Well I obviously didn’t manage to keep up with my scrolls since it’s been two weeks since I posted! Last week was busy with the end of the semester and prepping final exams, and this week I was grading and partly just lazy. I did manage to pencil and ink a layout and I knew what I wanted to do for the scroll, but I just didn’t manage to get to it until today.
Whitework illumination of this type was popular from about the 11th century onward. It’s often used around and within illuminated capitals and as border or “bar” designs. There are lots of varieties of patterns and this is another area where the imagination can just go! Both straight line and curling patterns are common, as I’ve used here, and you frequently see a variety of designs within the same illumination, so don’t feel that you have to follow the same pattern throughout the entire scroll.
I had fun doing this blank, once I got it started. I carefully read through the Whitework Class Handout provided by Mistress Katarina Helene von Schonborn and, after looking through my supplies, found that I had a size 00 liner brush to use. As Mistress Katarina recommends, it’s good to have a brush with slightly longer hair (the 00 has hairs about 1/2″ long) and that comes to a good point so you can make a fine line. The aptly named liner brush works well for this!
Two of the really good sources for this type of design are the Maciejowski Bible (also known as the Morgan Picture Bible) from the 13th century and the Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus from the 14th century. The Hunting Book also has many good examples of diaper patterns – likely more on that in a future post!