Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

Aldith Pelican, Full Size Completed Scroll197 viewsFor about three hours, my personal scribal backlog was down to one. Then Obadiah the Obstreperous won the Crown Lists and two more assignments leapt onto it. Whaddaya gonna do? Click on the photos to see and read the details about this scroll and find out "How I Did It." I forgot to keep track of the number of hours it took, but it was probably in excess of 130. As I retired this year each work session could be longer, usually from 2 to 4-5 hours at a time. -- TatianaTatiana Nikolaevna
The Inspiration97 viewsAs I’ve stated elsewhere, the hardest part of starting a new scroll is getting an idea. It helps if you’ve already got some ideas and can then find a fit for a recipient. For years I’d had an idea knocking around in my head for a scribe, inspired by an Italian Renaissance illumination of St. Mark.Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Layout, Part 176 views2009-09-11 -- I worked up a layout from the St. Mark illumination, doubling up the archway so there could be an illuminated scene on the left and a scroll text on the right, and this sat around in a book for years. When I finally got around to the point where I could work on Aldith's pelican (the last scroll on my backlog!), I sketched in the idea. Yes, this would work out fine!
Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Layout, Part 273 views2011-12-4. On a trip to London, Aldith and I visited L. Cornelisson & Son, because Aldith wanted to purchase dragon's blood. A clerk asked us what we were looking for and we iterated our interests in calligraphy and illumination, so she showed us their supply of vellum. OK, this was like being asked if we wanted to pet the kitten (and I suspect that evil woman knew it), so I got two pieces of vellum. I had no idea what to use them for, but Aldith and the clerk chorused, "You'll think of something!"Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Layout, Part 369 views2011-12-4. Now my large piece of beautiful vellum (9x12") could be used for Aldith's Pelican. So out came the cool layout idea and after carefully working up a horizontal format which looked really nice, found that the proportions were wrong and it wasn't going to fit. Drat and other comments. Then I considered making it vertical instead -- would that work or would the entire idea have to be discarded? Yes -- saved! Tatiana Nikolaevna
Calligraphy, First Run68 views2011-12-04. As the scroll idea was Italian Rennaisance, the calligraphy had to be Bookhand. Not a terribly challenging hand but still it was calligraphy, and therefore a pain in the behind. The first run-through was using a .5 mm Brause nib. Not bad but it looked pretty heavy for Bookhand, though.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Calligraphy, Second Run73 views2011-12-11. I did a second run using a .75 mm but that one didn't look quite right, either. Part way through the second run I figured out that the ascenders were too high as well as all the majescules, so brought those down in height. That improved the overall look but couldn't decide whether to go back to the .5 mm nib and just keep the ascenders/majescules low, or stick with the smaller size nib. Something still didn't look right to my eye.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Calligraphy, Third Run82 views2011-12-26. I couldn't figure out if it was the nib size or the line spacing, or perhaps I was crowding the letters still. Or a combination of all three! For run number three I tried to keep the majescules low as well as the ascenders, but then I called up Aldith (calligrapher extraordinaire) to get some expert advice. After sending her pictures; she observed that the letters themselves needed to be narrower. (And yes, she knew I was working on her Pelican.)Tatiana Nikolaevna
Calligraphy, Fourth Run90 views2011-12-26. For run number 4, I made the letters more elongate and rectangular rather than square. It already looked much better! It also made for more space in the area designated for the text so I added a little more verbiage here and there, along with a spelling error on "Mistress", and decided to change "bear the following Arms" to" bear certain Ensigns Armorial" right after I wrote "the". Eh, it'll get fixed on the next run-through!Tatiana Nikolaevna
Calligraphy, Fifth Run82 views2012-01-02. After one more practice run getting used to the new spacing, I was ready and started lettering on the scroll proper. This time I had run through the text five times before feeling I was up to lettering on the vellum itself -- an improvement from the last scroll I did, where it took nine tries! Tedium, thy name is calligraphy...Tatiana Nikolaevna
Calligraphy, Sixth (and Final?) Run98 views2012-01-02. 2012-01-02. Aldith was prophetic when she told me: "The nice thing about vellum is that you can scrape off mistakes." Would you believe that I found a new way to mess up the calligraphy? Yes indeed, no old mistakes for Tatiana this year! I was writing along, thinking, Wow, things are going great! Not even taking as much room as on the last one; guess I can get a little bit of extra verbiage in. Why was there extra room? -- I didn't leave a frickin' margin on the left side! Tatiana Nikolaevna
Calligraphy Hell Revisited200 views2012-01-07. Why no margin? Because like a total idiot, I didn't pencil it in. I had no idea how I managed to overlook that as drawing up the margins is usually the first thing I do. Possibly my eye was fooled by the penciled-in framing, mistaking that for the margin line, but it really didn't matter -- the damage was done. Full stop; pen down. I decided to let it dry and then the following week scraped those lines off. Luckily for me, vellum can be treated that way and you can get away with itTatiana Nikolaevna
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