This assignment was an AoA with very little info to help construct words and find an inspirational manuscript. I did some digging on OSCAR and found that her name and badge are going through commentary. Her byname "Fháeláin"was a dead give away that perhaps....maybe... this person likes wolves (gee, how would I know that one?) and there were wolves on her proposed device.
A lot of medieval pictures of wolves I've found involve wolves harassing sheep and attacking people. Could I just fine one that says "Hey, I'm wolf! Look how cool I am!"? Nope. I did find this gem though and decided to use it a source material. I used the first panel of the story for the illumination.
Recipient: Aine ingen Fháeláin
Assignment: Award of Arms
Hand: gothic (second attempt at a gothic hand)
Specs: gouache on pergamenata
When I first started looking at this I wanted to figure out what the heck was going on in this picture.
1) Why is this wolf blue and looks like a fox? (Now I understand why foxes and wolves conflict in heraldry).
2) Why is there a wolf in an acorn cap receiving a host? (host being the Eucharist wafer)
3) Why is the other wolf wearing a St. Bernard whiskey cask? Is it a traveling tabernacle? Where the heck did it come from? Does the priest know the wolf possibly stole a tabernacle and is wearing it around his neck?
The story going on here (from what I can tell from various sources) tells of a priest of Ulster traveling through the forest when he is approached by a male wolf at his camp. Some versions have this as a friendly and good werewolf instead of a normal wolf. Wikipedia (in all it's peer created wiki glory) says that this was a man who was curse to live as a werewolf for seven years and as a man for another seven (with his wife curse the same way). Either way, our heroic wolf seeks the aid of the priest to cure (or administer last rites to) his mate. He leads the priest through the woods back to their den where the she-wolf is resting. The priest then gives her a host and she's either cured of her sickness (as she's a normal wolf) or I guess she dies (as she's a dying, but good, werewolf).
There are a few variations of this story as I mentioned above, but I prefer the version of the noble wolf who was just looking for help for his mate and in turn helped the priest get through the scary forest with weird trees unscathed. Wolves are awesome like that (in my own biased opinion). ;)
The idea of a wolf helping someone is what led me to choose this illumination as a source material. The text I wrote is short but sweet.
(text to be added later)