All my life I've been into music and words, words and music. Although I liked to doodle, and although my family (maternal side, plus my sister) has dabbled in painting and other artistic pursuits, I have never done anything in the graphic arts that I was proud of--and have never cared much, excelling, as I said, in music and words, words and music.

Hard to believe, then, that when I sat down to try my hand at scribal illumination as a project in the SCA, I found that not only was it fun, I actually did pretty well at it. This is like a little extra allotment of wonderfulness in life, that I don't deserve, but that I'm willing to work at.

I have a sheaf of "first tries" and little doodle-type pieces, but my actual scroll blanks (as well as a couple of pieces meant for other purposes) are below. These types of pieces, usually modeled after medieval and Renaissance manuscript pages or other documents, are produced and donated for use in presenting awards to worthy gentles in the SCA. Each person who gets an award, also receives what is truly an original work of art: a hand-painted and hand-calligraphed scroll, signed and sealed by the King and Queen or Prince and Princess, with text explaining why they are receiving the award.

The first five scroll blanks I made were meant for a scroll drive being arranged by the Shire of Schattentor (Rapid City, SD) to benefit the Kingdom of the Outlands (New Mexico, Colorado, and parts of Wyoming, Texas, and Nebraska). In the Middle Kingdom we are used to getting handmade scrolls in Court, as our awards are presented. In fact, I got heartfelt apologies from Prince Alasdair when my AoA scroll wasn't available until Feast. But in the Outlands, they have a ten-year scroll backlog. I assume people are getting photocopied promissory scrolls, or nothing at all. So, in the interest of generosity, in additon to liking the idea of sending my first few scribal efforts far, far away, I decided to donate my first five scrolls.

One note that may be useful: any tawny tan or brownish color in the scrolls is gold, produced in a semi-period fashion by combining distilled water, gum arabic as a binder, and Pearlex gold pigment. It doesn't scan well, losing all its sparkle in the process.

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Last modified: 4/29/07