SCRIBE NOTES 6
UNTO: The scribes of the Principality of Lochac
FROM: Mistress Rowan Perigryyne, Lochac Provost of Scribes
No, you are not seeing things- this really is the next copy of the scribe notes which has finally appeared in your letter box! The reasons for delays have been numerous, and I do not intend to go into all the gory details here. Suffice to say that I am now happily living by myself in a two bedroom house and have room to do all I wish (would that I had the time and money also). I have rung Mistress Aricia (West Kingdom scribe) several times and have had a letter from her with much interesting news- more on this later.
In this letter: roster of scribes and warranting, assignments, news from the West, making a light box, mailbox, making and correcting mistakes II.
THE ROSTER OF SCRIBESJust a reminder about how this works: all scribes who have met the requirements for being warranted (ie: have submitted an exemplar of quality and have completed their first scroll), and are still warranted (ie: have completed a scroll of adequate quality during the last year) are put on the Roster which is updated regularly. This is sent to the West Scribe at intervals.
Currently warranted: (and expiry dates)
Roman Perigrynne (July 87), Caitlin O Lorrigan (Oct 87), Marit the Wanderer (Apr 87), Dermod ui Niall (Dec 86), Richard de la Croix (Oct 87), Frae Fitzalleyn.
Soon to be warranted (on completion of their current scroll):
Turgar the Pathfinder, Christia Barrett, Thorfinn Hrolfsson, Gwynfor LLwyd, Cristoval Gitano, Braddock McCarrum, Wulfwine Grimwald.
Rhoddhu Oakburn, Bryony of the Bees, Haos Windchaser, Hugh Louis.
Phillipa de Lusignan, Frederick Ludovicus van der Meer, Nygel y Baedd Gwyllt, Griswald of Bucke, Rhiannon of Starfire Retreat, Leofric of Mona, Arian of Shadowvale, Anna Segrovia, Isabeau Chanteuse, Aislinn de Valence, (Catherine Curl), Peter the Just, (Andrew Procailu).
ASSIGNMENTSAssignments are sent over from the West 'in a bunch'. We have finally arrived near the end of our current set of assignments are are expecting more from the US soon. **If you would particularly like to do a scroll for a particular person when it becomes available, please eel] me and I'll tell you when it becomes available.
Of the original 34 scrolls assigned 2 years ago, 12 have been completed (10 sent to the West, 2 awaiting transport), 20 assigned, 2 unassigned.
NEWS FROM THE WESTAricia sent me a letter in July, which returned to her and finally arrived in Augusta Lady Marit met Aricia in the West and was to have picked up some more info, but this didn't work out and I asked Lord Reynadine to speak with her during his visit, but unfortunately she did not have the assignments etc to give to him. Arghhhh!
Some exerpts from her letter which might interest you all...
(on scroll sizes)
- "The scrolls are marvellous. Their work is beautiful. Very quality work. I am using them as examples to all the scribes here."
- "When you post scrolls use flat boxes..its hard to flatten them to put on the seals"**
**(I have just made up a stack of corrugated scroll folders for posting and carrying to events. I can give you one with the assignment or at events)
- "If the scribe wants to go smaller have them talk to the recipient and its OK by me"
- "I want to take the time to thank you and all your scribes in Lochac for the wonderful work you are doing out there."
Enough of the butter. Some other interesting things...
Changes to scroll wordings:
The are now new wordings for scrolls which are much closer to the old mediaeval wordings and much longer. I have the new wordings for Duke/Duchess, Count/Countess, Baron/Baroness, Knight, Laurel, Pelican, Grant and AA scrolls. These new wordings are alternatives; you can use the old ones too.
Changes to design:
It is no longer obligatory to put the little crown above the shield in an AA scroll. In fact they'd rather we didn't. There is also no crown over a grant scroll, so they don't look any different (but you could put more decoration on).
Aricia has been putting together a new scribes handbook (yes, there is an old one) which incidently includes some of the info in the scribe notes, etc. She told me that she would be giving every warranted scribe a copy of this as her gift to the scribes (sounds like a good reason to get warranted to me!). This should be around 12th night. It will have the new scroll wordings in it and many other things.
MAKING A LIGHT BOXTired of taping things to the windows and getting arm cramps? Tired of trying to balance Pyrex plates over a torch? The answer is to make a light box. If you buy one you are up for between $600 - $1000. Don't faint- it's much cheaper to make one.
I had one which used smokey glass and incandescent lights. While a certain improvement on the window, the heat was so intense the paper cockled and my arm got fried. Caitlin's father made her a small one and mine is similar. It can rest on a table and be put on a shelf when not in use.
Mine cost me $90 to make, which was for the lights and electrical stuff. I used wood off cuts and I already had the perspex. You can get perspex off cuts and that would be the cheapest way to get a top. Perspex is also lighter than glass, but use what you can get. Make the light board big enough for your biggest work- our large scrolls are 18 x 24" so I left a 2" border outside that on mine. If you make yours a different size, alter the dimensions accordingly. See illo page)
You will need:
Ensure the writing surface (lid) is a true rectangle. If it isn't and you can't alter it mark one direction as up so your pieces will match. Cut the base to the same size. Cut the sides to length- you can just butt the joints in which case make the short sides the full length of the box and the long sides the length minus the width of the side timber. I mitred mine, which is more trouble.
- Writing surface and diffuser: a piece of white perspex or similar plastic, or perspex or glass with white paint, paper, or transluscent contact.(about 50 x 70 cm)
- Wood for the box: one base piece the same size as the glass (here 50 x 70), strips for the sides: 2 of 50 x 10 x 1.5, 2 of 70 x 10 x 1.5cm, strips for the lid edges: 2 of 50 x 3 x 1.5, 2 of 70 x 3 x 1.5 cm.
- One pair of hinges and screws
- Lights: I used four 24" flourescent lights- you buy them with the mountings, starters etc for about $20 each
- Electrical stuff: one plug, one switch, 2m 3 flex cord, about 4m two flex cord.
- Araldite and aquadhere (or other wood glue)
- White paint and varnish
- Tools: Saw, drill, plane, sandpaper, clamps or screws
The sides must be at least 10 cm high or the lights won't fit underneath (I found out the hard way). Cut a slot in the two small sides to provide ventilation and a handle. Mine were 2.5 cm high by 15cm long. This is easier to do by drilling (using a 1" drill) at the ends, then using a jigsaw to join up the Smooth off the holes with sandpaper.
Glue with Aquadhere and clamp the box to set, or glue and nail/screw if you have no clamps. While it dries, make the frame for the lid. This helps to protect the edge and gives you something to put the hinges into. The pieces will be the same lengths as the side pieces. Glue onto the lid with araldite in several places along the frame and at the corners.
When dry, paint the inside of the box white. If you want to, sand and varnish the outside and the lid frame (put masking tape on the glass to stop over painting).
Now for the lights etc. I used four lights which run the length of the box. They should be evenly spaced to give good light. Take off the covers so you can screw the bases onto your box base. Talk to someone who is experienced with electronics before you wire the thing up. In fact, I think I won't try to explain how I did it so I don't cause any untimely frizzles through inadequate directions. Make sure it is grounded. Put the switch in before the circuit reaches the first light. I found it useful to have the cord coming out the back and the switch at the front.
Sit the lid on and position the hinges. Screw on so the lid opens easily (about Gem from each end).
And there you have it- not only can you transfer your scroll layouts on it, but you can use it to sort slides, transfer embroidery designs, etc.
MAKING AND CORRECTING MISTAKES PART THE SECOND(this deals with mistakes in illumination)
HOW TO MAKE THEMThere are several types of mistakes. They can be in your layout (design not fitting the calligraphy, design elements like seals left out), handling the materials (scrunched corners, lumpy paints, heavy pencil marks, blotches of paint in the white spaces and on the calligraphy), poor materials, rendition of your design (wrong colours on the device, or on some other element,- outlines in the wrong place), and untimely interuptions (like the cat leaping onto the work to see what you are doing, or your friends bumping the table).
Again, being tired increases the mistakes you will make. Here are some suggestions:
- Layout- do a full layout in pencil first and check you have included everything, that the border is wide enough for framing, that it fits the text. Then trace it onto the completed calligraphy. A pencil rough also means you have a record of your work and reference for later designs.
- Handling materials- always work on a table or board larger than the dimensions of the scroll, use fresh water to thin your paints and mix them until smooth, leave the pencil on the rough and trace through with fine pen or fine painted lines, depending on the style, ALWAYS cover the calligraphy with a sheet of paper and cover any section you are not working on likewise. Put another sheet under your hand if you are resting on a painted area.
- Rendition of the design- check before you paint. If neccessary, put a little dot of each coIour in all the places to remind you. I paint all of on colour at a time- all the red, then all the blue, etc. Especially check the device. When tracing through, be careful not to overdraw, especially if ruling lines.
- Interuptions- if possible, work somewhere other than the kitchen table and shut the cat outside. Tell the household what you are doing and make growling noises i f anyone comes too close.
CORRECTING THEMMisruled ink lines are removed as described in the last scribe notes- carefully scraped out. If this is just not possible, look at how your design can be altered to incorporate the lines- an extra flower, a wider border..., paint covers many sins. If neccessary, paint over with white first, let dry, paint required colour.
Pencil; lines should be carefully rubbed out with a plastic rubber and a lot of patience. You can't remove the dents. If they are very obvious (like the ones used to space the lines of text) maybe they can be used- often they were done in red with some black letter styles. Check your references.
Colour in the wrong place can also be fixed. One of the advantages of guache is that is opaque. First step is to remove as much of the wrong colour as possible Take a brush full of fresh water and gently cover the area. Immediately blot off with a clean tissue, removing the paint. Repeat this process once or twice to remove most of the pigment. Let it dry. Erase to remove more pigment- carefully. Now paint the right colour- it may need two coats.
Small smudges can be removed by a similar method. First erase as much pigment as possible. This might do the trick. If not, remove carefully with water as above.
Paint in the calligraphy is your own silly fault. Cover it up next time. It can also be removed as above, but will then need over painting with off white paint to match the paper. Test the colour on a scrap or on the reverse to check the dried colour (remember, paint dries darker). Depending on the style, you may be able to get away with painting little birds, flowers, grotesques, vines or whatever over the blotches in the text. (NB: This may be irreparable, in which case apologise and grovel to the poor scribe who has to redo it).
MAILBOXWULFWINE GRIMWALD- Love to see that text done (surely you must have finished those wedding invitations by now)!
THORFINN HROLFSSON- What is the next event we'll both be at? Looking forward to seeing this AA scroll of yours. The ORL scroll does not need a lot of illumination! Re the illustrated Armorial, if you send me the dates of the early stuff in order, I will begin it. What do we do if a name has been passed with no devices Include it when the device passes?
CAITLIN O'LORRIGAN- Kathes ORL is nearly done and I will show you it when complete. Have you given Eric's Baron scroll to Gwynfor yet?
DERMOD UI NIALL- please send word on which scrolls you wish to return, so I can reassign them. Is it possible to complete James' AA scroll in the next two months (otherwise your warrant expires)?
PHILLIPA DI LUSIGNAN- your insular majiscule is looking good. I will send an assignment as soon as I have one from that time.
RICHARD DE LA CROIX- Your LOM scroll is being photographed at the museum. Hope you have received your new assignment.
NYGEL- I'll give you an assignment as soon as I have a celtic one to do. RHIANNON- Could you possibly send me another exemplar with more period descenders (as per last mailbox)? Then I would love to send you a scroll to do.
CRISTOVAL- any progress with any of your assignments? As you can see, we are getting more scribes than assignments and having a stack waiting...
BRADDOCK -how goes the Baron scroll? Congratulations on becoming a baron yourself!
FRAE- I liked the work I saw at the Manzikert Feast. How's the assignment going?
It is really good to see more illuminators in the field. We will have a huge number of scrolls to do soon (remember all those awards in Lochac over the last year?) and it would be good to keep more or less up to date.
I am hard to catch at home, as you may have discovered. I am saving to buy an answering machine, but in the meantime, I can always be reached at work : (02) 816 1611.
I have a new lot of paper in. It has gone up, but I will keep selling it at 75c a sheet.
It would be good to have some money for materials. No one contacted me about the idea for raising money at the festival, so I will leave it for a while.
Illuminate 2 will be out soon. I could send it with this, but it isn't written yet, so I'd rather get this to you first.
Hope to see you all soon, at one event or another. If you are attending an event and I'll be there, I'd love to see the progress on your assignment, even if it is not finished. Yours as ever,
scribes mailing list
Lochac Arts & Sciences
West Kingdom Scribe
21 October ASXXI/AD1986
you may well ask...
WHY AM I RECEIVING THIS STUFF?
well, you fall into one of the following groups:
WILL I CONTINUE TO RECEIVE IT?
- You are currently a working scribe producing scrolls for the college
- You are a potential scribe, in regular contact with me but not yet warranted or working on scrolls
- You have expressed an interest in finding out about scribing, but we haven't really corresponded or discussed anything further
- I have discovered your exemplar in the archives, but don't know if you are still interested
- You hold a position in Officer structure of Lochac and the information would be relevant to you
- You are the Arts/Science Officer for your group where I don't know of any scribes
Due to the rising costs of photocopying and postage and the fact that this information now goes to 35 people, I am trying to reduce unnecessary copies.(and costs- $50 each scribenotes).
- If you are a working scribe, a potential scribe but regular correspondent, or an Lochac Officer, you will continue to receive these without question.
- If you are interested and have particularly asked to be placed on the mailing list, you will continue to get it for the moment (see below)
- If I have an exemplar but nothing else, or you are an A/S Officer, or want to ensure you continue to receive this, PLEASE WRITE/PHONE/TALK TO ME AT AN EVENT about your continued interest. Otherwise I will take you off the mailing list.
- If you really aren't interested right now, but might be in the future, you can always write to me then and ask to be put on the list then. I do keep a file of back copies.