Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blast from the past

So, I was recently visiting the home of a friend with another friend...and we happened to go upstairs into one of the guest rooms.  Sitting in said guest room was a pile of art work, scrolls and other miscellany upon the dresser.  Vaguely I noticed one of the pieces looked familiar and so I lifted the other pieces from atop it only to stare at a piece I had LONG since forgotten about. It makes me wonder if I have any other blanks remaining in the Baile Stash.  One can only hope not.

Hence....we are going to view the place where I started from...which is terrifying looking back now.

Lets see, this was a mixture of watercolor, micron pen and gold acrylic.

 I did NOT do the Calligraphy.  Merely the Illumination.

Monday, November 11, 2013


This is  a scroll that I did AGES ago, but I never heard whether or not it had been received by the recipient until this weekend when I was taking photographs of Crystal Ball.  I asked "so who is this anyway"  and I was told that that was Derrick the Tailor I said "Oh I know that name, I did a scroll for him"  and the responce was "Why yes, you did!" 

From that I assume that it must have been given out. 

It is from the Sforza Hours, which I love.  Gouache, and drawing ink.  The hand is better in this scroll than it is in some of my more recent pieces.  I need to sit at the desk and do some practicing in my vast amounts of free time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Alzbeta's Pelican

I was truly and deeply honored to be asked to do the Pelican scroll for my friend Alzbeta, I've been assigned peerage scrolls before but never have I been asked.

The response to this scroll however was truly a defining moment for me.  I have never before had such an extreme positive response for any piece of my work than I did for this one piece at Feast of Saint Ethyl.  I felt Very Special and I am still overwhelmed by it all.   Maybe one day I'll be able to put it into words.

So I started out researching Polish pieces, to find one that was appropriate for the Persona of Alzbeta Michalik, I found one in the Catalogue of the Archbishops of Gniezno.   St. Stanislaus adored by Sigismund the Old and Bishop Peter Tomicki, 1535.  National Library, Warsaw.

I saw an immense amount of possibilities with this one, since in my mind I could see the assembled people being the pelicans kneeling around the King to admit a new member to the order.

The scroll reads:  Upon the 24th day of August at the Feast of Saint Ethyl the Imperial Order of the Pelican does accept Alzbeta Michalik into it's ranks upon the order of Dread King Lucien and Queen Catarina of the Middle Kingdom.

I took MANY pictures of the Process, as requested by my lovely Laurel.  <3







A dragon's heart for Elianora

So, I had the privlege of doing another scroll for a friend of mine.  It was set to be given at The Feast of St. Ethyl, called Baroness Wars. The plotting to get the recipient (who would not have attended otherwise) to the event started actually before the assignment was given out, but once I expressed interest in it then it was mine by Royal Request. 

A large group of us headed up by Alexander Adelbrecht von Markelingen proceeded to sneakily get Elianora to the Event, so that she could receive her surprise.   I happily drove her to and from the event for she is as always delightful company to have.  I had to consult the OSCAR to find her submission so that I knew what time period and location I was looking for for this scroll. 

The scroll is based upon a page of the Holkham Bible Picture Book which is a prayer book from South East England, 1327-1335. Taken from the British Library site for Additional 47682.  "The first image is of a friar saying to the artist 'Ore feres bien e nettement car mustre serra a riche gent' (Now do it well and thoroughly, for it will be shown to important people); to which the scribe replys 'Si frai voyre, e Deux me doynt vivre, Unkes ne veyses un autretel livre' (So I will, and if God grant me life, you will never see a better book than mine)" 

 I did think about penning in the demon critter and the monkey, but I thought they would take away from the piece once I got the cat drawn in and all the penwork done in the background. 
Guache and Ink on Pergamenata, in a gothic hand.
The scroll reads as follows: 
Know all to whom these presents shall come that we Lucien by grace of God, King of the Middle Kingdom and, our inspiration and by her grace our Queen, Catarina do send greetings.  We are minded to advance and commend the faithful service our friend Elianora Saunfayle hath giv'n unto us.  For her courtesy, gentle nature and using her scribal art to make our reign a more beautiful place we are minded to make her a Companion of the Order of the Dragon's Heart.  With this comes all rights and responsibilities conveyed by her elevation to this rank as well as the badge of the Order: Argent, a heart very scaly argent to be borne by her throughout the knowne worlde.  This do we set into the record this the twenty-fourth day of August Anno Societatis Fourty-eight. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pennsic Award Scrolls

So I made two scrolls in an exchange of skills group called Medieval Barter Town.  I like it, it's lots of fun.  I've done some trading of my skill with a brush for some fun things both SCA and non SCA related. Since this blog is SCA related I will only post the scrollwork/art work that I've exchanged for other SCA related things.   Anyway in exchange for a new cloak for me (so my old one can be passed to my husband who is also in desperate need of a cloak...) I made 2 award scrolls for the Fight Back Tourney in honor of Baroness E'leri at Pennsic.

This is the Llanbeblig Book of Hours, f 35r Wales 1390-1400.  It was bloody hard to track down because of the website of the Library that this was found being in Welsh.  Great surprise eh?

The second scroll was for the best Death in their tournament and I decided that some slightly morbid but still humorous imagery would be in order.  

Mirandola hours, Italy,  ~1475.  I found the illumination to be refreshingly challenging, but it was the hand to which I was completely un-familliar that gave me the most problems.  I'd like to say I managed alright but I can see where the letters are unevenly sized or unevenly spaced, or worse yet...tilted the wrong way. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Noblesse Largesse 2013: The Fan!

So I was involved in another Noblesse Largesse Exchange.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy the idea of creating something for someone else's persona.  I  havent gotten my pressie yet but i am eagerly awaiting it.

Now I must preface this with the fact that this was a research swap, where documentation was required.  Having never truly researched anything with any detail before I was a little intimidated.  As I knew nothing about Italy with the exception of it's gorgeous illuminated texts, I began where a scribe always begins...with the paintings. 

I found three distinct portrait paintings or woodcuts featuring women with elaborately decorated flag fans.  And in later research (though I cannot now find where this came from) I came across this quote from Crudities.  " These fannes both men and women of the country doe carry to coole themselves withall in the time of heate, by the often fanning of their faces. Most of them are very elegant and pretty things. For whereas the fanne consisteth of a painted peece of paper and a wooden handle; the paper which is fastened into the top is on both sides most curiously adorned with excellent pictures, either of amorous things tending to dalliance, having some witty Italian verses or fine emblemes written under them; or of some notable Italian City with a briefe description thereof added there unto."

The first, and my primary inspiration was a piece called Portrait of a Lady in White , painted in Venice by Tiziano Vecellio who was also called Titian.  I wanted a portrait in which the fan was featured, merely to ease my mind to the fact that they were used in period if only for decoration.

The second piece was Giacomo Franco's Habiti delle donne venetiane (Costumes of Venetian Women, picture 2)  and is dated to 1550-1620.  This one clearly showed the paintings and detailed paintings on the surface of the fan that were refrerenced by Crudities. 

The third and final piece of inspiration, came from Hans Weigels Habitus Praecipuorum Populorum...das ist Trachtenbuch (The Trachtenbuch Illistrations, picture 3) circa 1577, Plate 118 and is entitled a Venetian Dogaressa.

The extant pieces that I could find had an astonishing variety of mediums they were created in, from a woven thread creation in the Bayerische National Museum, to intricately cut parchment and vegetable fibre that was then hardened most likely with fish glue like those in the Marselleti collection in Venice.

I decided that I would do a combination of the styles, giving me the change to illuminate 2 pieces of parchment and glue them together atop a sheet of lacecut perg to mimic the style found in the Habiti delle donne venetiane.  Now, ideally this would have been done with thread but my skills do not allow such things, so I cut the lacework instead. The illuminations themselves are from the Bible of Borso D'Este, Italy 1470 which is one of the most beautiful manuscripts i've ever had the pleasure of working from.  The wording upon the one side reads A servioso del Sogno (In service to the Dream).  This side also includes the Arms of Calontir and the Laurel wreath. Her own personal arms form the centerpoint of the other side's Illumination   This I would then glue (with modern glue because fish glue=stinky) between two carved halfdowels that I had stained and coated with sealant, finished with a beaded knob at the bottom.  In the pictures the top of the fan has a beaded knob as well.  I changed that at the last possible minute to an o screw with a pearl dangle later on when I decided I didn't like how it looked.  The O screw will allow the recipient to hang whatever it is that she wants from the top of her fan.

 The first sketch:
The In Between Stages:
The final Illuminations:  

The Finished Product: 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Purple Fret for Lorelai

So, I decided somewhat late in the game to go to Midrealm Crown Tourney as it was just across the border in Indiana and would only take me  45 minutes to drive there.  I was bored, so I sent a message to the Constellation Signet that the Midlands had a bored scribe and that she could un-bored me with a scroll assignment if she had extra.  She had extra, and unknowingly gave me Lorelai's purple fret.

Queue the girlish squeal of delight for, there is NOTHING i like better than to personalize a scroll for someone that I know and consider a friend. 

The text is as follows:  Based upon the Grant of arms to Christopher Brown, 1480

Lucien by the grace of god king of all the Midrealm, bright son of the dragon and likewise, Catarina our queen to all unto whom these letters come, peace, love and greetings.  Reason ordains men virtuous and of noble courage be rewarded for their merits by renown, and that not only their persons in this mortal life so brief and transitory but, after them those who shall issue of their bodies in posterity may be in all places of great honour perpetually shining brightly before others. But not only by common renown, also by report and witness of other nobles worthy of credence that truly advertize and certify that Lorelei Skye is a lady.  She has brought upon herself great fame with princely voice and shrewd use of word but also for a concert at our Great War aptly named "For The Dream". She has always been the voice behind the curtain, showing all her dedication to the performing arts. By virtue of the authority and power granted and attributed to the office of sovereign We devise, ordain and assign to Lorelai the rank and title of the purple fret to have and to invest for herself forever. Accompanying this rank is the right to bear the badge of the order as assigned by the royal college of heralds Or: A fret purpure. Therefore in witness of the honor she has so justly earned we the aforementioned Lucien and Catarina have signed with our hand and sealed with our seal these letters. Given on the 26th day of May in the year of grace 48.

The original was Codex Michaelburanus Folio 240 124v  a codex from the 15th ce that I found at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library.  From the same book they have a blue initial G, and it is from there that the  coloration for the B in this scroll comes, I didn't want to do the pink because my blue shading is just that much better . One day I need to work on that, but in the time I had for this scroll i decided not to practice it, for fear of messing it up.
Instead of angel victorious, Lorelai sits at her instrument, with the angelic muse merely hovering above her.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thank You note

We did a demo at Deer Path Middle School last week Friday for their Cultural Days.  It was really a lot of fun and it's been a LONG time since I've talked myself hoarse.  There were a lot of questions at my C&I station.

I did a calligraphic demonstration (in the fanciest most decorative hand I could find in my Drogin book) for the kiddies and we presented it to the Principal as a thank you note when we were done with the day at a Seneschal's Court.

This was part of my DW 30 day challenge, and involved this Parisian manuscript piece that was dated to 1480.  The in progress pieces are below.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Whoo!  So one of my scrolls sitting in the " I've been Given but not Recieved"  folder has dissappeared.  I had info from several sources at Crown that she finally recieved it, and was stunned by it.  Yay awards.

Pretty straightforward copy for this one.  I actaully REALLY enjoyed this style.  I chose it on the motive of I have several of these that I could do for the 30 Day challenge and I haven't done this style before.  It's French, Parisian in fact and has been dated to 1480. I used brown drawing ink for the letters, to show the fading of the ink on the manuscript.

The text reads as follows: 

Hearken all unto the words and desires of the sovereign King of the Midrealm Dag and his Queen Anne Marie.  Long have we heard tale of the many good deeds that Ylva has rendered unto our Barony of Shattered Crystal.  In recognition of this service we are minded to grant upon her the right and privilege of arms.  She may choose and register with the College of Heralds those arms most personally appropriate and display them upon shield, pennon, tabard, and personal documents as she sees fit.  Written in the the record by the hands of our scribes upon this the thirteenth day of April in the year of our society fourty seven at this celebration of Carnival

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More non-scrolly fun.

So, a bunch of my scrolls have been given but the recipients haven't been there.  So they can't be posted yet.

To keep people from getting bored I shall entertain you with things not scribally but still SCA related.