Sigillum Coronae for Katheryn

This scroll was done for a really fabulous woman and close friend. It's very small and it's part of a collection of examples I did from this book. A model book for scribes by Gregorius Bock, ca. 1510-1517.

I had the initial D already done but I personalised it by painting a small portrait of Mistress Katheryn in it, wearing her German ren garb holding "thingy".

Done on pergamenata, I used Rohrer & Klingner eisen gallus tinte Salix which gives a lovely faded blue hue which will eventually darken over time. Pens and brushes with ink and ink wash. It's a very simple and understated scroll but something I thought the recipient would like because we're always talking about different styles and making things to match the persona / person. 

I wish the calligraphy were better but it was never my strong point so every single scroll I do takes me a step closer to getting better at it.  I'm a firm believer in practice makes one better and since I swore I'd never touch calligraphy I guess I do okay at it. I like this style a lot and now that I have real calf parchment to play with I think I will try it again.


Pelican scroll for Margaret de Mey

A scroll starts with a person and in this case it began by a question. Because Margaret knew ahead of time that she would be called to vigil I could, as Signet clerk, ask her if she had a scribe she preferred or if I could do her scroll because I would be honored to do her Pelican scroll if that was what she would like.I was delighted when she said yes to me.

The first challenge was finding just the right inspiration and that meant pouring through many images, website and books until this one finally stepped off the page and said hullo to me. I showed it to my husband who asked if I had enough time (3 weeks or so) to finish it and my reply was sure no problem and he laughed. It was a huge project for me which stretched my abilities and of course it took longer than I thought it would but in a good way.

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Once I had the image I then had to find the right medium. In this case it was a lovely piece of goat parchment. It took me a day or so to get used to the idea of just touching the parchment never mind drawing on it and then once I did start the drawing I had to redo the lattice work a few times to get the spacing just right.
Lucky for me I have a really nice drafting table which makes lines easy.

Once the penciling was done the inking begins.Calligraphy is not at all my strong point and I work really really hard at it to get it right. It's also where I most often make mistakes so I did the text first just in case I really screwed it up and had to start from scratch again.

Sometimes I never know how the ink will react so I did two tiny crows in unobtrusive corners as ink tests. There was no major spidering so yay!

The Phew moment when it was completed without any big problems.

Next I had to lay down the gold size but before that I had to make it. This is a mix of gum arabic, brown sugar and water. It needs to sit for a day so while that was happening I began the process of inking and drawing.

Then I tested it on a scrap piece.

The fabulous thing about the modern age is a touch screen tablet and wi-fi allowing me to get right int the piece and see the details that a photo in a book just cannot show you.

Laying down the gold size took 3 days, roughly around 8 hours a day give or take.

Gilding took around 4 days also around 8 hours a day and I used around 5 sheets of double ducat transfer leaf.

Once the gilding is done I can then start the painting. 1st I block all the solid colours, then I start the white work and the outlines. Once that was done I began the last piece which was the miniature.

 The scroll was done with around 2 days to spare. I was happy when I finished it on time and with no major mishaps. It's one of the most ambitious pieces I have ever done but it was for a person who deserved the absolute best I could possibly do.

The scroll was done on 11x14 inch goat parchment. Oak-gall/iron ink, brause nibs, H pencil, plastic eraser, gouache and water colours from Schminke, double ducat, 23Kt transfer gold, sugar and gum arabic and water size, paint brushes were sable hair and synthetic hair and ranged from a 2 - 00000. Think that's the specs. It took 3 weeks at working roughly 8 hours / day ( not including weekends but including  the time I took for breaks )