Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Monday, March 03, 2014
If you're attending, save yourself expense and storage and get only the quantity of esoteric materials you really need!
Sadly this does require attendance in person - Royal Mail frowns on shipping even small containers of white powders.
Also: if you want any pergamenata to practice with or use for scrolls, please contact me with a postal address. I have lots, and can ship scroll-sized pieces easily.
Please get in touch via the blog or contact me at email@example.com.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Forward to January about a month ago. Anneke is besides a good archer one of those people who does unwanted and often unnoticed duties at events, like kitchen cleaning, helps where needed without fussing about it and in general has really become one of Aarnimetsians and Scadians in those about three years she has been a member of the society. So when someone asked if they would make a recommendation of Award of Arms for her, could they propose me as a scribe I very gladly agreed. So when I got to know she would indeed get the AoA, I started the normal pondering of the scroll and thought it would be nice to have something about archery in its illumination.
Then I almost got a heart attack! Anneke contacted me and said she had found nice picture of Medieval lady with a bow and an arrow. I thought who the h*** had told her she would get an AoA! And I almost asked it from her, but fortunately I then remembered the older scroll and my by then half forgotten promise and realized she was talking about it. So I asked about the picture, said thanks – and used it as an inspiration for her AoA scroll.
It was so fun to be a lady-in-waiting of our Baron and Baroness at the court of Midwinter Feast last weekend and see quite closely when King and Queen gave her the scroll and she realized what I had done! Talk about fighters, being a scribe can also be quite exiting sometimes.
Monday, February 10, 2014
The second piece is work by Mistress Genevieve for Marcus von Stormarn and it is a Grant of Arms.
The seals were done in steps. First I make a beeswax cup using an old glass jar lid as a mould. Once the wax has hardened and is removed from the mould it is a nice smooth disc. I then use a potter's tool to carve away the wax from the center out to form a cup. The next step is to cut away the wax to make a small channel for the strip or the small weave that will hold the seal to the scroll. Once this is done I can then melt more bees wax, add a tiny amount of dry red pigment to the mix. I then pour this into the cup and wait until the wax forms a skin, once it is semi hardened I then use the seal and apply a light pressure as too much will make wax squirt out and / or break the whole thing. Then I let everything dry and harden in a cool place away from the sunlight.
Friday, January 10, 2014
|King's 322 f.1|
This is 15th C Italian, love sonnets with some fun bits and pieces. She told me that she felt the rain on the heart symbolized, for her, the love of the populace she always felt. We had discussed at great length about her Duchy scroll and I knew that she wanted something very colourful with bling, in her words, something girly.So here are some images of the finished scroll with some closeups of the gold and the fun stuff.
The gilding is done with a ground made from Gum Arabic, sugar and distilled water. This recipe never fails me and I get the best shine from it. I also lay the paper on an old mouse pad when I burnish it seems to make it easier.
She was very happy which was great! I didn't think I would enjoy doing this piece because it's not something I'd ever pick for myself but it was what she wanted. In the end it was a fun piece to use and work from.
It's done on pergamenata, with gouache and water-colours, oak-gall ink, 23kt double ducat gold and it took around two seasons of a tv show which is what I tend to have on in the background when I work.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Robert did the impressions of the seals, and I made the seal bag.
While I can always do some individual steps better, I'm pretty pleased with the overall effect.
Monday, January 06, 2014
When I was given a scroll assignment with two month's lead time, I knew immediately that I wanted to push the boat out, to do something that stretched my limits in terms of composition, decoration, calligraphy, and gilding. The scroll was for Lady Efridis who has served as Sven and Siobhan's personal herald for two reigns -- doing an excellent job -- and I wanted it to be something of a personal thank you too, one herald to another.
I ended up using every bit of my two months, completing it New Year's Day. You can read about the step-by-step making of the scroll elsewhere, but here I'll settle for lots and lots of pictures. :)
Because I knew this would be elaborate, I took photos after each stage. It's fun to look back on some of the middle steps -- the garish "blocks of solid color" stage -- and see just how much proper whitework can really deepen and strengthen a scroll.
The gilding on this went so much better than last time. This can be attributed to a number of things: I put down a very thick coat of size, and then let it cure overnight, not beginning the gilding until the next morning. I rehydrated very small portions at a time, and likewise only gilded small portions at a time, overlapping while working on the large blocks, e.g., of the initial. There were some places where it didn't stick as well as I would've liked (such as on the initial), so whenever I had a leftover bit, I'd apply it again to the initial, with the result that eventually all of the holes filled. If you look closely, you can see that there are rough and uneven spots -- but most people won't be looking closely, because they'll be blinded by the shine!
And now for some close-ups:
Close-up of the initial.
Bottom left-hand corner with Albion's head.
Upper right-hand corner with some of the in-text initials.
Bottom border with Queen's edelweiss and Albion's head
|Sigillum Coronae Queen for Mistress Katheryn Hebenstreitz|
|Duchy scroll for Siobhan|
|Gilliam Blackhorn's LONG overdue Knighting scroll.|
Friday, December 27, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
I recently came across these citations which likely have useful material for cribbing for scroll texts. Since I don't have time to track them down yet, and others may also find them interesting, I'm posting them here:
- A Collection of Miscellaneous Grants, Crests, Confirmations, Augmentations, and Exemplifications of Arms, part 2, ed. W. A. Littledale, Hrl. Soc. 77 (1926). (and probably also part 1!)
- J. Nicholl, Some Account of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers (1851), which includes the text of their grant.
- The Annals of the Barber-Surgeons of London, ed. S. Young (1890), which also includes the text of their grant.
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
Codex San-Florianensis III, 205 A.
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.