A place for Drachenwald's scribes to hang out, learn, discuss and critique each others work.

Monday, January 07, 2013

New scrolls, gilding, et al.

Greetings, fellow scribes!  And welcome to the new Julian year.

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:

Reck ye the wordis wyse and wonder-full
of Paul and Aryanhwy, Drachenwaldish kings:
A preyse-woorthi lyfe values but vertu merritt-ful
and to a chast lyfe the wertws one clings;
commits no vyce, has grace and reddie witt,
ys meete and modest yn beryng and speche
bringys report to all of all wich be fit,
teches and succors all within reche
yn daunsynge and plaie; eke, to serue and leade.
Stond twoo here nowe, the moost bright and blest,
that kings deme moost hie of werdis and dede,
of curteys berying, with Goddes grace imprest.
Nowe from our hondis the dragonnes bowle take,
Genevieve Rouge Mauche and Caversham who Robert hight,
in token of owre esteeme and for owre own dere sake.
This do we both on this eue of twelft nyght
yn Dragonnes-schyre of auncient fayme
and sett to owre hondes to scele the sayme.

Then I set to work on Ary's county.  The wording I took from http://www.nps.gov/fora/forteachers/draft-grant-of-arms-to-the-cittie-of-ralegh.htm , because I fell in love with some of the phraseology and spelling.  So I was pleased with the wording.  The illumination was taken from a 15th century grant of arms to Hugh Vaughan, as found in Michael Siddons' book Welsh Heraldry.  In this I did something I rarely do, which is repeat a design.  But it was 20 years ago, and in a different kingdom, so I figured I'd try to improve on it.  This is the result:

I am really quite pleased with the illumination.  The shading is much better than my previous attempt, and these days I understand how to fold an acanthus leaf.  The callig, however--well, I tried to do Gothic small.  This is an example of how not to do it.  Sizing is dreadful; majuscules float above the line; and it doesn't help that I did in on a dining room table with the owner thereof essenentially saying "are you done yet."

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):

The letter-height is a millimetre higher, which makes all the difference.  I am also pleased by how the upper and lower curves echo each other.

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.

in service,



Genevieve la flechiere said...

I was admiring the evenness of the gold application on Duarte's scroll. The gilding round the initial is lovely and smooth, especially for a large area.

It was a scribing -rich event, really!

Sara / Aryanhwy said...

I would *love* to see a picture of the other scroll you've done from the same exemplar!

Ari said...

It's in my first FB album, somewhere... It's a Laurel, and has a gauntlet instead of the banner, as it was for Laurellate in armouring...