Continuing my updates, here are the scrolls I’ve been working on over the last few months. We’ve had a busy time here, with 12th Night, Val Day, and Terpsichore at the Tower all having royalty in attendance, so there’s been a lot of scribal work to do.
For 12th Night I was assigned a Cavendish Knot, a fencing award, for a lady who goes by the nickname of Fish. I did a little searching and found a cool manuscript from the 7th century where many of the illuminated capitals are actually made up of simplified fish shapes! I used an example of a capital S from the manuscript and the followed the same pattern to frame the award’s device at the bottom. The recipient was very excited and found me just after court to say thank you, which is always nice to hear.
Val Day brought me a Dragon’s Heart, which is a pretty significant award, so I like to do something a little fancier for these. I decided on an Italian White Vine design – a 15th century style that originated in Italy (go figure) and became popular throughout Europe. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and I was reminded how enjoyable the style is. The nice thing is that, while the design can be complex, the painting is not – basically solid areas of color filling in the spaces between the vines, with no shading required. Right up my alley!
Finally, there was a short court list for Terpsichore (less than a month after Val Day) and I was assigned a Purple Fret for a person who is very active in the music and dance community. I looked for some appropriate medieval musical notation and found a 14th century manuscript that included the notation for a popular song called “Sumer is Icumen In” (basically Summer is Coming) and used that as the basis for my scroll. Like the original, I alternated lines of musical notation with text and had alternating lines of black and red lettering.
I like the freehand capitals I devised for this one, as well as the highlight details on the fret. Little touches like the white detail really make the form stand out and give a more finished look.
Now we should have some time off from scribal work since there isn’t a court scheduled in our area for quite a while. The regional Arts and Sciences Fair is coming up, though, and I have a project in the works for that. More to come!