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.

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.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some blanks for a new scribe

October 18. BL Royal 5 C IX f. 114

PBL MS Royal 5

October 21. BL Royal 4 B II f. 43v

PBL MS Royal 5

October 27. BL Harley 2957 f. 1

NBL Harley 2957

October 27. BL Harley 2878 f. 9

NBL Harley 2878

A new arrival in Drachenwald was looking to get started in calligraphy, so rather than send him plain perg, I said I'd send him some blanks. Given that Prothall and Cecilia will be ascending the throne in a few months, I figured some blank 'P's would be a good choice. And then I got tired of 'P' and decided to do a few puzzle initials in letters I hadn't done yet. The 'N' was done in two steps; first the red and blue, then the green and purple. It looked so nice after the red and blue was done, I almost needn't have continued on! Regarding the last one, it didn't turn out quite as nicely as the original, and I'm not sure why. I think the proportions of the extender are part of it; my page was simply too short for the height of the letter. However, I think with proper calligraphy and maybe some internal capitals, this could be spiffed up quite nicely.

© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.