Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Update - kinda!

I can't believe its taken me this long to get off my arse and actually do some scribing again! Perhaps it is something to do with every weekend being about continuing to unpack the new place (yes, yes 7 months later and we still have boxes!), or just a general inertia towards things of an illuminatory nature!

But I am happy to say that I have picked it up again (not before time as the two commissions I have are now massively overdue!). I hope to get at least those two done over the coming weekend, which means a chunk of my backlog, which will hopefully get me some momentum to continue until I am finally up to date!


Friday, 29 October 2010

Not done a huge amount

Moving House always takes a considerable toll!

I have managed to make one piece of illumination - just a quick fancy piece of calligraphy really based on an original in the Library of the Lambeth Palace in London.

On the plus side, once I get unpacked I will have a whole load more room in which to play!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Backlog Mark 2

Why do I do this to myself? I have now accumulated a backlog of 6 scrolls - yes 6!!!

2 - for Suibhan
1 - for Lutr
1 - for Trin
2 - for Dawn

At least I get paid for the final 2 !!!

Monday, 14 June 2010


I need to start working on my own backlog! I have 3 scrolls on the backburner and a fourth newly commissioned, but without a fixed deadline. I need to knuckle down! Once I get those out of the way, then I can concentrate on the Book of Hours. My conscience will not let me do otherwise! Thankfully I have the designs lined up for all four, unfortunately none of them are simple! I am a masochist!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Some old favourites

I was leafing through my portfolio of images and came across this one which remains among my favourites. At the time I did it, I was quite apprehensive. It is taken from a 15th century German illuminator's manual.

Friday, 4 June 2010


I have been given a wonderful gift! A large collection of hand-ground pigments to play with! Granted it included cadmium yellow rather than orpiment, but I am grateful that the giver obviously did not desire to poison me! I can now work on my Book of Hours project using proper pigments instead of gouche. This has brought its projected completion date forwards quite considerably. I was planning to have to save up to buy most of the pigments, which would have taken time and a lot of savings (Cornelissen not being a cheap purveyor of authentic pigments!). If I really concentrate hard, I could potentially have it ready by the end of the year or even earlier!

Parchment – check! (all cut and pounced)
Text – check! (just needs to be scored and scribed)
Pigments – check! (squee!)
Real Gold Leaf – check!
Gesso to raise the leaf – check!
Gum Ammoniac for flat-leaf gilding – check!
Quills cut for calligraphy – check!
Oak-gall ink – check!
Leather for binding – check!
Parchment strips for binding – check!

Still to prepare:
Designs for illumination
Hammered brass decoration for book cover
Thin boards for hard-binding

Now I just need to actually start making it!!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

I dream therefore I do!

My Book of Hours project!

The text is a poem that my husband and I collaborated on called the Lay of Marcus. It is the tale of a mighty feat of Prowess and Honour undertaken by my Lord’s Knight – Sir Marcus Eisenwald, which he accomplished during his second reign as King of Drachenwald.

It tells the tale of how midway through his reign, Sir Marcus is reminded by some great ladies of a promise he made many years previous when he was just a young squire and had newly won the title of May Count for that year, and of how he failed in the May Count’s main duty of ensuring fair weather to the Principality of Nordmark during his tenure. The foul weather so offended the populace that he was called to book for his failures and he took an oath to fight a bout for every month ruined by inclement storms, and furthermore, to do so for every Lady who felt herself offended by his shortcomings. This undertaking was supposed to take a year, but alas circumstances were such that after a few such tournaments, the promise fell by the wayside and was forgotten. Now the ladies recalled his oath to Sir Marcus who stood forth and removed his Crown and chain of fealty and declared that he would not wear them again until he had fulfilled the vow he made so long ago. With his faithful squires documenting all comers, Sir Marcus undertook to face every fighter on the field for 12 bouts each, and every fencer for the same. For the entire day, with barely a pause for food and water, Sir Marcus battled on until with the coming of the evening, the Ladies declared that honour had been satisfied. Then it was calculated that the King had fought in excess of 200 bouts in one day. To great acclaim, Sir Marcus once again put on the accoutrements of rank and honour and was lauded and proclaimed by the populace.

There will be around 8 full-page miniatures, 6 versals, 4 small miniatures and sundry marginalia. The book itself will be around 4”x5” total measurement for one page. I think it should be around 20 pages in total. The style I intend to use is broadly international gothic in the early 15th century style.

*takes a deep breath….*