Battle on the Bay 2019 had an Epona-themed challenge—and as a horse lover, I had to enter something. I was on a huge knotwork kick, and I wanted something soothing, so I combined knotwork, a horse-shoe shape, and the Staffordshire Hoard’s “stylized horse” in this scroll blank. Materials are permanent pen and gouache
In June 2019, I wrote the scroll text for Lady Tóth Éva’s Coral Branch, which was calligraphed and illuminated by Lady Kaaren Valravn. See her site for the full scroll.
Hear, Atlantia, the words of Christoph and Adelhait,
your König and Königin by right of arms.
We delight in the Arts and the Sciences,
but cooking is an alchemy that blends both,
nourishing and strengthening the populace.
Tóth Éva is one who has distinguished herself in the arts and sciences.
So do We choose to induct Tóth Éva into Our Order for the Coral Branch.
Moreover do We raise Tóth Éva to the ranks of nobility and Award Arms
that shall be devised by Tóth Éva and Our heralds to be her own forevermore.
Done this thirteenth day of July Anno Societatis LIV, at Our King’s Assessment
in Our Barony of Black Diamond.
In June of 2019, I had the honor of writing the scroll text for my friend Sarah la Malade’s Coral Branch, their first award in the SCA. The art was done by my friend Kaaren Valravn. For more on the scroll, see Lady Kaaren’s site.
Scroll Text: Let all know that We, Christoph and Adelheit, King and Queen of Atlantia, love the beauty of Coral. Coral takes many forms and colors, a rainbow that enriches the populace. Like the Coral, Sarah la Malade has enriched their Shire in diverse ways, through music, poetry, and research. Their work is known and admired; the hands that perform the work are beloved. Thus do we see fit to induct Sarah into Our Order of the Coral Branch. So too do We raise them to the ranks of nobility and Award Arms, directing Noble Sarah to consult with Our heralds in the creation of arms that befit them alone. Done by Our hand this day, June 29, A.S. LIV, being 2019 in modern reckoning, at Storvik Novice in the Barony of Storvik.
In May 2019, I collaborated with Lady Kaaren Valravn to write scroll text for an AoA. For the scroll, see Lady Kaaren’s site.
Listen, Atlantia, to the words of Christoph, King by right of arms, and Adelheit, Our radiant Queen.
It delights Us when one commits to learning both the arts of heavy combat and thrown weapons, for Our Kingdom shall be protected on many fields. It is a boon to the Kingdom when those skills are demonstrated to others, so that Atlantia’s populace may increase, and someday, too, Her armies. Yet one of the greatest delights is when such dedication and service is done by one raised amongst Us.
It is with joy that We have watched one such person grow and serve. Thus do We Award Arms to **********************, and charge him to consult with Our Heralds to develop appropriate arms, should he see fit.
Done by Our hands this 8th day of June, AS LIV, at Journey Through the Nine Realms in Our Barony of Raven’s Cove.
In 2019, I had the honor to write the scroll text for my friend Ishmael Reed in a fantastic collaboration with Lady Adelaide Half Pint (illumination) and Lady Kaaren Valravn (calligraphy). Of course, I had to write a Shakespearean sonnet for Lord Ishmael:
From Ragnarr King and gracious Queen Lynette:
Hail and heed our words, Atlantia fair!
For poetry written and many a doublet
A Coral Branch for Ishmael Reed declare.
He toils with sharp and pointy things each night:
A quill, a pen, a needle, sometimes wit.
His laborious toil makes Atlantian arts shine bright
and keeps the lantern of arts well-tended and lit.
He calls forth words from both the brave and afraid
By easing others’ fears of meter and rhyme.
And oh! diverse doublets he helped be made,
Manifold shirefolk dressing now sublime.
Thus have we with royal power decreed:
Present this Coral Branch to Ishmael Reed.”
To see the scroll, visit Lady Kaaren’s site.
I picked up scribal in the fall of 2017, and although I was unable to attend the following Twelfth Night, I desperately wanted to enter the New Scribe Contest. Based on Her Majesty’s whims (Viking persona and a love of horses and the color red), I decided to do an Urnes-Style Horse and Grasping Beast Scroll. I was honored that my scroll was selected as the winner!
Because I wanted a challenging design (and I could not find any digitized exemplars of period illuminations that fit my concept, as Nordic manuscripts are rare before 1100), I decided to base my design on Urnes-style knotwork (c. 1050-1132). I used three artifacts as inspiration:
- Uppland Runic Inscription 871, 12th century, Sweden
- A brooch from Lindholm Høje, 11th century, Denmark
- Urnes Stave Church, c. 1132, Norway
I decided to adapt one of the Urnes-style grasping beasts into a horse, based on Her Majesty’s whims. The color choices were also influenced by an Urnes-style scroll found online dated 2007; I could not find the name of the original artist. I used gouache and pencil on pergamenata.
As my third scroll ever, this scroll had many firsts for me:
- first entirely original composition for a scroll,
- first completed illustration of knotwork of any kind
- first attempt at freeform knotwork, and
- first scroll on pergamenata.
I painted my first scroll blank in 2017, the same year I joined the SCA. The elements were an amalgamation of elements from early 15th century manuscripts (I believe I pulled from BNF MSs. Français 117-120, which was made between 1400 and 1425, with some modifications to the illuminations in the 1460s). I then entered this scroll into the Twelfth Night scroll blank competition in 2019.
Photograph is courtesy of Tannis Baldwin, as I am awful at remembering to photograph my own items!