Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Yin Feng-Yu (Order of the Golden Rapier)

Order of the Golden Rapier
Mudthaw (East Kingdom)
Awarded March 31, 2019 (AS 

Scroll by Isabel Chamberlaine.

Paper: Black Canson-Ingres paper.
Materials: Sakura gold calligraphy marker.

Words by Jean Paul Ducasse
Be it known that We Wilhelm and Vienna, King and Queen of these Oriental lands, having observed the many good works and labor of Our Brave Yin Feng-yu Gongzhu and having listened to the council of Our order do the following: When Yin takes up the sword, she feels intent on cutting the enemy. As she cuts her enemy, she does not change her grip, and her hand will never “cower”. When she dashes the enemy’s sword aside, or wards it off, or forces it down, she will slightly change the feeling of the thumb and forefinger. Above all, she is intent on cutting the enemy in the way she grips the sword. Having seen this with our Own eyes, We do commend her with admission the ranks of Our Order of the Golden Rapier. Given to her by Our Hand upon the 30th day of March, A.S. LIII at Mudthaw in Our Barony of Settmour Swap.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 62
Time Invested: 8'ish hours
Completed March 30, 2019

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Jean Paul Ducasse (Order of the Laurel)

Order of the Laurel
War of the Roses (East Kingdom)
Awarded May 26, 2018  (AS LIII)

Details: Calligraphy & Pen Work by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by "The Permennter" from Hans Sachs "Everyday description of all estates on earth, high and low, spiritual and secular, of all arts, crafts and quarrels" (The Estates Book).

A few years ago (2014), a number of us were persuaded to enter the K&Q Arts & Sciences competition that was being held in our local Barony, Concordia of the Snows. We formed, what became known as, "The Messy Corner"; it was a chance to display unfinished, experimental type pieces. I was roped in by Aife, and I decided that if I was going to do it then I was damn sure I was going to rope JP in as well. Eventually he agreed to set up his parchment making stuff as a display (rather than enter the comp.) and actively work on, and discuss this trade with anyone who was interested. He had a steady stream of people all day asking questions and trying their hand at the scraping. He was a big hit.

We discussed it in depth later. The skin he had displayed was a mess because of the inconsistant methods/process used on it throughout the day; going in, he knew this would be the case though. He basically considered it a "throw away skin". I asked if I could have it.

What he didn't know, I was playing the long-game.

You see, JP has always been convinced that he would NEVER be considered for inclusion in the Order of the Laurel. We spent HOURS discussing the lack of period sources for the production of parchment; how it was "cheating" because he had years of tannery experience; how he sucks at writing documentation; how he could never teach this stuff; I could go on... but eventually, over time, he found his way, turning his knowledge and passion for parchment making into a stream of education for those that were interested.

This same, crappy piece of skin, worked on by so many hands at that K&Q A&S, has been with me ever since; kept safe for this EXACT moment. I (and others) have always known that JP would join the Order of the Laurel, it was inevitable.

The artwork for this piece is specifically created within an 8" x 10" space so that, if JP so chooses, the skin can be cut down to a standard frame size; the realist in me fully expects him to do this. The artist in me hopes that he doesn't.

Paper: THIS SKIN, stretched, displayed, and worked on at K&Q A&S in 2014.
Materials: Mitchel calligraphy nib #4 with homemade Oak Gall ink.

Words by Master Valentyne Shawe.

For scribal friend what fame should we impose?
Jean Paul Ducasse, a man of messy skill,
Who treats a skin and bends it to his will.
But how to treat a man of skins who knows
that using brine of women's passing shows
most white. Then stretching skin on rack until
he wields the knife to scrape it clear, and still
then renders silken smooth with sanding loaves.
Now called by Caoilfhionn Queen and Brennan King.
On Dyfan’s Day, in homeland known for snow,
when clash the flags of roses red and white.
Jean Paul now kneels to hear the nobles sing
in praise of work, while monarchs now bestow,
the Laurel leaves for scholar bold and bright.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 61
Time Invested: About 5 hours
Completed May 5th, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Estgar Hrothcaster (Order of the Pelican)

Order of the Pelican
Last Court of Ivan & Matilde (East Kingdom)
Awarded April 7, 2018 (AS LII)

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine, and helped by Titivillus, the patron demon of scribes. Inspired by f.30v and f.31r of The Vespasian Psalter (Cotton MS Vespasian A I) housed by the British Library.

As I sat there staring at the extant example I wondered what chemical reaction could be causing the blackening on some of the gilded letters. My immediate initial thought is that it's gilded in silver and has tarnished, but, when I look closely my eyes see gold so maybe I'm wrong. Another thought is that maybe one of the colours is reacting with something. I know, I'll start a discussion with Kenric, he'll geek out with me...

That hit me like I'd raced into a brick wall.

Time to not be lazy and do some actual research. As it turns out the Vespasian Psalter is rather well researched; part of the description for the manuscript by the British Library states "[...] Psalm 17.- f. 31r: historiated initial, depicting David and his friend Jonathon, who stand holding spears and shaking hands; continuation letting alternating in silver and gold, on horizontally striped coloured background; [...]". Okay, so my initial thought was correct and it is tarnished silver.

Then the back-and-forth in my head began.
Good-Self: I guess I need to buy some 12k gold to mimic the silver.
Geek-Self: But wouldn't it be cool to use ACTUAL silver-leaf and let it blacken over time?
Good-Self: But, but, it'll ruin itself! No one wants a scroll on their wall that will end up tarnished and ugly looking!
Geek-Self: But this is Angus (Estgar), he would dig it for the science!
Geek-Self: BUT ITS ANGUS! He GETS "period".
Good-Self: I need permission...

The silver is REAL silver leaf. It will blacken over time.

Estgar (he'll always be Angus Pembridge to me) is the very first person we had contact with in the SCA. He was Baron of Concordia at the time and agreed to meet us at their local fighter practice one Monday night. From that point on he basically adopted us, encouraged us, promoted us, and over time we became incredibly good friends. He wasn't the only one, but he is one that is very special to us. This is the man who picked me up off the floor of my own Vigil tent, talked me down from my overwhelming emotions, and told me that I deserved the recognition.

There was no way I was going to say no to this assignment.

I feel incredibly lucky to have worked on this project for him, and I was privileged to have worked with two amazing women; Anelaida, and Dreda. Thank you, ladies.

Paper: Random piece of parchment I had in my horde. Although it feels and acts like one of JP's skins.
Materials: Mitchel calligraphy nibs #4 and #6 with Oak Gall ink (homemade); Ruby Red Writing Ink from "Arte of the Booke". Fish glue/glair mixture for the size; 23k gold leaf; real silver leaf. Pigments - 23k Shell Gold, Red-lead, Cinnabar, Verdigris (homemade), Green Earth, Sap Green (homemade), Sap Yellow (homemade), Orpiment, Yellow Ochre, Brown Earth, Woad, Lead-white.

Words written by Mistress Anelaida Falconbridge.

Main text is in Latin; translation and edits by Mistress Anelaida Falconbridge and Master Steffan ap Kennydd.
Omnibus paribus nobilibus et gentilibus
Vocem populi audimus. Vobis damus 
secundum postulationem Ordinis Pelicani 
nostrum fidelissimum Estgar de Hroficester.
Rectus et fortis est et propensus omnes 
juvare. Construxit multas vias, conservit 
pacem, servavit populum. Intellegunt opera 
Estgari et opera manuum. Hic vir bonus est.
Desiderabilia super aurum et lapidem 
pretiosum multum et dulciora 
super mel et favum redundantem. 
Damus secundum sua opera. 
Reddimus ad Estgarum commodum justum. 
Dignitatem agnoscimus nostri Estgari 
apud aulam nostram in Scira Quintaviae. 
Bagnum est nomen in multis terris.
Pelicanus est.
Ego Ivanus rex Orientis consensi et subscripsi 
Ego  Matilda regina Orientis consensi et subscripsi

Inter-linear text is in Anglo-Saxon; translation by Mistress Aildreda de Tamwurthe
eall efenhadas ealdorduguþe ond þegnes
spræce folca gehierdan
þe geandweardian þæs þe giwunige munucregoles pellicanes urum mæst getreowfullas Estgar æt Hrofeceastre
uplange ond stranglice is hie ond willende ealle ahelpan
asatt manige stræte freoðiodon þeowiodon folcas
oncnawað weorcas Estgar ond weorcas honda
hie mann godan is
deorwyrðlice ma goldum ond eorcnanstamum manigum ond swete ma hunige ond hunigcambe yþgiende
geandweardian þæs þe sinum weorcum
gelianian to Estgar earnung rihtlic
gerisenum cnaweþ ures Estgar wið æðelduguþa in Scirum Quintavium
geþungen is sin name in maniges eardas
pellican is hie
ich Ivan Cyning Eastrices geþwærlæce ond underwrite
ich Matilde Cyninge Eastrices geþwærlæce ond underwrite

Scroll ID: Isabel C 60
Time Invested: 32'ish hours.
Completed April 1st, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

Thyra Eiriksdottir (Order of the Laurel)

Order of the Laurel
The Sign of the Dancing Fox X (East Kingdom)
Awarded February 3, 2018 (AS LII)

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by MS Harley 2365 (Elucidarium)

Thyra is one of "MY Queens", so when asked if I would create the scroll to accompany her elevation to the Laurel I immediately replied YES! There were some notes as to what she would like, I latched onto "dangerous chemicals" and "small is better".

Paper: Random piece of parchment I had in my horde.
Materials: Mitchel calligraphy nib with Oak Gall ink; and Ruby Red Writing Ink from "Arte of the Booke". Kolner Miniatum with 23k gold leaf. Pigments - Azurite, Vermillion, Orpiment, Indigo, French Ochre, Lead White

Words by Mistress Aildreda de Tamwurthe
There is no thing in nature or kind but that a Laurel knows it, for all that she ever now or may do, she does it by the great and high power of Art. We, Tsar Ivan and Tsarina Mathilde, know Thyra's good deeds of scrollwork and dance and so she is presented here that We and Our Kingdom may have joy of her, for it is recorded that it is a great joy to Us of an artist and artisan when she is made a Laurel. And so We cause this to be done at the Sign of the Dancing Fox on the first day after Candlemas, A.S. 52.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 59
Time Invested:
Completed January 2018

Monday, July 3, 2017

Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka (Order of the Laurel)

Order of the Laurel
Northern Region War Camp (East Kingdom)
Awarded July 1, 2016

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine.

A while back Nataliia had helped me find my techniques for working on the Black Hours for Diego's Peerage piece; I wanted to honour that by producing one for her. This piece was very loosely inspired by the Peacock page found in the Mira Calligraphe.

Paper: Black 120gsm paper (I forget which brand).
Materials: White Dr Martin ink for the calligraphy. 23k shell gold (purchased) for the gold-work. Various W&N gouache and the occasional water soluble pencil for any of the coloured areas.

Words by Mistress Aildreda de Tamwurthe from Da Vinci's The Practice of Painting
0 poet, if you tell a story with your pen, the painter with a brush can tell it more easily, with simpler completeness and less tedious to be understood. And if you, historians, or poets, or mathematicians had not seen things with your eyes you could not report of them in writing. Indeed, you may not even enter the lists against the painter, for with only words you cannot satisfy the eye as the painter does. In those very lists, Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka has won honour with pen and brush.

It is fitting that We, Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig, mark this example of a painter whose work carries out her purpose and meaning, naming her a Laurel of Our Court on the feast day of St. Gaius at Northern Region War Camp, A.S. LII.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 57
Time Invested: 25 hours
Completed June 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

Thomas del Broc (Writ for MoD)

Writ for Master of Defense
Bhakail Investiture (East Kingdom)
Awarded June 3, 2017 (AS LII)

Calligraphy by Isabel Chamberlaine.

Paper: Random piece of parchment I had in my horde.
Materials: Mitchell nib with oak gall ink.

Words by Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka
Let it be known to all here assembled that Thomas del Broc is summoned this day to the Presence of Ioannes and Honig, Imperial Majesties of the august Kingdom of the East. As it is right and just we command Thomas del Broc to sit at vigil to thoroughly and completely meditate upon Our desire to elevate him to the Order of Defense. We expect that after said contemplation that he will present himself to Us at Our Court at Pennsic War to notify Us of his decision. So sayeth We, Ioannes and Honig, this third day of June, anno societatis fifty-two at Bhakail Investiture.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 58
Time Invested: 5 hours
Completed May 13, 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Adrienne d'Evreus (Maunche)

Order of the Maunche
Market Day at Birka (East Kingdom)
Awarded January 28, 2017 (AS LI)

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine.

Paper: Goat parchment (double-side finish) from Pergamena.
Materials: Mitchel calligraphy nib with Oak Gall ink. Kolner Miniatum with 23k gold leaf. Various W&N gouache.

Words by Mistress Aneleda Falconbridge and heavily inspired by the The Statute of Laborers; 1351

Their Royal Majesties Brion and Anna, from whom all Eastern powers flow, direct to the assembled members of the Court greeting. Because a great part of the people, and especially the of noble servants represented by the Order of the Maunche, have so suggested and ordered the consideration of the one named Adrienne d'Evreus, We, considering it is our honor and duty to recognize those skilled in the arts, have held deliberation and treaty concerning this with the prelates and nobles and other learned people sitting by us; by whose consentient counsel we have seen fit to ordain: that said Adrienne d'Evreus, be joined into the Order of the Maunche, to be recognised as such by every man and woman of our kingdom of the East, and to those beyond our borders even into the heart of the Knowne World, of whatever condition, whether bond or free, elder or younger, servant or noble, as one who has been bound to serve that Art which has retained her service for so many years preceding.

Provided, that in thus retaining her service, that she may be given fair reign to work her alchemy for the good of the court and kingdom, to serve without hindrance or interference, and to be granted access to all natural goods that she may require, without prosecution for poaching in the Royal lands, including but not limited to, buckthorn and iris, elderberry and oyster, walnut and oak gall, and any other such provisions as the lands may provide. Further, she is given Our permit to trade without molestation or impediment such alchemical and exotic supplies as may come from the great Ports of the Knowne World, including but not limited to, lead, alum, ochre, saffron, woad, indigo, lye, bones, woods of all lands, feathers, quills, nibs, pens, and other items which she may receive. Furthermore, and no matter what odor her concoction hath wrought, she may grind and soak, wash and rinse, pluck and work, elutriate and levigate at her will and whim.

And if a reaper or mower, fencer or archer, herald or minstrel, piper or tinker, mason or troubadour, other workman or servant, of whatever standing or condition he be, who is retained in the service of any one, do depart her from her selected service, without her leave, permission, or reasonable cause, he shall undergo the penalty of imprisonment, and let no one, under the same penalty, presume to receive or retain such a one in his service.

Likewise saddlers, skinners, white-tawers, cordwainers, tailors, smiths, carpenters, masons, tilers, shipwrights, carters and all other artisans and labourers, must be set to support her, and so they may recognize her, we hereby Grant her Arms that she alone may use: Azure, a fleur-de-lys argent, a bordure gules.

And if the lords of the towns or manors presume of themselves or through their servants in any way to act contrary to this our present ordinance, then in the Counties, Baronies and Provinces suit shall be brought against them for the triple penalty which shall be to live bereft of vermillion, ochre, cochineal, lapis lazuli, vergaut, malachite, saffron, verdigris, turmeric, gypsum, lamp black, Tyrian purple, malachite and their books of hours shall be left ever empty.

By the Powers of the Crowns of the East and in the support of the Society, it is thus ordained on the Feast of Saint Odo of Beauvais at the Royal Court of King Brion and Queen Anna at the Marketplace at Birka in the Barony of Stonemarche on the 28th day of January in the Year of the Society LI.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 56
Time Invested: 16 Hours
Completed January 2017

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Brunissende Dragonette (Order of the Laurel)

Order of the Laurel
Pennsic War 45, Kingdom of Aethelmarc
Awarded August 11, 2016 (AS LI)

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspiration taken from The Ellesmere Chaucer held by The Huntington Library, specifically f. 88 r.

Paper: Goat parchment (double-side finish) from Pergamena.

Materials: Mitchel #6 nib for the calligraphy and a crow-quill nib for line work; Oak Gall Ink, Ruby Red Writing Ink from Arte of the Booke and Higgins (Blue) Pigmented Drawing Ink. Kolner Miniatum with 23k gold leaf. Pigments used - lapis lazuli, vermillion, green earth, lamp black, and lead white.

Words by Vicomte Alexandre d'Avigné
Kenric Dei gratia regni Orientis Rex et Avelina Dei gratia Regni Orientis Regina defensores Tir Marae legisque Orientis Archiepiscopis Ducibus Comitibus Vicecomitibus Episcopis Baronibus Militibus Prepositis liberis hominibus ac omnibus Officiariis Ministris et Subditis nostris quibuscumque ad quos presentes litere pervenerint salutemus.

How can one take the measure of a dame whose mighty work spans such a vast array that diverse artisans proclaim her fame? To simply list her skills would fill the day, And yet this fearsome task we must essay. So let us now rehearse the many things Which bring this lady to the note of kings.

She forms her subjects out of humble clay And gives them to the unforgiving flame To issue forth again in bright array. Her beads of glass are worthy of acclaim So their production doth increase her fame. But broader still is her creative scope. To seemly make the court she giveth soap.

 To arts both scribal and heraldic too She doth contribute with both wit and quill Providing with her research insights new Which then she implements with her good will. Yet this is not the limit of her skill She labours in the fair arts culinary With great sucess beyond the ordinary.

How can one praise an artist so diverse With words, although they matter, I am told, Or with a few scant lines of humble verse? The skills she doth display are great and bold And prized above both silver and bright gold. There is but one way to repay this debt; A laurel for Brunissende Dragonette.

Ergo, eum nos prefate Rex et Regina per literas nostras patentes sub magno Sigillo nostro Orientis confectas gerentes datum decimus dies Augustii tempore regni nostri tertii quod est anno societatis quinquagesimo apud Bellum Pennsicus.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 55
Time Invested: 18 hours.
Completed July 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

East Kingdom Roll of Kings (and Queens) for SCA 50th Anniversary

Roll of Kings
SCA 50th Anniversary

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. This piece was inspired by a number of different Rolls however The Canterbury Roll housed by the University of Canterbury was my primary source; I find the simplicity of it's central red line truly beautiful.

The final piece is four and a half pieces of parchment glued together, with final dimensions being approximately 7" wide by 70" long. The wooden holders were produced by Wilham de Broc.

Paper: Goat parchment created by Baron Jean-Paul Ducasse.
Materials: Oak gall ink with Mitchell #4 nibs. Gouache.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 54
Completed April 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lissa Underhill (Order of the Laurel)

Order of the Laurel
King’s & Queen’s A&S Championships, Shire of Barren Sands
Awarded February 6, 2016 (AS L)

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by this page from the Cnut Gospels housed in the British Library.

Paper: Peramenata, 230gsm, Natural.
Materials: Oak gall ink for main calligraphy; green calligraphy used verdigris; red calligraphy used vermillion. Kolner Miniatum with 23k gold leaf. Pigments used - vermillion, lapis, green earth, French ochre, and lead white.

Words by Master Grim the Skald
Listen as I tell of Lissa the wise whose heart was inspired by the spark of the kiln, delved into secrets, and deftly became a fire-former of finest beads.  Her skill grew swiftly and soon treasure-glass adorned the necks of dauntless thanes and ladies alike. Lissa then spread throughout the East this shining art and fires of the kiln caught the eastern hearts.  Brennan the bold, bright Tyger’s King, kindly Caoilfhionn Queen of the East, have heard council of crowned-in-leaves and on Brinolf’s day in Barren Sands they ask Lady Elysabeth Underhill accept a Patent, a peer’s title, and join the order of art-forming – for fires of the kiln caught the laurel’s hearts.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 53
Time Invested: 24h 20m
Completed January 31, 2016

Order of the Brooch for Adrienne d'Evreus

My awesome Apprentice, Adrienne d'Evreus, being inducted into the Order of the Silver Brooch at Birka 2016 for her work with medieval pigments.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Reassessment & The Taking of Dependants

Its been almost a full year since I last posted to this blog, and to be honest I'm a little disgusted with myself because of it. I truly love my activities within the SCA but by the time of my last post I was exhausted. I had been chasing one goal and over-working myself with another, to the point where I just shoved everything to the side and gave up for a while.

Initially that was fantastic, I had all this spare time on my hands that allowed me to pursue other things. And I did, but I started to miss the relationships I had formed among our merry band of misfits.

Fast forward a little, and I started to pick up my blades and brushes again. Even better, I began to feel like I was again enjoying these things that had given me so much joy. However, I was beginning to discover that my joys had morphed a little; I was finding that I was getting more pleasure out of showing others how to do these awesome things.

Becoming a cadet at Birka 2016
Elewys of Anglespur
and Isabel Chamberlaine
Over the course of the past year I've been cultivating two very special relationships. Both of these ladies found me at a point in my life when I didn't really know what I wanted to do next and they have helped me discover that I want to help nurture those that are still finding their own path.

The Cadet - Elewys of Anglespur

At Birka I took Elewys of Anglespur as my first Cadet (fencing). We have been working together for a couple of years now at our local practice in Concordia of the Snows where her skill has grown a great deal.

Over the course of this past summer we started discussing her desire to become more active within the SCA and she expressed her desire to become more serious with her fencing. If you see her in the lists then please grab her for some passes.

I truly look forward to working with her as she continues to find her fencing feet, but also as she more confidently starts to navigate all that the SCA has to offer.

And the Apprentice - Adrienne d'Evreus

One day, over the course of this past summer, I received a random private message from this person Facebook asking science-y questions about pigments; this piqued my interest immediately since I don't get to have these conversations very often.

Adrienne d'Evreus has been following my work (apparently) and has been finding her own way among the artist manuals; experimenting with her own understandings and sharing what she knows. We have had some wonderfully geeky conversations and I am now proud to call her my (first) Apprentice.

Becoming an Apprentice at Birka 2016

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Therion Sean Storie (OSR)

Order of the Silver Rapier
Mudthaw, Barony of Settmour Swamp
Awarded March 28, 2015 (AS XLIX)

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by Royal 11 E XI f.3 held in the British Library collection. I ave wanted to use this exemplar for a very long time; with Therion's association to his annual tournament at War's of Roses I thought this to be a great opportunity to use it.

Paper: Peramenata, 230gsm, Natural.
Materials: Oak gall ink with a Mitchell #4 nib. Various Windsor & Newton gouache; Holbein gold gouache.

Words by Master Grim
From out of westerne Marche a swordsman came 
  with gleaming helme and garb’d in blue and gold 
  This gentleman, one Theron Storie nam’d 
  who has a loyall heart and spirit bold 
  and rapier skill in truth can scarce be told – 
  whereuer blades are crost he showes his worth. 
  One yeare he went at waning of the cold 
  to battle and to reuel with much mirth 
to Settmore Swamp and see the thaw of dampish earth 

There great King Edward greeted worthie man 
  “Your skill with swords impresses me so well 
  I must acknowledge this the way I can.” 
 Said wise Queene Thyra “I haue this to tell – 
  Indeed I find his talent to compell 
  vs both, then so shall he without delay 
  our Siluer Rapier Order’s ranks to swell.” 
  So Theron Storie was recognized this way 
On AS forty-nine upon St. Alkeld’s Day 

Scroll ID: Isabel C 52
Time Invested: 5h 43m
Completed March 22, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Aildreda de Tamwurthe (Laurel)

Order of the Laurel
Dragonship Haven Investiture
Awarded February 21, 2015 (AS XLIX)

Front side of Dreda's Laurel piece.

Back side of Dreda's Laurel piece.

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Over the course of correspondence with Maistre Lucien de Pontivy ( +Myra Hope Eskridge ) we came up with a plan for the type of thing that Dreda would like to receive. This piece is based on folio's and images found in The De Brailes Hours which I am told is one of her favourite manuscripts.

During the email correspondence I had with Lucien I remembered how I had enjoyed seeing the Hours of the Duc de Berry displayed unbound at The Met a number of years ago; I presented the idea of making this a double-sided piece so that it would look an feel as if it had been pulled from a binding for display. Lucien loved the idea.

My cheat-sheet for sizing.
The calligraphy blocks are true to the size of the original; 80 x 115mm. Although I also tried to match the number of lines, I ended up with two more; basically I should have moved up in nib size. For the actual page size I had to go with what I thought work visually and that would allow for framing; the original manuscript has at some point been drastically trimmed and the original size has been lost.

There are a number of marginal texts written in red ink. The idea for these came from Lucien who offered up the first one, I added in more which were adapted from those found in Marc Drogin's book Anathma! Off course I didn't write any of them down, hopefully Dreda is willing to let me know what I wrote so that I can add them to this post!

Now I'd like to tell you about my friend Dreda.

Dreda (and Lucien) were there at my very first event, War of the Roses; camping with the then Baron of Concordia of the Snows, Angus Kerr (now Pembridge). Our little blue ground-pimple was hidden out back so as not to ruin the aesthetic of the the canvas camp, but we were welcomed with open arms. This woman embraced us with her smile and helped to make us feel welcome.

I saw a lot of her (them) that first year, becoming more and more mesmerized by this couple that were always kind, that took the time to welcome me without being overwhelming, and showed me the beauty of their respective period arts. I watched from an ever shortening distance and learned the pride that could be taken in even the smallest of things and that dedicated period research is a thing of true beauty.

Most of my formative and transportive moments involve my voyeurism of this beautiful woman. I would not be where I am today without those early experiences and these days she is one of the first people I look to when doing my own research. It was my absolute pleasure to be involved in her elevation to the Order of the Laurel.

Surface: Goat parchment (double-side finish) from Pergamena.
Materials: Mitchel #4 nib for the calligraphy and a crow-quill nib for line work; Oak Gall Ink, Ruby Red Writing Ink from "Arte of the Booke" and Higgins (Blue) Pigmented Drawing Ink. Jerry Tressers Gesso overlaid with 23k gold leaf. Period pigments used - lapis lazuli, vermilion, lead white

Words by Maistre Lucien de Pontivy and Master Peregrine the Illuminator.

Main text:
O how fortunate are they, the succulents and blossoms on the farthest branches of the tree of knowledge, which are fed the strength of the green wood from the very roots. 

For lo: Aildreda de Tamworthe is the soul of memory and the society, the deepest roots and the greenest boughs, whose gifts of language, song, and learning fuel our growing spirits and inspire us to better ourselves for the good of all, and of the Society. She inspires us, with song and graceful eloquence and a rich store of language, to gentle our restless minds and to stir our sleepy souls. She guides us, in meet space and moment, to embark on voyages of discovery and learning. She leads us, by research and by learnéd example, to seek and strive to be exemplars of our own chosen times and places. 

Aildreda de Tamworthe willingly and freely, directly and casually, with attention to detail and fine subtleties, supplies her fellow scholars, artisans, and scientists with research material concerning any historical matter, from clothes to food to domestic life to music to habits of mind and speech, as naturally as if they were her very own, and with surpassing generosity of spirit. 

These are the green boughs which curl into the wreath of Laurel. 

For these and for her service to the Kingdom Arts and Sciences, and to the Society, Edward King and Thyra Queen do award Mistress Aildreda de Tamworthe Arms by Letters Patent and welcome her into our own Order of the Laurel. Done by our hand on February 21 A.S. 49 at the Baronial Investiture in Dragonship Haven.

Marginal texts:

  • Dreda she is called, this Lady of Tamworthe, Aildreda by name after Aetheldreda her forbear.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 51
Time Invested: 26 hours
Completed February 20, 2015

Cited works:
DROGIN, Marc. Anathema! Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses. Totowa NJ: Allanheld, Osmun & Co. Publishers Inc., 1983. Print. ISBN 0-8390-0301-3

Monday, February 9, 2015

Oðindísa Býkona (Laurel)

Order of the Laurel
Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins, 
Barony of Delftwood (Aethelmearc)
Awarded February 7, 2015 (AS XLIX/49)

Calligraphy & Illumination by Isabel Chamberlaine. Inspired by Flateyjarbok GKS 1005 fol. 79r. (can be found on "page 9" of the links in the top-right corner).

Surface: Goat parchment (single-side finish) from Pergamena.
Materials: Mitchel #4 nib for the calligraphy and a crow-quill nib for line work; Oak Gall Ink, Ruby Red Writing Ink from "Arte of the Booke" and Higgins (Blue) Pigmented Drawing Ink. Period pigments used - French ochre, green earth, vermilion, (home-made) verdigris; Windsor & Newton titanium white and purple.

Words by Fridrikr Tomasson

In Old Norse:
Þá á vetra stofnans fertugundi ok níundi, Rikardsmessa inn Konung, inn nótt tuttugundi ok annarr þorsmánaðar ok nótt sjaundi mánaðar fimti einvalds Titus ok Anna Leigh, Konunginn Æthelmerc ok Kvenna. Gegnum meðan hæstir eru stormar um vetrinn fóru á Vindkverns Staðd á hinna Syndar Sjau Dauðligra Hóf. Þar tala hinn skaldshvítskeggjaðr heyrðu

Ok hann sagði:

Engis gulla augar óðrærs æna smyrill; flugastinga súpa sæta mjölkblóms lævíss. Vængar með höggvanda vínsvelgr fljóta til býhus Þer hunangs ymrþjuða þrekliga stemma lækrgull. Meyja hroska meldrar mala luma hunangs - lærdóms glaðast landvörð ljoseld halda blossi. Runum Freyjas fela - fjarðlog herjar hirða. Riki býheims hrósa ræriróðs prúðlig meyja. Birtigulla býtár bekkr damstæð leka játir barajastars yndiligr bekkr vindsgnýr. Hrannir út hann dynjað Hárs á saltunnu skáldit siglað Óðinns segjað skaldskipit ok ölhrönn.  Ágæta Óðindisa afusa meyja gullin. Bóndar mikill býkongs berrat órdsmíðs bjórveig.

Þá er heyrðu þessa, Titus ok Anna Leigh fundu Oðindisa bykona, aldæll ok víta, mætr ganga í bönd með bróðernit lárviðs af vísi býhalda vítr ok læring hana af vísi þat. Gjöf gefu henni, nafn aeðlæst ok skjaldnafn: Fjólublátt, sól í dýrð hans, á æðstu gulli þrjú perur grænt, eiginn hennar af opið bref. Ok gleðusk állr! 

Þus endast nóttsaginn einvalds Titus ok Anna Leigh, Konungr ok Kvenna Aethelmearc.

English Translation:
Then, in the forty-ninth winter from the Founding, on the Feast day of Richard the King, being the 22nd night of Thor-month, and the seventh night of the fifth month of the reign of Titus and Anna Leigh, the King of AEthelmearc and his Queen traveled in the depth of winter to visit their WindMill Stead for the Seven Deadly Sins Feast. There they heard the White-Beard Skald speak. And he said:

Meadow´s golden-eyes gathers the hawk of wisdom The sting-fly sips sweet blooms' strong milk Drunkard with wings staggering floats to home at bee house There the buzzing-tribe strongly stems the stream-gold. Maiden of the mill wise measures golden honey. Brings to landward  brightest beacon´s light of learning. Keeps she Freya's secrets, keeps the baron's fjord-flame. King of bee-home praises wisdom's stately maiden. Bright-gold bee-tears frozen brook the golden dam-yard leaks. Charming bee-tear brook squall yields finest yeast-wave. Har's waves flow to high hall barrel quenches skald's thirst. Skalds ships sails all ways over Odin's ale-wave. Thanks to golden maiden, Oðindisa's glory, Bee-king's minions many bring to wordsmith strong drafts.

After hearing this, Titus and Anna Leigh found Othindisa bykona, gentle and wise, most worthy of taking the oath of a Companion of the Laurel Brotherhood for her studies in the science of keeping bees and her teaching of that science, and They gave her a gift of a Most Noble Name and the shield-naming: Purpure, a sun in his splendor, on a chief Or three pears vert, hers alone by Letters Patent. And all rejoiced! 

Thus ends this night-saga of the reign of Titus and Anna Leigh, King and Queen of Æthelmearc.

Scroll ID: Isabel C 50
Time Invested: 17h
Completed January 25, 2015.