Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lillia de Vaux (Order of the Pelican)

Order of the Pelican
Pennsic War, Kingdom of Æthelmearc
August 6, 2014 AS 49 (XLIX

Calligraphy and illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by f.8 by the Master of the Harley Froissart found in Royal 14 D V contained within The British Library manuscript collection.

Ground: Goat parchment produced by Baron Jean Paul Ducasse.
Materials: Oak gall ink with a Mitchell nib; 23k gold sheet-leaf applied with Jerry Tresser’s Liquid Gesso from John Neal Bookseller; 23k shell gold; various period pigments - lapis lazuli, indigo, vermilion, verdigris, sap green, carbon (lamp) black, bole red, lead white.

Notes regarding my materials: I've been using Jerry Tresser's Liquid Gesso a lot recently and I have to say that I enjoy working with it. Its applies really nicely when thinned a little with glair (per the instructions) and is super sticky when applying the gold. I've found that less breathe is better, so think "garlic" rather than "miniatim".

Both the verdigris and sap green are home-made; they're actually my entries from this past K&Q A&S (documentation for those entries can be found at - Sap Green and Verdigris) where I was exploring their production and use from the period treatises. For this piece I was able to successfully combine them to produce a richer more vibrant green than either can produce on their own.

Carbon black is more commonly referenced in the art treatises as "lamp black". A couple of years ago I was able to successfully harvest the carbon that gathered on the underside of our Pennsic gas fire pit; in that fire pit we usually have a ceramic "sacrifice" named Bob and so my carbon black is more affectionately known as "Bob Black". Is it a true lamp black as described in the treatises, no; however it serves the intended purpose until I get around to experimenting with more accurate fuel sources.

It occurred to me during the early stages of the painting phase for this piece that I have never worked with lapis before; azurite, indigo and woad yes, but never lapis. I found this VERY strange since it's one of the most important pigments from our time of study, especially since I've encountered many of the references for its preparation during my azurite research. Although I spent almost three hours grinding/mulling my lapis for this piece the particle size is still far to large; it is also no where near as blue as it should be. Even so, I am happy with the result I did get.

This of course inspired me to want learn more and experiment further...

At Pennsic I was able to find a string of raw lapis stone which I gleefully showed to a number of people during War and over the winter I will use it to work through the various methods discussed in the period treatises. And by pure coincidence (post-War) I've received links to a few videos and instructions discussing it's cleaning and preparation. Watch this space for more.

Words by Alys Mackyntoich.

In French as appears on the scroll: Comment la dame Lillia de Vaux fur ordonnée de par l’empereur pour de venir en celi court, et des parolles que lui furent dittes. L’on se souvenra qu’en cil merquedi 6 aoust en cele quarante huitime anee de la Société, lors que l'empereur Brennan et l’impératrice Caoilfhionn estoient sur le trône du Tygre lors des batailles de Pennsic ; une multitude de pers, de signeurs et li conmuns peuples estoient presents  mandes là de par l'auctoritez imperiale, et avecques eux les souverains des armes. Icelle bonne Dame Lillia de Vaux estoit apparue de par la convocation imperiale et là devant la court assamblee on entendi le tesmongnage de gens bonnes et de grant renonmee sur les vertus de celle ladite Lillia et de ses moult labours dans le domaine de l’armoierie et d’icelle grant valleur au Royaulme. Lors, faisant compte desdits tesmongnages leurs Majestés imperiales veurent et accorderent à ladite Lillia d’ estre envestie dans l'orde du Pellican, avoec l'acort et consentement de joir et d' excerser icelles libertés et franchisses; et leurs Majestés imperiales accorderent ausi à celle Lillia le droit de porter armes conme siennes et de son droit et par lettres patentes, icelles armes pour estre portees par icelle et ses hiretiers, à tousjours: d'Argent semé de crampets, une bande d’azure.  Adonc leurs Majestés imperiales causeerent celles lettres à estre faictes et à estre patentes et seelees de leur grant seel, tels comme ladite Lillia pourroit desormais avoir, tenir et joir a toujours a sa plaisance de tous les droits et privileges escripts dans chà devant lettres.  Escript et seellé a ce jour de celle datte faicte mencion par les heraulz imperiaux.

English translation: Be it remembered that on Wednesday, August 6 in the forty-eighth year of the Society, with the Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn sitting on the Tyger Throne upon the battlefields of Pennsic; there being also present many peers, nobles and the commons summoned there by Imperial authority, along with the assembled Sovereigns of Arms; the good lady Lillia de Vaux appeared at the Imperial summons, and there was heard before the Court the testimony of good and notable persons of repute as to the virtues of the said Lillia and as to her manifold labors in matters of heraldry and as to her great value to the Realm; and, taking heed of the testimony so given, thereupon their Imperial Majesties willed and granted that the said Lillia be endowed and invested with the Order of the Pelican, with leave to enjoy and exercise each and every liberty and privilege appertaining to the same; and their Imperial Majesties did further invest and endow the said Lillia with the right to bear Arms in her own right by letters patent, the said Arms to be borne by her and her heirs in perpetuity:  Argent semy of crampets, a bend azure.  And so willing and granting, their Imperial Majesties caused these letters to be made and to be made patent and marked with their signs manual, such that the said Lillia might have, hold and enjoy in fullest measure all rights and privileges stated herein at all times henceforward.  Written and witnessed upon the day and date aforesaid by the Imperial Heralds.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 47
Completed July 30, 2014

The gilding is 23k layed over a purchased sized produced by Jerry Tresser based on his research into Cennini; it is sold through John Neal Booksellers.

For some unknown reason, prior to this piece, I have never used lapis.