Monday, March 27, 2017

Vigil Book - Kennimathor

I was asked by the talented crew putting together the vigil book for Kennimathor Geirrson to help with the illuminations.  Ken (like Matthias) is of the knightly lineage of Earl Seannan an Chasur so this post has a few familiar heraldic beasties.

Edward and Colin (the knights of Matthias and Ken respectively) had the same team create their vigil books, so both books followed the same format: (1) what I call the "preamble" praising the one called to vigil, (2) the recipient's heraldic charge with a shield, chain, helm, and mantle, (3) the knightly lineage, (4) family/household heraldry.  I tried to keep that the same for Matthias and Kennimathor as well.

I lovingly refer to this as the "project of the secret court name person, by the people with secret court names".  Thyra gets a pass on that since her name can be spelled with a "thorn" instead of a "th".

Vigil Book for Njal "Kennimathor Geirrson" Virtanen
Leather journal by Johannes Mikkinen (called Jenson)
Calligraphy by Thyra Eiriksdottir
Illumination by me - AEsa feilinn Jossursdottir (called Feilinn)

Gouache and ink on hot press paper.

Close up of the front cover of the book by Jenson.

Thyra's calligraphy and text based off Njal's Saga.

Heraldry of Njal Virtanen, called Kennimathor.

I'm very proud of the heraldry for this page for a few reasons.  When I was originally looking at the exemplars from Colin's book and period sources, having the acanthus leaves and helm on a shield for a viking persona...just didn't fit right.  Thyra suggested using the Sutton Hoo helmet for the helm and my husband, Sergei, suggested Odin's ravens as supporters instead of the leaves.   I'll nit-pick about the ravens not quiiiite being even, but considering I was now drawing into the bound book instead of the unbound pages I'm not going to complain too much.  The aesthetics were right on the mark and considering a new helm in the style of the Sutton Hoo helm was part of Ken's vigil regalia made me flail like a fan-girl.

Bonus - heraldry with straight lines!  *scribal swoon of joy*

Knightly lineage.
Gryff's stags continue to haunt me as the most difficult of the lineage shields.  The stag on the left says "Look at me, for I am refined and elegant!!!"  The stag on the right (much like the right stag in Matthias' book) says "Derp" to me. *sigh*

My favorite of the bunch continues to be Gregor's lion.  Despite all the fussy elements (claws and fluff), my brain has an easier time making it look correct for some reason.  Pigs are hard to draw (Colin), but then again so are greyhounds with a border of fleur de lys (Edward from Matthias' book).  Both of these venerable gentleman get the squinty-eye of hard to draw heraldry honorable mention.

Heraldry for the Household of Lochleven.

I had a great time with this book and both Thyra and Jenson were a joy to collaborate with.  Congrats, Ken!

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