara L. Uckelman.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lindquistringes for Tamara Samuilova of Thamesreach (a blank used)

I always love it when I get pictures of blanks that I've made after they've been completed. You'll recall back in October I posted images of four blank scrolls I'd made for a new scribal arrival in the kingdom, Lord Andrew von Otelingen. The first has been used and given out (my illumination, his calligraphy):


Turned out very spiffily indeed.

© 2014, Andrew Grosser & Sara L. Uckelman.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sigillum Coronae for Efridis Eriksdotter Skarp


I had asked their Majesties if they (or Efridis) had any particular preferred style, but didn't get any answer, so that meant I was free to choose what I wanted. Halloween night I curled up with Smeyers, Flemish Miniatures, going through all my bookmarks and also flipping through the rest of the book to see if anything new caught my eye; it's been a year or two since I've last gone through the book for inspiration, and I know my abilities have improved in the interim. Plus, since I have about two months, I wanted to pick something that would push me a bit. I found something I liked in Smeyers that night, but the next morning wasn't as enthused -- I wanted something with more fine detail, and more gold. So the next morning I pulled out some of my other books, and Gwen and I curled up on the couch to look at pretty pictures (her enthusiastic "wow"s were very cute), and we found two on p. 78 and p. 80 of Englische Buchmalerei der Gotik 1200 - 1500, plates from two BL manuscripts:

Throughout the day whenever she'd let me (either by napping or by playing with herself), I started sketching things out, combining elements from the two designs, and *gasp* making up a few of my own. I got everything sketched out (except for a few small pieces that I knew I'd only add after the first outlining was done), and did most of the inking that night while Gwen slept and I watched "The Importance of Being Earnest". Nov. 2 I didn't get much done other than erasing lines.

Nov. 3, I began painting! Red, yellow, blue, and pink in the inner and outer diamond borders, and in the initial. I painted one of the lozenges the wrong color sigh, but I was able to scrape it off well enough to be able to paint over it, with the requisite lighter color. (If you can tell which diamond was mispainted, you get a prize.) Nov. 4, I added the black to the border, and began pencilling in the outer border. I decided I was unhappy with the S's I had sketched in the center of the capital, so I left them be for a good 1.5 months before returning to redraw them.

Nov. 8, I began inking in the outer border, almost completing it. The rest of November was swallowed up by travel, so I was next able to return to the border on Dec. 2, when I completed the inking and the painting of the leaves/flowers. Dec. 3 I got to experience that wonderful feeling you get when doing whitework. The entire thing still looks awfully garish and messy, though, I hope the addition of the gold (and more whitework) will help. I then moved on to doing some of the contrasting decoration in the inner border.

Back from another set of travels, and the event getting close, I returned to this again on Dec. 23, when I worked on the inner portion of the 'O', the sigils in the corners, and the evocative elements of the King & Queen's arms (lions are a bugger to draw). In the evening, I managed to get about 45 min. of painting in after Gwen went to bed. Dec. 24, I got quite a bit more painting done while Gwen napped. In the evening, I sketched the dragons and painted two before I got distracted by Christmas gifts. Skipped a day, returned to painting on Dec. 26, back to the dragons, and after them, onto the red details on the animals, and more whitework.

I began composing the text Dec. 27. It reads:

Omnibus, ad quos presentium noti cia pervenerit, Sueno et Si vana, reges de Drachenwald, in Domino salutem. (To everyone, to whom these present notices may come, Sven and Siobhan, kings of Drachenwald, in God salutations.)

Know that for the love we bear her and for her support, counsel, and service, we the abovenamed king and queen by the regnal authority avested in our hands and crowns do give, grant, and confirm unto our herald, by name Efridis Eriksdotter, whom some call the sharp, the right to bear our sigils. For such sweet friendship we cherish towards her, let her display the queenes edelweiss and Albiones head, ensigned with our initials. this giving here by ourselves witnessed on the iii day of January, in the year of the society xlviii, while sitting on our thrones in our court in Attemark.

When writing the text, I had no idea how much I would have to amend it in order to fit in the space I had given the choice of calligraphy I would end up with, since at that point I hadn't yet decided. I really wanted to do a Gothic hand like in my exemplars...but I'm very bad at Gothic hands and didn't want the calligraphy to let everything down. I eventually did my best to attempt the hand (failed miserably as usual), and re-wrote the text as I went, unfortunately ending up a bit short (!). Still, I think the remaining empty space will be filled sufficiently by the signatures.

Dec. 29, and we're getting down to crunch time. I drew the internal initials and painted them, leaving just gilding and white work! Unfortunately, gilding will have to wait until tomorrow, as it took nearly 4 episodes of QI just to put down the size tonight. The next day, anxious to see how gilding would go this time, I got everything out in the morning, while Gwen was eating breakfast, and was thrilled to find it go just as Ari Mala has always said it should! I worked on it off and on all morning and afternoon, but I didn't have to put a second coat of size down anywhere. In the evening after Gwen went to sleep, I touched up the black outlines and did more whitework. I got maybe 1/3 of the way finished. Dec. 31 throughout the day I managed to get almost all the rest of the whitework done, except for the bits on the arms and on the yellow and black. I wasn't sure what to do for those; I had done some cross-hatching behind Sven's anvil the night before, and ended up painting over it today. I let it sit for a day, and on Jan. 1, finished up the rest of the whitework. All in all, I'm pretty pleased (though I wish whitework showed up on yellow better).

All told, I think this took me between 35 and 40 hours to complete: far, far, far more than anything else I've done (for example, a regular-sized scroll with a puzzle initial takes 2-2.5; something big and calligraphy intensive around 5).

Here are some stage by stage photos:

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.