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.