Saturday, July 4, 2009

PCSs for Tonis vom Ahrgebirge and Isabeau de Brionne

This is a pair of PCS scrolls for a couple who are leaving Drachenwald for the second time. I wanted to make a set that looked like they were part of a pair, but still made sense individually.

for Tönis vom Ahrgebirgefor Isabeau de Brionne

This was my first attempt at any sort of realistic artwork (e.g., landscapes, people). The couple is moving to Meridies, so I have them each in their own boat sailing from Drachenwald on the right to Meridies on the left. Each boat has two flags, the badge of the Popular Company of Sojourners, and the individual's personal arms. On the right is the Drachenwald ensign and on the left is Meridies's flag. The people ended up being too small to do any details other than eyes on their faces. I hope they don't look too weird.

The design/composition is a mish-mash of various elements. The hand is based on a 15th C copy of Margery Kempe's autobiography, plate 7 of Kelliher & Brown, English Literary Manuscripts (the autobiography itself dates from the 14th C, and I didn't realize until after I'd done the wording that the specific copy I was looking at wasn't. Otherwise, at least all the elements would've been from the same century). The ships are based on ships found on f7r of the Le roman de Joseph d'Arimathie ou le Roman de l'Estoire du Graal, early 14th C, plate 52 of Western European Illuminated Manuscripts. The border is based on ff68v of the Taymouth Hours (c.1325-40), plate 47 of Harthan, Books of Hours.

There's always a point in working on a scroll where I look at it and think "there is no way this is going to turn out". For these, it was after I'd done the wording, the water, grass, ships, and the red and blue in the borders and the capitals. Luckily, even when I look at something half-way finished in horror, I have enough perspective to realize that once the gold, whitework, and black border lines are added, it will suddenly look much, much better. Knowing that, I took a break after reaching that stage, leaving the finishing details for another day, and then, while cleaning everything up, promptly dropped a bottle of ink whose cap was not screwed on tight and spilled about half of it. Amazingly, the mess didn't damage anything, but even so, I took it as a sign that I'd reached a good stopping point and shouldn't attempt to push my luck until another day! The scroll was done Jun. 27, 28, and Jul. 4.

© 2009, Sara L. Uckelman.

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