My second Marketplace at Birka, where I ended up doing the calligraphy for three scrolls, I was handed a list of backlogs and Aífe was on it. I was so excited for the chance to do a scroll I signed up for it.
After talking with the backlog deputy, words wouldn’t be an issue. Now I just had to figure out who could do the illumination for me… or not.
I talked with my laurel and started doing some research. We decided that I could just to a bit of simple knotwork down the side. My own style is very flat but not too far from period works, but I wanted to see if I could tweak it and justify the particular type of Uncial I do. I found justification for my script, I also found bits of knotwork and layout that would look nice for this piece, but it was way different that what I was planning and much more intricate than I’d ever done before. That was the point that I decided that if I was going to do a scroll for a friend, who got the award for research and detail put into her persona and garb, the least I could do was do the same for her scroll, and tried my hand at a small bit of illumination for her.
The first section of the Vespasian Psalter is close enough to my script that I felt comfortable studying it for a bit and tweaking my own for a better fit. Later in the same book was some beautiful, yet simple knotwork. The only catch is that section of the book is done in Artificial Uncial, a script I haven’t even practiced yet. Being that everything was coming from the same source, I decided to call it good.
Dissecting the H was a lot of fun! As was recreating it in pencil. My first draft wasn’t scaled quite right, but the second was spot on. The application of the paint was a little iffy, but I slowly got the hang of it. I really should have played more with the paints beforehand, but after completing the pencil sketch I just had to get it done. The paints could have been thinned out a lot more when I was doing the coloring for the H. I did thin them out drastically (to about the consistency of cream) to be used with my dip nib, which turned out really well for my first time using paints with dip nibs. Nailed the consistency.
Turns out I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I did the whole thing over again on parchment. Some of the letters aren’t quite as nice, but I think the overall look and feel is much better. The first will get filed away, the second was handed out in court.
Calligraphy and Illumination: Lord Faolán an Sccreccain
Words: Lady Aethelflied of Mercia known as Brewbane
Second (Final) Attempt: