Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shadiyah al-Zahra' (Order of the Maunche)

Order of the Maunche
Barony of L'iIe du Dragon Dormant Investiture Anniversary
Awarded March 5, 2011 AS 45 (XLV) 

January 18, 2011: Assignment accepted.

February 1, 2011: I'm pretty sure I've narrowed down what I'm going to use as a source. It's pretty typical but I think graphically it looks awesome. I think I'm going to do a more extensive search for similar examples for the place / period but for the most part I'm set.

I do get to play with trying to learn a new scribal hand though.

February 12, 2011: Calligraphy is done! I'm actually very pleased with it considering I've never tried this hand before and the spacing seems to have worked out very well.

February 15, 2011: I've just been asked by the Signet if they had mentioned that the document text needed to be in French. Erm NO!

A little frustrating to say the least, but there's more than enough time to get it translated and re-done before it needs to be shipped off to their Majesties. I guess I need to hustle.

At least I can use the English version as artwork on my pin-board! YAY for random art.

February 20, 2011: OK, so starting over! calligraphy is laid down, again. This time it is in French and the translation was very kindly provided by Svana Solgadottir. Got most of the design drawn out again too.

I even went so far as to apply the mordant for the gold-leaf for this work I'll be using gilders-garlic for the first time on a finished piece as I've finally discovered what the best way is for me to apply it to get results I'm happy with.

February 21, 2011: I haven't completely finished drawing out the design but took the opportunity of using what would normally have been a night spent at fencing practice (stupid Presidents Day!) to lay down the gold-leaf. The gilders-garlic ended up being a wonderful mordant and the gold was applied efficiently and I'm very happy with the result. There is the off spot that will need to be looked at but otherwise I think I've fallen in love with garlic for gilding.

February 28, 2011: Scroll is complete after working diligently over the weekend to finish it. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out as I was having some early doubts but I do wish that I had used a different blue in the piece, maybe Egyptian Blue instead of Ultramarine.

And again I'm having paint-chipping issues so I'm hoping it holds up during this coming week as it moves from my hands to the recipients. I'll need to look at what I'm doing during the process because this third time makes it a pattern and is obviously unacceptable. I can't believe that it is solely my paint mixing technique as my test-swatches are fine, not to mention that it has also happened with commercial Windsor & Newton paints to. I think my pergamenata surface may also be part of the problem, everything I've read says that it needs no preparation but I'm wondering if I should actually start treating it with a light pounce / sanding prior to working to get rid of the few oily spots I've come across and give it some more "tooth" for the paint to grab onto. I guess I need to experiment a little.

Shadiyah al-Zahra' (Order of the Maunche)
Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by this vine-stem inhabited initial in the 'The Camaldoli Psalter', an Italian psalter dated to the 2nd quarter of the 12th century and found in the British Library.

Paper: Heavyweight Pergamenata, 230gsm.
Materials: Iron gall ink, gilders garlic, 23k patent gold-leaf, powdered paint pigments, Windsor & Newton gouache.

Words by Isabel Chamberlaine but very kindly translated into French by Svana Solgadottir.

French: Qu'il soit connu de tous que Nous, Gryffith, Roi de droit par les armes, et Aikaterine, sa noble Reine, avons souspesé les travaux et labeurs de notre très agréable servante Shadiyah al-Zahra et l'avons trouvée, par grande clameur, digne de notre estimée reconnaissance et avancement par faison de ses talents artistiques et efforts incessants. Ainsi Nous créons l'estimée et agréable Shadiyah al-Zahra Compagnon de Notre Ordre de la Manche. En témoignage de cela Nous apposons notre Main ce 5ième jour de mars, A.S. 45 à l'anniversaire de l'Investiture de Notre Baronnie de l'Île du Dragon Dormant.

English: Be it known to all that We, Gryffith, King by right of arms and Aikaterine his noble Queen weighed well the works and labours of Our most fair servant Shadiyah al-Zahra and found her by great acclaim to be worthy of esteemed recognition and advancement by reason of her artistic talents and tireless efforts. Therefore do We create the esteemed and fair Shadiyah al-Zahra a Companion of Our Order of the Maunche. In witness whereof We set Our hand this 5th day of March, a.s. 45 at this Investiture Anniversary in Our Barony of L'ile du Dragon Dormant

Scroll ID: Isabel C XIII
Completed February 27, 2011