Monday, December 02, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
... the backlog listings are as up to date as I can get them. Please take a look and see if there are any corrections that need to be made. If you are a scribe and you have an assigned backlog then you need to let me know the status by the end of the year. If I have not heard anything then I will be reassigning the scrolls to active scribes who wish to do the work.
Bridget - Kingdom Signet Clerk
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
1: the dragon scribes wiki has been removed. No one was really using it so it because a host for spammers. We've taken it off our domain. Thanks to everyone who did participate it seemed like a good idea at the time.
2: If you are new to the blog and the world of Dragon Scribes and want to be a scribe for the kingdom you must first get in touch with the Signet Clerk(s). There are 6 signet clerks in drachenwald, 1 Kingdom Signet, 2 Principality signets and 3Baronial signets. Everyone is welcome to do work for the kingdom but we do have a certain standard for the scrolls we give out so if you are a 1st time scribe please send a short bio and some images of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org .
All Kingdom level scrolls are assigned through the office of the Signet clerk only and this includes backlogs. If you see a backlog scroll you'd like to do then please contact the signet at the above email address.
For people interested in doing only Principality or baronial work please contact your local signet.
3: As many of you may know, thanks to our wonderful Posthorn, Garsiyya, we now
have the ability to add and show the assigned scroll's scribe's name on
the backlog list online.
This will hopefully help the years of messy backlog records and make it
easier for people to see who has the assignment and also for the scribes
to remember what assignments they have taken on ( we do forget it's a
hazard that happens)
I am trying to clean the list up and get it as accurate and up to date as
I can so it would be great if everyone could check the op and see if they
have assigned scrolls on their to do list and get back to me if there are
any problems or inaccuracies.
Here are the following names of scribes I do not know who have assignments
and scrolls that have been assigned but I don't know who the scribe is.
Please get back to me with your full SCA name, your current email address
and the status of the scroll you have been assigned.**This is important:
Please clearly mark your email with the word *Backlog scrolls 2013* in the
There are also a bunch of scrolls listed as waiting for signature. At the
current moment I have no up to date info on these but am working on it.
*IMPORTANT* If I have not heard from people about the scroll assignments
in question by January 1st 2014 I will be putting them back on the waiting
to be assigned list. Some of the scribes are unknown to me and I have no
contact information for them or there have been no replies to my queries
about the assignments and the scrolls have been assigned for at least 3
Earnferth of Streansalch
Award of Arms
Elffin and Vanna
Assigned Stephanie ( no last name no contact info)
Helen of Northumbria
Award of Arms
Matthew and Anna
Assigned Rhianwen ( no last name no contact info)
Duarte Goncalves de Montel
Vitus and Eleanora
Assigned Ysabella-Maria Vasquez de Granada ( no reply to email)
Ivana zhena Nataliia
Matthew and Anna
Assigned Margarite ( no last name no contact info)
Katharina von der Waldwiese
Assigned Giovanna Lisabetta Ferri (Ferri Sweanson??) No contact info
Award of Arms
Michael and Moira
Assigned unknown (no name no contact info)
Stefan von der Heide
Wlfric and Eira
Assigned Ferri Svensson (could also be Giovanna Lisabetta Ferri no
Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.
Bridget - Signet Clerk.
Monday, November 04, 2013
I just found two of the neatest sources when it comes to English patents and charters: Rotuli litterarum patentium in Turri Londinensi asservati and Rotuli Chartarum in Turri Londinensi asservati (if you can't get free PDFs from these links, try replacing ".de" with your country's domain).
The introduction of the first contains, starting on p. iv, "forms of letters patent in the reign of King John", giving examples of the following:
- safe conduct
- de rato
- de passu
- de intendendo
- of homage
and "miscellaneous", perfect for giving models of salutations and verbiage related to both praise and blame. (The summonses would be wonderful for letters of writ for peerages).
The second also has a tremendous introduction that works you through a formulary of the English charter, introducing each section that is included, what it's purpose was, and providing textual examples. Most useful for SCA text writing purposes are sections 7-9, starting on p. xxx. Section 7 is in "data per manum cancellari" and "data per manum nostrum", that is, whether the charters were issued by the hand of the king or his chancellor. As with patents of arms later in period, many recognitions didn't actually come from the king though they were granted with his approval and permission or at his request. This is something that doesn't often get reflected in SCA texts, where everything is written as coming directly from the granting rulers. I was lucky enough recently that TRM Sven and Siobhan were happy to deviate from this practice and allowed me to write a grant of arms text which came from the Principal Herald rather than the K&Q. Nevertheless, before writing a text like that, I would caution approving the idea with the granting rulers first.
Section 8 covers the datal clause, which discusses when anno domini dates were used, and when regnal dates were used, how months were referred to, whether the place was mentioned, etc., from the Anglo-Saxon charters down to the present time.
Section 9 is about the sealing clause, discussing the different ways that "sigillum" was used (it didn't always indicate a wax seal), how the Anglo-Saxon kings ratified their charters, what types of non-signature marks were used, whether the ratification came before or after the dates, etc.
The actual texts of both books is nothing more than charter after charter, patent after patent -- all in heavily abbreviated Latin, so it would take some worth to uncompressed the information, but, still, wow. I'm sure I'm not the only one who will have fun with these!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
This was not a conventional commission but was graciously agreed to by his Majesty, to have his announcement protecting hedgepigs from traps, or from being roasted in clay, put into writing.
(Lady Delia of Ely was looking after a baby hedgepig in the course of her work, and brought her to Battle of Brothers in July. Wee Horatia became the star attraction of the event, prompting His Majesty's merciful ruling, and Lady Delia will keep the scroll.)
The illumination, done first, is by Lady Agatha of Norwich.
Note that the prince of Insulae Draconis is looking after a pleased-looking lamb, ensuring its safety, while an unnamed knight from Nordmark is being carried off on his shield by two industrious sheep. Meanwhile Lady Delia is walking the hedgepigs in her care, with Horatia is safely tucked into her scrip.
My calligraphy is based on Bodley MS 264, a 14th c copy of Roman de la Rose, in French. It is what I'd call a 'high Gothic' copy, full of illuminations in the margins, with red, blue and gold borders, similar to the style Agatha had chosen for the decoration. It is definitely a quadrata hand, but without the crisp angles of some - there's still a smoothness in its curves which I really like. A nice example of one page to examine closely. The ampersand (the & symbol) for this MS is shaped like a modern numeral 7.
After a very informative class on quill cutting with Mistress Caitlin at 20 year in June, I'm resolved to do all the scrolls I can with quills, and this one is part of that resolution. Caitlin helped me correct my biggest mistakes and I can now get some good quills cut, but getting them the same nib width consistently will take more work.I still don't have the extremely thin strokes that quills can produce, but it's a very consistent result.
Before setting hand to the illuminated page, I blocked out the text on a test page, (copying the amount of space I'd have between the borders) and tested a couple of different line heights, before settling on my old friend 5mm, with extra 3mm? 4mm? space between the lines. Eventually I hope to be able to write between the lines, as the medieval scribes did, but I'm not there yet.
The text was drafted by Lord Nicholas, Rockall herald, with edits from Master Robert, Caversham herald to fit the space given.
Let the Will of His Majesty, Sven of Drachenwald, be heard heeded and obeyed across these lands.
It is His Majesty's desire that the humble hedgepig be given let and leave to live free unmolested and without fear of the trap and the clay.
And furthermore, it is the Will of the said Sven, King of Drachenwald, that the anniversary of the said Battle of Brothers, the thirteenth day of July, be henceforth remembered revered and celebrated as Hedgepig Day wheresoever his writ and rule may extend
And the said Sven doth encourage hope and desire all present and future Monarchs of this realm and their subject Princes, Viceroys, Barons and Lords, as undoubtedly they shall joyously faithfully and devoutly wish, to mark and observe Hedgepig Day its feast and holiday for ever hereafter, as long as man hath membrance.
And further should any subject be they lord or commoner err by disregarding this the Word of their Most Lawful Just and Merciful Sovereign King and in so doing harm any Hedgepig then by intercession of St Horatia and St Henry, may the feet of them and theirs be forever impaled on quills, their grapes rot upon the vine and their cropes be blighted by all manner Slugges and Snayles.
By His Word on the eve of Battle of Brothers in Depedene under Wychwood.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Monday, October 07, 2013
I used a blank recommended by Lady Arianhwy Wen from the signet's selection, by her hand, that had figures on it fighting in the bas de page, very suitable for a Fox recipient.
I calligraphed this and the hedgepig scroll back to back, so the hand is effectively the same: Bodley MS 264.
The text is adapted by Master Robert, Caversham herald. It's apt because West Dragon'shire is the only shire in the kingdom that has a justice of the peace, Earl Paul de Gorey, so her Grace has someone to 'set herself under' as instructed.
Unto our fathful servant Alessandre Melusine do Duncan & Eibhilin prince and princess of Insulae Draconis greet you well in grace & peace.
Know ye that whereas the defence of our lands & keeping of ye peace is foremost in our concerns and being mindful of our coronation oaths We Duncan and Eibhilin aforementioned prince & princess hereby increase our Order of the Fox by addition of Alessandre Melusine to their number charging her Grace to continue in her support of our host under arms in tournaments an, on the field of honour and in the lists. We further charge her to set herself under any justice of the peace of her shire in such matters as are lawful just and necessary.
Done by our hand this V day of October anno sociotatis  at Crown tourney beneath ye walls of Caerphilli.
I did the calligraphy in a summer evening, and painted in the escutcheon the next morning. The weather was warm, and my gouache was drying faster than I could paint, but I was pleased with the outcome. I used gold gouache because I was keen to finish and put the work in the mail.
This long and tall batarde hand is one of my favourites. Once I start doing lowercase Gs and Hs with the long descender, I find it hard to do these letters any other way for awhile.
The text (with advice from my lord Robert Caversham) with its references to Old Republics and Emperors, reflects one of Marcus' other hobbies in SF fandom.
The date refers to a saint, Duke Henry, patron of the Franks, because Marcus has served Frankmark a long time, and also because HRM Sven is a duke himself.
We Sven and Siobhan king and queen of Drachenwald Lord and Lady of Frankmark sole sovereigns of all the lands known to the Old Republic and the Empire of the Romans, to all to whom these letters may come greeting,
Know ye that of our mere motion and especial grace so also in recognition of the faithful services that the bearer of these presents Marcus von Stormarn our well beloved servant heretofore hath given and that he yet may give us and our heirs and lawful successors in this kingdom
Now therefore we have given and granted and do by these letters give and grant unto him a Grant of Arms together with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining including but not limited to this coat of arms that is to say
Azure, a chevron cotised argent between two roundels and a lymphad Or
And so let none prevent the aforementioned Marcus von Stormarn our well beloved servant from lawful enjoyment of the same or in any other manner break against these our letters under pain of our royal vengeance and wrath.
Done this day of St Henry, Duke of Bavaria & defender of the Franks, from our thrones in Knight's Crossing AS 48.
Friday, September 27, 2013
This week, it's knight vs snail - the motif that appears so often in 'high' medieval manuscripts.
I'm fond of snails in manuscripts - I even painted a couple at the foot of our pavilion - and this is a nice review of the motif, and what it might 'mean'.
Other treasures now online include the Luttrell Psalter. Now everyone can see the range of just plain weird hybrids that occur through the book, particularly in the second half.
One way I'm getting a 'dose' of medieval most days is through the British Library Medieval Twitter @BLMedieval. You don't have to contribute to read it, and there's clearly plenty of people out there who enjoy the beauty, the silliness, the puzzle and the charm of manuscripts as absorbing as I do. Example:
Have another snail battle; you guys deserve it! A slingshot's worth a try (Royal MS 10 E IV, f. 45r) @BLMedieval pic.twitter.com/BZs5aBoUiK
— Sarah J Biggs (@SarahJBiggs) September 26, 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
The story is not new first posted in April, but it was new to me. There are closeups in the historian's Flickr account. The text is in Croatian, but at first glance, the hand is not so different from other 15th c business hands I've seen. It's in a collection of business letters, rather than a book w/ a single topic.
Since they are in a bound book of letters, rather than on a single page, it suggests to me that the cat was walking across the book when it was open, not the individual page as it was being produced...but perhaps the book was open on a reading desk? was being copied or referenced in a library?
Monday, September 09, 2013
Sunday, September 08, 2013
[Cross-posted from my C&I blog.]
It is always a pleasure to scrolls for heralds. It is always a pleasure to do scrolls for friends. When the recipient is both a herald and a friend? Even better. Dubhghall has served the Drachenwald College of Heralds for many years, and I was honored to be given the assignment of his Grant of Arms. The cool part is that since it is a GoA, I can use an actual GoA text for its intended purpose, instead of having to rewrite it to fit the requirements of other SCA awards. Furthermore, medieval GoAs were issued not by royalty but by the relevant principal herald or king of arms. As it so happens, I am currently the principal herald of Drachenwald, so I was able to adjust the text accordingly.
The bulk of the text was written Aug. 22 and reads:
To all present and to come who these present letters shall see or hear Aryanwy verch Cadvael alias Schwarzdrachen principal herald at arms of all parts of this Kingdom of Drachenwald greetings and love with humble recommendation. Equity will and right ordains that virtuous men and of noble courage be by their merits and reknown rewarded and not only their persons in this mortal life so brief and transitory but afterwards their memory and posterity likewise shall in all places have great honour and virtue before others both present and to come perpetually shining by certain and definite signs and demonstrations of honour and courtesy. To wit by blazon helmet and crest in order that they by their examples may all the sooner spur others again to force themselves perseveringly to use their days in deeds and feats of arms and virtuous and courageous works to gain the renown of that ancient courtesy in their lineage and posterity. And where that nobleness is once in the blood it may not be lost without too long continuance in sloth and vices: Also as Gaius Alammunius says That honest poverty takes away no part of nobleness, And the Doctor Bartholomew in his treatise of tokens of Arms says, If the arms be once ours they may in no wise be taken away from us. Whereby that which was most prudently devised in the beginning to stir and kindle the hearts of men to the imitation of virtue and nobleness, even so is the same continually observed to the end that such as have done commendable ser vice to their King, Prince or Baron whether in war or peace may receive due honour and reward in their lives as according to both law and custom. For this end I, the Schwarzdrachen Herald at Arms as above mentioned, have at the request, urging, and formal command by my Sovereigns Sven and Sio bhan king and queen of all the lands of Drachenwald from Frostheim in the north to Kalavirki in the West, from Adamestor in the South to Saint John of Rila in the east who having rightfully received the thrones from Thorvaldr and Tofa, who sat before them and received from Paul and Aryanhwy, who sat before them and received from Sven the fourth by that name and Siobhan the first, have not only by common renown but also by the witness and re port of noble and gentle men worthy of credence been truly informed, notified, apprised, and advised that Dougal MacEverard of the Barony of Aar nimetsä, companion of the Order of the Ring of Lindquist, gentleman who has for a long time followed feats of arms in [this] as well as in his other affairs and offices has carried himself valiantly and governed honourably, has thereby truly deserved and is worthy that henceforth perpetually he and afterwards his memory be in all places honourably admitted, renowned, accounted, numbered and received in the number and in the company of other former courteous and noble men and for this seeing as all these things also nobly and rightfully done, forthwith fulfill the earnest request and solemn entreaty of the said Sovereigns in this case, as right and reason will it, for the remembrance of this courtesy by virtue of the authority and po wer confirmed, ratified, and attributed to my office of Herald by the king and queen abovesaid truly advertise, announce, report, and declare that the aforenamed Sovereigns have ordained and assigned, and hereby grant to the said Dougal MacEvrart for him and him alone the blazon set down in the College of Arms in the following manner: To wit argent, a wolf rampant and in chief two roundels sable, as the picture in the margin shows it, to have and to hold for himself alone to invest for ever. Acting in due faith and fidelity on the will, power, and authority of my sovereigns and liege lords the most noble kings of Drachenwald aforementioned, I have drawn up the present letter by my own hand, and in witness whereof Sven and Siobhan the said king and queen have signed it with their hands. Given at Unikankare the vii of September in the year of the society xlviii, the iv month of our reign:
The text is composed from the 1492 grant of arms to Thomas Elyott and the 1480 to Christopher Brown.
The design is based on that of the grant to Thomas Barowe, 1477; I settled on this one on Aug. 24, then drew the layout, the lines, and the initial and shield. It's a A3 sheet with 5cm margins and .5cm lines (2+3).
Sun. Aug. 25 I began in earnest, starting with outlining the shield and the initial "T", in paint rather than with a pen as I often do. While working on it, I posted the following status to FB:
Working on the biggest scroll I've ever done: A3. That might not seem big to some, but my default calligraphy is "small" and so lends itself better to small scrolls. But this text has ~450 words, nearly twice the longest I've ever done, so I'll need all the space!
A few seconds later, the first person to "like" this status was the recipient, who, at that time, was still completely in the dark. Cue big grin!
Hesitant to do the gilding next, and still awaiting an emblazon of the arms from Robyn (since she is skilled with computer graphics and I do much better if I have something to trace), I then began the calligraphy during Gwen's nap. About 5 lines in, I realized I had way too little text, so I began changing duplicate to triplicate, triplicate to quadruplicate. Then Master Þorfinn from Lochac shared a link to an amazing Augmentation of Arms for Master Gwynford Lloyd that he'd done, and then very kindly sent me the text. His text was 800+ words, and I happily cribbed some nice turns of phrase from it, and decided to leave a larger gap at the bottom (maybe for a seal some day?) than planned. I did about 3.5 hours of calligraphy that day, until I reached the recipient's name and my hand cried "stop". Aug. 26, I completed the calligraphy in another 1.5 hours. There are only four egregious typos: three duplicated/misplaced words, and one that was omitted altogether. All other typos involved transpose letters, or spelling "renown" with a k ("reknown"), a misspelling which plagues me regularly. Not bad out of 713 words!
I drew and painted the arms on Aug. 27. For the arms, I used one of the wolves in the Pennsic Traceable Art Project. Last was putting down the gold size and then the gold leaf. That took up (not counting the waiting time for the size to cure) about 1.5 hours, so all told, this scroll took about 7 hours to complete.
The gilding process was rather fraught, and there was a brief period of ACK! when this happened:
Thank goodness for Ari who walked me through how to clean it up, and then cautioned me to set it aside and finish cleaning the edges the next day. Aug. 28 I spent about 20 min. cleaning it up, and erasing pencil lines, and reached a point where I'm sure someone with more facility with gold could probably do better but I'm going to stop now because otherwise I think I'd make it worse.
I am very happy with this scroll. It's certainly in my top 5 of ones that I've done, and it's coming very close to vying for #1.
© 2013, Sara L. Uckelman.
Monday, July 22, 2013
This week there's a post about a Carolingian Bible digitised, which includes behind the scenes pics of the process.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
But my views are changing somewhat, with a newfound interest in foliage, acanthus leaves, and painting in perspective. And so today's beautiful image is from Sforza Hours
Plus a very pleasing hand - huge Gothic letters, that somehow do not look crowded, even on a tiny page - pages measure 130 x 95 mm. Amazing.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Bridget offered a link to the blog Surface Fragments about how to paint trompe-l'oeil. It's excellent and helpful - so good, I'm posting it again, because I don't want anyone to miss it.
And: Ari Mala was commenting on working on acanthus painting (the twisty foliage so common in medieval and renaissance illumination). The same blog has four-post series about painting acanthus leaf!
Plus a post about how to draw an acanthus scroll (almost same curve as you see in a nautilus shell, or 'phi-spiral', apparently), which is hugely helpful.
Of course, after posting my previous 'I wanna learn' message I remembered there's a medieval how-to handbook for this - the Gottigen Modelbook.
It's online (the interface is slightly dated, but works in my browser), and it even compares the how-to book to the finished work in a copy of the Gutenberg Bible (this part, using Flash, doesn't work as smoothly for me).
Now back from the 20-year celebration, and what a splendid happy event it was. There's lots to say about it, but for here, I thank Mistress Bridget for organising the scriptorium - an airy room with good light and enough space to spread out.
The instruction I got in cutting quills from Mistress Caitlin will change how I handle them, and I'm itching to try it out. I've read many instructions about quill cutting - there's a short description in many books - but there's no comparison to getting personal guidance from a regular quill user...and using a really, really sharp knife.
Assisting in two courts, I saw such an array of beautiful work that it's hard to put into words - we have an embarrassment of scribal riches in this kingdom and should take pride in it.
ETA: still more links courtesy of Surface Fragments: a whole book, on archive.org, about drawing acanthus leaves, from a 19th c designer, James Page. Very much in the Victorian style, but beautiful drawings and etchings to supplement the wordy instructions.
Guide for drawing the acanthus, and every description of ornamental foliage; (1886)
This is a great fat file, no matter how you download it. But I recommend the drawing instructions (vs carving, engraving, mouldings, etc)
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Ignore the calligraphy--it isn't great, as I rarely use that hand and Gothic has permeated it. I'm just quite pleased with the beastie. It's Harley 4751, iirc, if you want to go look.
the book of hours of Johanna the Mad (aka Johanna of Aragon, sister of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's wife no. 1) is now online, courtesy of the British Library.
Add MS 18852
BL's shiny new viewer allows you to page through the MS, and enlarge to gigantic proportions to examine the ductus (very unusual 'Gothic with humanistic features', says BL) and the details of the initials. (It does not, however, allow you to right-click-save image.)
It's hard to remember this beautiful work is only 11cm x 8cm, with a working space of just 5cm x 3.5 cm.
Here's just one page, 21v: glorious! Enjoy your viewing.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I want to apologise to all the scribes who came to work in the room and found themselves moved or shut out due to the rose party on Thursday (and had I been there when that happened I assure it would not have), then because people kept wanting to come and remove all the tables and chairs pretty well all day on Saturday. The room was supposed to be ours and it wasn't and as some of you mentioned to me this made you ( the scribes there) feel a lot like 2nd class citizens, unimportant and not wanted.
Let me tell you this is not the case as far as I am concerned you are among THE most important people in the kingdom and I will do my damnedest to make sure crap like this doesn't happen again but I am really sorry it did.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
This month the British Library is featuring the 'Golf Book' on its blog. It's not a book about golf, but it does contain a miniature showing men playing proto-golf (calendar pg for September, 27r, apparently).
The book is no longer complete, but the intact miniatures are attributed to Simon Bening, one of the great 16th c Flemish artists.
I'm paging through it and find things like this:
I've had a go at doing shaded initials before, but a recent experience shows me that I really don't know what I'm doing. I feel like I'm painting things in the wrong order, and just making a mess of what is probably a straightforward process.
Does anyone know of decent how-to instructions, for painting figures with perspective/shadowing/3D effects? I have a half-dozen books at home, but as yet, I haven't 'clicked' onto the process and I think it will be embarrassingly easy, once I know how. Please advise!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
It's a beautiful small
It's in slightly rough condition - the shell gold is wearing off and there's only a few decorated initials and some line fillers. The hand is a beautiful clear secretary hand, that manages to look big and easy to read, even when you know the lines are only 1/4" high.
The nifty part for me, though, is that Jane wrote across the bottom of several pages - looks like a note to her jailer in the Tower, before she gave the book to him. It goes from 74v - 80r.
She is close in age to Elizabeth I, and would have had a similar 'Renaissance' education, and her hand is very clearly Italic in style, similar to Elizabeth's own hand.
We sometimes think that hands follow each other in sequence, with the old style coming to a screeching halt somehow when a new one arrives.
This is a great illustration that more than one style can share the same place in time; that the noble youth were being taught the newfangled style from Italy, though the secretary bookhand was still in style. BUT: the book decoration is very much 'Renaissance' with the big initials looking three-dimensional and decorated after the Italian style.
ETA: a psalter is a book of the Psalms, which is one of the books of the Bible. This book is actually not psalms from the Bible but devotional prayers in English, written for the new audience of English Christians who followed the 'reforms' of Henry VIII rather than the 'old church'. Sorry for that confusion!
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I write to you as a signet clerk of Nordmark. When I stepped in the office
of signet, so the backlog had not been updated since 2007. There is a
large amount of scrolls which have not yet been made.
If there are any of you out there who feel you would like to help reduce
Nordmarks the backlog by calligraphy or illumination so you are welcome to
Please contact me
Lady Alfhild the Foxley
Signet Clerk of Nordmark
Monday, April 08, 2013
Saturday, April 06, 2013
A German supplier for calligraphy ( among other things) parchment from various animals. Their site is in English and German although the shop is so far as I gave discovered only German. You can request a catalogue.
Altenburg “Pergament & Trommelfell”
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I've done three Macclesfield initials with 3mm letters. The first is this one:
However, you have unbiased eyes, and I'd like observations, please! Is it worth persevering?
Sunday, February 24, 2013
New PDFs added under "Class notes and how to's" If you have any class PDFs you'd like to see added please send me the link.
Cleaned up the Wiki and moved the link for now to class notes. We were hacked and had a redirect added ( now removed ) and had to clear through the nearly 300 fake users. If you were a legit user and had your account removed then please sign up again.
In the wiki I removed all the titles from the "meet the scribes" listing. As titles change over time it makes it a bit of work to change and do a redirect so better that we list the scribe names without titles ( you can add them to your individual page if you wish) Your pages should also now redirect to the untitled name link, please check to make sure everything is in order.
All official Drachenwald scribal communication is either through the yahoo email list of via email to and from the signet office. Facebook is NOT an official Drachenwald Scribe site and as not everyone is on facebook I would advise people to remember this. If you wish to convey official information to the Drachenwald Scribal community please do so through the email list.
This blog is open to any and all scribes of the kingdom of Drachenwald. It is unofficial and as blogger allows me to add only 100 contributors I weed out the inactive from time to time. Anyone can read or submit a comment so if you are not actually wanting to post anything then you do not need to be on the contributor list. If you wish to be an active contributor then email me ( address on the sidebar) and let me know what email address you wish to sign up with. Blogger sends you and invite with instructions.
Anyone wishing to become a scribe may contact the various signets for information. Their contact information can be found on the side bar.
There are two scriptoriums coming up:
Scriptorium & 30th Anniversary
16th March, West Dragonshire (England) Hosted by Lady Arianrhod, Signet of ID ( address on the side bar)
Scriptorium at Drachenwald XX Year Celebration & Coronation Hosted by Various.
19-23 June, Drachenwald (Germany)
There will be scribal relevant classes on going during this scriptorium,
anyone wishing to teach should contact Mistress Melisende Fitzwalter
any suggestions, questions or queries about this blog may be directed to me ( see side bar)
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Lots of Ames lettering guides. Now scribes of Drachenwald will never have to worry about finding them again.
Right. On with the 30-day challenge. We'll see if I can conquer a small version of Gothic....I doubt it.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Saturday, February 09, 2013
- fine dental plaster (unslaked) - loads of this, because the smallest quantity I could buy was 1kg - is the bulk of gesso
- armenian bole - I have lots, and you only ever need a tiny amount to tint gesso
- gum ammoniac in chunks, not liquid - adhesive for gold
- gum arabic, chunks not liquid - another adhesive and all-round useful additive
- pumice powder, to add to pounce
- gum sandarac, also goes into pounce
- refined ox gall liquid - plenty available, for thinning pigments to keep them running smoothly, used 1 drop at a time
If you are interested in any of these materials, I can bring them with me. I have some small containers, but if you have your own teeny jam jars or small sealable bags, that would be a great help.
You can put a donation towards my drinks fund, but I'd be interested in swapping any interesting tools or materials you've found that you have spare. Do you have favourite nibs, pen handles, scraping knives, and have a spare?
Items that you've already found useful are best - I'm not after your tools, so much as your experience of what works for you, for what results. Art shops are full of cool tools, but I want to know what works for other Society scribes, from them.
Please contact me, here or by e-mail, to let me know what you would like, and I'll make sure I'll bring it. I'm on public transport, so I'll bring items on request, but not on spec.
Here's to more nifty toys to try out!
Monday, February 04, 2013
Design notes: Richard and Lena favour early-ish personas, so I chose an exemplar from as early as I could find, in a hand I was confident in. I wanted something that featured both calligraphy, and (a limited amount of) gilding.
Cue the Byzantines! or rather, an Ottonian bible from Trier (Holy Roman Empire in Germany stealing Byzantine style and fire), from 10th/11th century. I was thrilled to find this work. It combines many of my favourite elements: white space, less-is-more emphasis on text, gold and red together.
For a text, I asked Lyonet and Arianrhod if one of them would be willing to consider writing a 'viking-like' text, one of those early alliterative things (poetry is not my strong point!) and Arianrhod replied with a text fully-formed the next day. Hurrah for a poet's productive insomnia.
Hwaet! Now virtuous Vitus unlocks the word-hoard;
white-limbed Isabel holds out her hand.
Sing, scop, of mighty times when high was built mead-hall,
Richard the Rampant dealt out rings,
riches at feasts. Lena Peaceweaver
loaned honour to the hall high and horn-gabled,
every day heard noise of revelry
loud in the hall; there was harmony of the harp,
the sweet song of the poet; learned lords and ladies
travelled the whale-road to win her wisdom.
Then was there peace and prosperity
in the Principality: Richard with mighty thews
held hard the boundaries from Iceland to Wight,
proved with his prowess his right to rule.
White-thighed Lena held hospitality.
Generosity of heart showed they both;
their war-bands were wise in ways of court as well.
Now come they before Vitus just successor
and Isabel sweet-voiced who pronounce these patents:
that those who serve enthroned in war and peace
should receive viscounty rank and rights of arms.
Rise, Viscount Richard. Viscountess Lena, rise.
Take right to rank and coronet from crowned Vitus
to use and bear without let at hard-won leisure.
Done in Deepdene shining shire
Anno societatis seven and forty on February’s second day.
The artwork did not follow the formatting perfectly: I made one artistic decision (starting a line with N, because I couldn't find an H that I liked)...and one mistake, resulting in a jogged line.
I also had to sacrifice matching the spacing exactly - my page wasn't quite big enough for the number of lines + the line height I wanted. My next effort from this work will be better spaced.
There are no red dots in the original - these are another artistic decision, to emphasise the form of the poetry and hint at how to read it.
Source image: from Rylands Medieval Collection Collection MS 98, University of Manchester. (requires decent connection, very image and navigation-heavy).
This makes day 22 of my 30 day challenge.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I am particularly pleased with the light reflections on the ribbons.
Friday, January 18, 2013
I'd like to also ask little help. I am planning to make few smaller blank scrolls and I need to figure out few really short versions of AoA/any other text. Something what would be only like 4-6 lines of text but still polite/ appropriate. I am really bad for doing it by myself, as I start to stress about the text and right phrasing
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
But I thought people might enjoy it.
Ari, in a previous post gave the text of the Dragon's Bowle scroll for Genevieve and Robert (as I said when we gave it, I want to be them when I grow up. Unfortunately, Joel has reminded me that I will never be as tall as Robert). This lovely poem was adapted from a skeleton that I had sent her, and for people's amusement, I thought I'd post the original.
This was written New Year's Eve, during which Joel and I were manfully (womanfully?) doing our best to reduce the number of open alcohol bottles that had to be moved to Germany, and a few days into dealing with a horrendously jet-lagged little baby. We were sitting in front of the fire, and every line or so I'd ask Joel for a rhyme or a synonym and he uniformly produced something snarky, sarcastic, or inappropriate.
Thank goodness for evil twins with much greater poetic ability!
Rede ye now the wyse and wonderful words of Paul and Aryanhwy, Drachenwaldish kings A praiseworthy life values virtue above swords, And a life pure and clene .... sings [I knew I needed a word here but didn't know what, hence the ellipses] To commit no vice, to have good grace, redie wit To be meet and seemly in garb and in speech To stand as witness to others of all that is fit And teaching and enriching all in their reach, To dance and to play, to serve and to lead. Before us stand the best and the brightest Who have set themselves above the rest by deed By word, by dress, by kenning of all things blest. Now from our hands the bowle of the Dragon take Genevieve la flechiere and Robert of Canterbury As witness of our esteem and for our own sake So done we this day, the fourth day of January The eve of 12th Night, anno societatis forty-three Signed by our hands in Lyndhurst, by Burley.
See, isn't the end product much nicer? :) I luckily realized once I hit college that I was no poet.
And here's the scroll, which was done on perhaps the awesomest blank that I have ever received, by Mærith aff Weselax:
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Check the 30day tag.
ETA: I can add images from my laptop only in HTML mode, rather than the wysiwyg mode in Blogger. Go figure.
I would ask that all scribes who are planning to come to DW20 consider bringing equipment/ materials and books so you have "stuff to do".
When I get more details I will post them.
Monday, January 07, 2013
I had the privilege of doing several wordings and scrolls over the past couple of months, of in conjunction with other scribes.
One was for a joint Dragon's Bowle, for Dame Genevieve and Master Robert. Her then-majesty wrote a poem, which she asked me to improve upon, poetry being (mundanely) rather my thing. If she so wishes, Aryanhwy can post the original in a comment--I'm not going to post her work without permission. What it came out as, however, was this:
This, however, is a much better example of an early Gothic hand (as in a Gothic hand which is early in the range of dates, not as in a proto-Gothic hand):
In both of these scrolls, I used raised gold. There was a discussion on what to use as base for gilding. I find it easy to use Roberson's water gold size (as sold by Cornelissen) to do nicely raised effects. I do two coats: a flat one, then a thicker one to gain height. I have to be careful when adding that I add the same amount evenly to the space treated (generally by moving the brush in tiny circles), and not getting bubbles, but it's really quite easy to master. The water gold size is (judging from the smell) mostly garlic and gum arabic. There's no plaster, so it is a size and not a gesso.
Gold is transfer gold (again from Cornelissen). I prefer to use 23 carat extra-thick transfer leaf, rather than the 24-carat thinner stuff. It does make a difference--less reapplication--despite the fact that I'm sure the 23 carat stuff is only microscopically thicker.
In the Sigillum, I am most pleased with the whitework on the blue bar.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
The event is cheap and the stewards are very user friendly.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Greetings all you wonderful scribes! What a year this has been! So many amazing works of art produced and so many happy people. You guys are pretty amazing!
I wanted to thank each of you who have contributed to the glory of the kingdom personally. Without your extraordinary talents and hard work this kingdom would be a lesser place. For those of you who have given me a street mailing address I have tried to send out a small thank you card / gift. I am still working through my list so if you have not yet received a card / small gift from me can you let me know?
If you have not given me a snail mail address and have done work for the kingdom this year and would like to receive mail from the signet then please feel free to email me your snail mail address ( coupled with your SCA name) and I will do my best to make sure you know just how thankful I am, as Signet and fellow scribe, to be able call upon your talents. You all make my job so easy and for that I am truly grateful.
We have a busy last half of the SCA year coming up as our incoming King and Queen have a pretty full RP and we also have the 20 years celebration to look forward to. It's going to be the year of the scribe really so let's make it a good one. Encourage each other, share ideas, be brave and try new things!
There are two listed scriptoriums this year so far, one in Sweden and one in the UK ( pls see the kingdom-event-calendar for details) as well as endless opportunities to do work for the Kingdom, the two principalities and the baronies.
One of the things I would like, as Kingdom Signet, to see is a much greater pooling of resources among all of the scribes, so that we all get to know each other better and can serve all aspects of the kingdom. Greater communication and more active scribes serving ALL regions of the kingdom will mean less burn out and a wider variety of artwork as well as a larger knowledge base.
One of the goals this year is to enlarge the central data base of scribes via the dragon scribes wiki and help bring the Drachenwald scribal community even closer together. dragon scribes wiki
If you are a scribe who wishes to work make sure you have joined the kingdom mailing list groups.yahoo.com/group/dragon_scribes/ This is THE official kingdom mailing list for the scribes and it is here that most of the assignments will be first listed. If you want to work then please let the signets know.
If you are new to the world of scribes and want to join in do not hesitate to contact any of the signet clerks listed on the sidebar, find your local scribes and ask for advice, help and join in the fun.
In the last six months almost 100 scrolls were created and this is pretty amazing! You are all amazing and you should be incredibly proud of the work you do. I know that I am proud to work with you and for you all.
So here's to 2013 and the beautiful things we will create.
very best wishes,
Bridget, signet clerk
Saturday, December 29, 2012
After struggling to handle loose gold, and losing a certain amount to its tendency to ball up into nothing on a whim, I realised I was missing some technique. It's a pretty refined skill.
So I spent one day of my challenge on looking up examples of people handling loose gold. It appears that most (not all) manuscript gilders who post to YouTube prefer to use transfer gold; but those who gild wood, leather and motorcycle tankss (!) are happy to post films on their skills.
The link goes to my LiveJournal, where I've put together the best of what I found on YouTube. If you have favourite footage of people handling loose gold for gilding, please let me know where to find it. I'm tracking my challenge with the tag 30day.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
I chose a piece from a commentary on the Psalms, early 13th c, from Austria; the image is from HMML. I love the hand (early Gothic, can't go wrong for me) but was also pushed to try raised gold - the largest and most complex I've tried.
One drawback of this digital library is that the size of the page is not recorded - almost all the images are of the 'shiny bits' of illumination, with few whole-page images. So I matched the size of the illumination to the size of the text, to fit on a piece of A5 vellum.
This gold was laid using Miniatum, a size by Kolner, which I found thicker and heavier than Cornelissen's own 'improved gold body'. It's transfer gold, rather than loose gold, so it has some shine but not the mirror gloss.
I don't think I've yet done this illumination justice, but it serves as my starting point for the 30 day challenge.
Important point I learned *after* finishing this item - you can scrape and reshape the size, and the gold after being laid down, with a knife blade, to get crisp straight edges and smooth curves. I'd originally thought you had to lay the glue+gold down perfectly, then tidy the edges with paint outlines. My next pieces will benefit from figuring this tweak out.
Another note - it's easier to lay small areas, than try to do an entire figure like this one (with many small patches). Next time...
The Latin text is courtesy HRM Aryanhwy.
|Callig done, glue laid|
|Gold laid (photo poor, sorry)|
|Finished initial, with whitework and outlining|
I uploaded two scrolls that I did for Adamestor's Yule event this weekend to my FB C&I album, and as I was paging down the album to get to the end, one of my earlier photos caught my eye -- I recognized the initial. Sure enough, I looked a bit closer, and it was another scroll that I'd also done on a blank, and it was the same exemplar, and same artist who did the illumination.
So I thought it would be interesting to do a compare and contrast of some collaboration between Sayyida Amal and myself, separated by three years:
|Lindquistringes for Chiara degli Danielli||AoA for Lorcan Rochford|
I don't actually have the details, but I'm pretty sure I did the calligraphy for Chiara's while at Raglan, which is why it's not very good; I have trouble getting my line widths right when I'm working on the fly. Lorcan's was also rather last minute, but I was able to do it at home, with a bit more time to compose the text and make sure that I had the right line width and pen nib.
Enjoy! It shows how different the same thing can be.