Monday, May 21, 2012

Aelfgifu of the Hazel Thicket (Court Barony)

Court Baroness
Barony Beyond the Mountain Investiture
Awarded May 19, 2012 AS XLVII (47)

More photographs can be viewed here.

April 23, 2012:
After a lot of work from Grim, he's finally happy with the words which allowed me to sit down a get started. This piece has been formulating in my mind now for a number of weeks, so I know exactly what I need to do to get it finished. I'm very excited about this piece.

I stupidly tried to be cleaver with the sizing so that it would fit onto a single sheet, but after starting the calligraphy I quickly realized that I was being delusional and started over. I lost about two hours worth of work, but the layout now looks a lot better and the pages are the same size as the Cnut Gospel.

April 26, 2012:

April 28, 2012:
This piece has given me the opportunity to test my fish-glue / water mixture as a mordant for gilding. I added a little Bole for colour. I'm rather pleased with the result as it went on easily, in an almost silky manner and doesn't appear to be cracking or pulling away from the page like I have experienced in the past with the 100% fish glue. The gold went on effortlessly, although I think it took a little more breath to activate the stickiness, not to mention it took a really long time to get it all done!

May 5, 2012:
I'm starting to feel incredibly proud of this piece. Somehow everything is just flowing, the calligraphy went well, the trial of the (new for me) mordant laid down easily and is holding the page. There's no cracking or peeling like there has been in previous works. I think part of the magic-feeling came from when I used my fish-glue / water mixture with a dip pen for the gilded writing, it flowed on SO smoothly.

For the first time I have used 100% hand mixed pigments. I used a glair binder and the colours are very vibrant and have lots of character. I think I am finally at a point where I am comfortable with using powdered pigments, and because of their transparent nature they really offer a lot of vibrancy to a work. I think my next step will be to fill out my pigment selection with as much historical accuracy as possible.

May 12, 2012:
With the sun shining and a gentle breeze blowing, I was able to set up a little scribal oasis on the back deck to get this piece finished.

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by the early 11th century Winchester Borders and pages found in the Cnut Gospels (Royal 1 D IX) and the Arundel Psalter (Arundel 155), both housed in the British Library.

Paper: Peramenata, 230gsm, Natural
Materials: Oak gall ink, fish-glue/water mordant, 23kt gold leaf, pigments (French Ocher, Green Earth, Cinnibar, Ultramarine, Th/Zinc White)

Words by Master Grim the Skald

Great glory we have heard of bygone eras – of the East people's able rulers, how these noble lords did lofty deeds.

Cut of this cloth, keen-minded and strong, is bold Aelfgifu. Ever she ruled wisely and well, watching o'er the people who live beyond the oak-mountain. She led hearth-folk through heavy snows and summer's fire. E'en the fiercest storms and hard rain-flood hindered her not; this land-keeper of the King of the East.

A fine spinner who inspires subjects to excel at craft; a scribe as well who teaches all. The acorn lands flourished in arts under this folk-leader.

Also she is seasoned in sword-meetings – she leads to war warriors many, bolstering the bands of the brave Northern Army. Numberless are her deeds on crimson fields – they cannot with ease be counted here— she battles so fierce. E'en the beasts fear her – when a gold-hoarder God's dwelling attacked, killed she this dragon by quenching its blaze.

Aelfgifu always oak-tall sheltered the mountain lands. Mightiest winds could shake her not. Now her monarchs thank her service to the Throne of the East – offer a brow-ring to bear as a sign.

With these words of praise did Kennric of Warwick and Avelina Keyes, King and Queen of the East, make Aelfgifu of the Hazel Thicket a Baroness of the Court. This was done on St Parthenius' Day, Anno Societatis 47.

Scroll ID: Isabel C XXVIII
Completed May 2012