Category Archives: calligraphy

scribbling along

Here are some more scrolls (and similar), these are all that I found photos of. There are probably more photos on the external drive, but these will come with a later post. These are in about chronologial order. All items displayed here are done with ink and Gouache on Pergamenata (the best parchment imitate I know).

Two small scrolls (about postcard size) as a christmas present for my mother. The text was her idea, the rest mine.
postcard sized calligraphy


The “W” is a “White Vine” Illumination accompanied by the matching Humanist script (a renaissance script developed out of the carolingian miniscule). The “D” is from a 10th century manuscript, the text is written in carolingian miniscule and the uppercase “G” in the text is from the same manuscript as the initial.

A bookmark, originally an initial I from a manuscript (but I forgot the time when the manuscript was made).

An Award of Arms, done this April, but I forgot all other informations about it:

Antother try on White Vine illumination and Humanist script: the Award of Arms for my friend Apollonia:


What I did this summer

I did some scrolls that I haven’t shown here, need to get the pictures on my computer (they are distributed among my smartphone and my digital camera) edit them a bit and then find out how to upload them here. They are in different styles: of course there is carolingian miniscule, but there’s also a renaissance style: White Vine illumination with a humanist hand (that developed out of carolingian miniscule). I’m currently trying to learn the insular script used for the Book of Kells, because I’m a fan of it, I have a pdf of it and I have the request for a calligraphed proverb that would fit that style.

I made my daughter (in kindergarden age) her first garb. She saw me last winter trying on a dress-in-progress and said “aww, you’re wearing a princess dress”. I asked her if she wants her own princess dress and she agreed and chose pink as the desired color. So this summer I made her a simple tunic (should be suitable for anything pre 1300) out of pink linen. She wears if over her normal clothes as the outer layer and loves it. She also had a belt with it, but we lost that very quickly so I have to get/make her a new one (but that can wait until next spring).

This fall I went to a “Stoffmarkt”, a huge market selling fabric, sometimes much cheaper than in online shops or “real” fabric stores. A few years ago you got most things there cheaper than you would get them anywhere else, nowadays many prices have risen to a level that you can get in an online shop without much problems, but you still can make a bargain sometimes.
I got Loden (fulled wool) there for 18 Euros/meter (1,5 meters width) which would be a rather low price for a normal piece of wool fabric, and is really cheap for rather thick fulled wool. The disadvantages are: it’s stretchy in one direction so probably knitted and then fulled and it’s rather scratchy, I wouldn’t want to wear it directly on my skin. But it has a color that’s very close to the “Aubergine” or “Dunkelrot” (somewhere in between) on (this is a link to a color chart of a webshop that sells natural dyed wool). I bought enough of it for a cloak for me and probably my daughter. And the original plan of the cloak was to line it with something that’s nicer to touch.
I also bought some dark blue linen fabric, to make a new tunic for my husband’s viking garb. He’s constantly complaining that his tunic out of light wool is too warm for him in summer. And he promised me that he would wear his garb if I made him a linen tunic. So next summer we can go together as a garbed family to the medieval markets. 🙂

Most of my shire went to the Crown Tourney this fall, because it’s in a neighbouring shire (and some other reasons…). It was my first crown tourney and my daughter’s first event. She was really exhausted in the evening because of sooo many new and interesting things and running around and so on… but she had fun at the event and had fun wearing her “princess dress”. (one day I’ll tell her about princesses in the SCA but for now she’s too young and playing a princess or a knight is the most interesting part of medieval stuff for her). I also enjoyed the event, even though it was a bit stressful and we had to leave in mid-feast due to totally exhausted and overloaded (with new impressions) kid.
And: I got my Award of Arms! Yay! It was a wonderful ceremony and the scroll I got looks so beautiful. I still get a warm feeling thinking about that moment. A few days before the event I was sitting down, writing an AoA scroll for another member of my shire, now knowing she was doing the same for me. I thought that it would be cool but dismissed the thought as unrealistic again. I was really surprised when I got called up at court (and really nervous too of course).

big scribal post, with many pictures

I think it was in October 2009 that I got introduced into the wonderful world of calligraphy. Here are (most of) the scrolls that were made by me.

My very first scroll, made on the afternoon of the calligraphy workshop (where I learned it in the morning) on watercolor paper. I thought that was only a test and therefore wasn’t very nervous. I only realized that this was to be given to a real person after I finished writing it. 🙂
The text wasn’t by me, and I don’t recall the award this scroll is for. As you can see I made a mistake, but found and corrected it. The calligraphy was to be done by someone else but we made a mistake while lining the paper and therefore the A that should go in there didn’t fit in the space available. So I got the original and will keep it. I wrote the text again later, that time after the illumination was done, but don’t have a photo of it.

A bit later I did this AoA scroll, probably last summer.
The initial was my second try at illumination, but it was “just” tracing the original and then painting after the original, trying to copy it. The calligraphy was also done by me. The text was probably the standard AoA text (that always fits) translated into german.
The paper is probably pergamenata, a parchment imitate which is great to work with.
All scrolls done last summer or later are on pergamenata as my scriptorium likes the stuff. It’s easy to write on and looks very similar to real parchment.

The next AoA scroll, done in November 2010.
Calligraphy and Illumination done by me, the illumination took me about 1.5 hours, and the calligraphy about the same time (writing it twice, first a test on normal paper and then the same on the perg). You can see in comparison to the other scrolls that the letters are more even, but my s still suck (as they sometimes still do).

This is a Lindquistring Scroll, written in Early Gothic Script by me. My first try at early gothic and therefore it isn’t too good. The illumination wasn’t done by me, but by another person from the Isengau Scriptorium.

These are not all scrolls I did, but all scrolls of which I have pictures (and I know/am sure that they reached their owner).

I know that the picture quality is not the best, the second picture is too bright and the last too are not bright enough, and in the last picture the perg is not that yellow as it seems, but I can’t get better pictures.

scribal stuff

I told you that I was bad at blogging 🙂

But I’m much better at calligraphy. I did several scrolls that I didn’t post here, and also did some scrolls all by myself (ok, I still need and get help with what to write as a text). I will post some pictures, just don’t know when.

I also did some scrolls that were not backlog and found out that the timeframe is still enough for me.

When I found out that illumination can be done as tracing from a (digitalized) manuscript and painting it out, I lost my fears about it being too hard and me not being able to draw good enough. Doing it that way, )’m quite good at illumination.
It help that my favorite calligraphy hand is still carolingian miniscule and that you can find lots of painted initials that fit the time of hte miniscule and that are easy to do in the method mentioned here.

At the moment I’m doing a scroll (just the calligraphy) where the illumination is rather late period, so I’m trying my hand at early gothic, because gothic litera bastarda is too hard for me to learn in one evening. I can handle the early gothic, having the “cheat sheet” with all letters next to me with just one evening of training.
It will look better on the scroll than the miniscule, even if it’s still too early.

Starting Calligraphy

Late October last year, the lovely Aryanhwy visited Aelfwynn, and they used the opportunity to hold a beginner’s class/workshop on calligraphy. I was interested in calligraphy before, and this was the explanation I needed to start doing it and not only admiring it.
Aryanhwy explained the different hands, when they were written and also told us a bit about illumination and how to compose a scroll (or any other document).
Ater half a day of learning and practice she asked me if I wanted to practice on an actual scroll text, which I wanted. So I did my first scroll and according to her and to AElfwynn it was well done. That helped me falling in love with calligraphy. 🙂
Here’s a a photo of my first scroll (the painted inital is missing because I can’t do that (yet)):

What I also learned on that day is: errors are authentic, and correcting them so that everyone will see the correction is so too. (but it’s not my usual way of thinking).