A new plan on my scribal education –

I’ve been trying very hard to try something new each time I have a new assignment, which is great and keeps me excited, however it makes it difficult to get progressively better at one thing.

So my current plan is to work from a single time period/location for a awhile, see if I can make noticeable progress in a particular segment of the scribal field.
I chose to focus on two particular manuscripts – This Bible on Gallica from 1150-1200 for the script and this Untitled document from Gallica 1175-1200 mainly for the illumination. I chose to go with these two rather than one or the other because I really like the script in the first one, but it has very limited illumination. The script in the second document is similar to the first but is a bit more gothic than I wanted to work with for this project – however it has amazing illuminations in designs that would work rather well for SCA scrolls. As they appear to be pretty closely related to each other in time and place, I feel it’s ok to mix them together.

My daily scribal practice is entirely based on this Bible. I’ve copied out the first page and zoomed in and have very close images of the hand as it was written in context. From this I am developing a ductus for this exact hand. To help with my particular issues doing scrolls, I’m copying text from a Latin text and writing it in my practice journal. This has two major benefits – I get better at copying things I don’t know how to read and by using latin, it’s easier to see how the letters were supposed to look together. By doing this practice in Latin, using a book that has the English translation on the mirror page, I’m also picking up a bit of Latin as I go along, which makes redacting hands from primary sources easier as I am starting to recognize words and know what the letters are supposed to be from context.

So the first scroll from this intensive study :

img_20161104_193042923I hate my spacing, both the line spacing and the letter spacing. The changes in the size of the hand was somewhat intentional, however the execution was not as I had wanted it.  For once though, I’m not going to beat myself up too much as I did this scroll while burning up with fever and shaking through chills and coughing fits.The fact that there is nothing horribly wrong with this scroll is a miracle. I should have realized my limitations and sent it out to have the calligraphy done by someone else, but I felt better in the morning and thought I’d be ok to do the work, but no, I just got sicker. Turned out it was full blown pneumonia. But I got it done, and it looks better than some of my work, so that is somewhat a win.

I have a few funny pictures of the illumination – this is from when I was getting sick but not quite as sick as I was when I did the calligraphy – It was easier to do the painting lying down since the position kept my hand from shaking too much from the fever and it kept it easier to brace for when I’d go into coughing fits.

Luckily I had already done most of the illumination in the weeks before, so there wasn’t too much to finish in that vein once I got sick.

I did not go to the event to see it given out. I hope it was received well. I also hope that it doesn’t play Trojan horse, bringing this virus into other people’s houses.

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