Thursday, March 3, 2016

Court Barony - Marieta

This was many of the secret projects I was working onto be given out at Yule (December 2015).  Thyra approached me about tag teaming this project and I immediately started doing some digging.

Something to keep in mind during this process:  I host weekly an informal scribal work day at my house every week and the recipient of said secret project is a regular attendee.  I had to work on this scroll without Marieta catching on (and also gathering anecdotal information about her persona and things she likes)

As part of the Queen for a Month garb project with WC, I found out her persona was a textile worker from the Netherlands and had a range of dates to work on for time period.  I hit the jackpot with the source text on Pintrest as some beautiful and lovely person linked the page back to the original source.  <3  I looked at a few pages from the source to look at examples of marginalia and layouts and consulted with my intrepid calligrapher Thyra.  The super bonus for this is it had red and blue flowers (which I found out later Marieta's favorite color is blue).  Since my artist mark is a blue flower, I thought it was nice that both Thyra (favorite color being red) and I had another signature on the piece.

One particularly sneaky thing we did was have Marieta work on the resubmission of her heraldry and had her sent the original docs to my husband so we could print them.  Once those were printed, those files were emailed to me to use to incorporate her mice into the design.

Stylistically I wanted to give a nod to the activities Marieta enjoys and things that were a part of the reason she was getting a Court Barony.  Mice (which are a main part of her device) became an obvious choice to include.  I worked in a scribal mouse, an embroidery mouse, a mouse waving a pennant,  one holding a shield (for her arms when they pass), and two at the bottom of the scroll holding up the line drawing of the court barony coronet (I call those the Triforce mice).

Without further ado...

Recipient: Marieta Charay
Assignment: Court Barony
Words and Calligraphy: Thyra Eiriksdottir
Illumination: me
Specs: Guache on pergamenata
Source:, (Southern Netherlands Book of Hours, also note there is a calendar component for more capital letter examples)

Completed piece!
Thyra's calligraphy is done.  Artwork is 50/50 freehand and tracing.

The outlining of the mice was not my best work, but I also was on a tight and very secretive deadline.  The gold I borrowed was from Constance.  It's a very neat cake of gold paint that acts a lot like shell gold.  Once I got the hang of it, it was awesome!  The swirlies were inked with a crow quill.  I would have loved to do more detail and fussy work on the flowers, but I was running into the "fuss with it and potentially screw up" vs "it's done, lovely, and don't overly work it" conundrum.  I opted to leave it as is with the thought that I could always steal it later to do more work on it.  Fast forward to now, it's already framed and hanging on a wall which means it's perfect the way it is.

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