Monday, September 30, 2013

Surprises, surprises. . .

Photo courtesy of Mergriet van Wijenhorst (Amanda Poirer-Kratz)
This weekend was a pretty big weekend in my Laurel's group of apprentices.  My apprentice-brother, His Excellency, Baron D'Unstable Peregrinator, was made a member of the Order of the Laurel.  Our Laurel all gave us things to do as we could - so I volunteered to make the wreath and the medallion chain.  Syr Yesungge, Bess' husband, made the medallion.  It is all kinds of super-spiff.

While the wreath is not based on anything in particular within SCA-period history, the techniques I used on the chain are the same wire-wrapped links that are used on Roman and Byzantine jewellery.  As for the pressed glass leaves, I'm not sure the periodicity of them.  I'd have to do more research.

Still, congratulations, Your Excellency! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Queen's Prize Entry

100_3282 by constantiak
100_3282, a photo by constantiak on Flickr.
It is time for Queen's Prize here in Calontir! This is the novice-level A&S event of the year here.

My original plan fell through - encaustic takes time and money that after a trip out of the country and sixty-hour workweeks I didn't really have, so I switched gears and did traditional scribal. I did want to keep it Byzantine (because, hi, me), so I went with this page from the Rabbula Gospels that depicts the apostles and Christ talking about who would replace Judas.

Not much is known about the artist (or for that matter, studio) who painted the Rabbula Gospels, other than his name was Rabbula.  The extant is on parchment (in the photos, the animal's markings are even seen).

Instead of going with this idea and doing a full-blown replica, I went with the idea of past imparting wisdom to the future, by using the first five kings and queens of Calontir speaking to the current king and queen of Calontir.

From the top, going clockwise - Arwyn and Chepe (1st), Cire and Elisabeth (4th), William (Humpk) and Mammara (3rd), Damien and Issabell (60th and as of this writing, current king and queen of Calontir), Asgeirr and Miriam (5th), and Shadan and Erzebet (2nd).

It is unusual to have the men and women in such close quarters, given how segregated Byzantine society was between women and men, and it is doubly unusual to have the women not veiled.  In hindsight, I probably should have veiled the women (modesty was a big deal in Byzantium, especially in the 5th and 6th centuries, and there's an example in the Rabbulas of Mary being completely covered, however, it appears that she is in mourning), however, looking at the royal ladies of Theodora's court in comparison, they're about as covered, though I will point out that the artist may be illustrating the difference in class.

One cool thing I found out is that the extant is just shy of 13"x10", or about the size of the perg (which is close at 11"x14", though this was due to being trimmed to be rebound. That was a really happy day, lemme tell you.

It is commercially produced gouache (Royal Talens) on pergamenata (purchased from John Neal Booksellers).

I am pretty pleased with this piece, though I really need to draw the figures bigger to fill the space better.

If you would like to see the step-by-step process, the scroll diary can be found here:

Additionally, my documentation can be found here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Queen's Prize and other Miscellanea

Hi everyone!

I'm in the process of madly writing documentation for Calontir's Queen's Prize, which is in a few days, and will have an entry mostly consisting of my documentation for my entry soon.  I do exist - but my goodness, so many things to do and see and write about!

I'm hoping to start on some Coptic embroidery soon for a new cloak, but I need to do some more research.  I'll hopefully be putting those notes here so you can see what I've written about.

Until then,