Banner Time!

So when a friend contacts you and says their husband needs a banner for a weekend elevation, (and they are both dear friends) of course you say yes.

Most of the banners that I’ve made for the SCA were silk, painted with dyes and then steamed and all of those were done via workshops run by Phillip and Rebecca.  I knew I didn’t have time to do that (I’d have to buy the materials and build some kind of steamer, and some supplies would have to be mail-ordered.)  Another option was applique but that seemed like it would also take longer than I had.  So the last option was to paint a banner.

I bought a couple of yards of white cotton canvas duck (mostly for emergencies, I used less than 1/2 yard). And I bought acrylic paints (way more than I needed). I considered buying fabric paints but they are rather more expensive and didn’t seem better than the acrylics. I probably could have bought one each 2 fluid oz containers of black and red and had enough.

Working from a couple of different versions of Diego’s arms, but mostly this one:

Diego-antonia-de-palma-oeu

I needed to scale up a shield-shaped template (from a different project) to banner-size.  I got some brown paper, traced around the outside of my template, added about  5 inches all the way around, then after consulting with heralds as to the height of the chevron) I sketched in the chief and chevron for the arms.  I tried to do it mathematically, but ended up really just eyeballing everything and ended up with this:

diego banner template

Next I made a template for the clubs and the ermine tails (also noting that the spots for the ermine tails go on top not on the bottom) and traced the design and charges on to the canvas duck with a light tablet:

Diego banner starting

I did a little testing of the paint on a scrap of the canvas duck and decided to dilute the paint a little bit with water.  A couple of evenings painting and I was done:

Then I cut out a lining for the back of the banner, leaving enough extra material to fold over for a rod pocket.  I think I would do that part differently next time.  I had to do some weird things to sew under the raw edges.  But finally it was finished:

And that’s Banner Time!

Advertisements

What next?

This piece of embroidery is now completely done.  Now I have to decide what to do next.

finshed arms

Some artsy/crafty projects can be done while watching television, some can’t.  Some artsy/crafty projects have to be done at a table, some can be done anywhere.

I need to be doing some scroll work, but I also have a sweetbag I really want to finish and some embroidery for collar and cuffs for a new shift.  And then I really want to make a new kirtle as well as finding a doublet I started and working on Pentathlon projects and reading about Elizabethan culture and and and there isn’t quite enough time in the day to do all of it (though I should have more free time in the next few months.)

I think my embroidery project will be to finish the sweetbag.  That’s been on the to do list for far too long. I also want to make some things to wear for Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium so those will go need the top of the list as well.

Best get started then!

Starting new or finishing old?

I’m home from a weekend at Pentathlon, where I judged a couple of categories in the every-two year Caidan Arts and Sciences competition.  And like every time I’ve been at the event I am ultra inspired by all the amazing arts and projects that were done.  And I want to sweep all my current projects into the trash and start completely new things.

There’s something so enticing about a new project.  And after hours/weeks/years, an old project often becomes tiresome and a burden.  But of course this leads to the madness of having dozens of unfinished projects.

So the goal is to find time and energy to finish the old stuff as well as keeping the flames of inspiration burning on the new projects.

Arms embroidery project

 

So first up, I am going to finish this.  The next embroidery project after this is planned and started and then one after that is planned (and the one after that is in my head.) I’m still stuck on how to finish the stars in the chief of my arms, but I have a couple of ideas I’m going to try.

And the next 3 scrolls are planned and at least one of them is laid out.

Ars longa!

Finishing a scroll

You’ve just finished a scroll and now it’s time to sit back with a satisfied smile and an appropriate drink.  But wait, are you really finished?  Here’s some things to look for before you turn in your scroll:

  1. Proofread the text.

It’s best to do the calligraphy and proofread the text before you do the painting on a scroll, but just in case, proofread it again.  Make sure the name of the recipient and the Crown are correct.  Also make sure you have the correct award and award date.  If you find a mistake, some can be easily fixed.  Other mistakes may be harder, but there is almost always a way to make a correction.  If you can’t figure one out, consult other scribes for suggestions.

  1. Is everything painted?

It’s easy to miss painting a corner or a small bug or single flower.  Look over the scroll to make sure that everything is painted.  Also, check to make sure that everything that needs embellishment is done.  In a complex piece it’s very easy to miss a detail.

  1. Is everything outlined that needs it?

Not all styles of illumination require that all things be outlined, but a number of them do.  Go back and look at your inspiration piece and see where and what kind of outlines are needed.  Many things are outlined in black using a crow quill or a brush.  Some things are outlined in the same shade as the motif (or sometimes a darker tone of the main color of the motif).

  1. Are there signature lines?

It’s generally a lot easier for monarchs to sign scrolls when they know exactly where to sign, so at minimum leave pencil lines for them to sign on.  I think a scroll looks more finished when the signature lines are inked in rather than penciled (unless you plan to erase the pencil line afterward).  It’s also a nice touch to label the signature lines (usually underneath) with Rex/Regina, King/Queen or something similar.

  1. Is there seal space?

Please make sure to leave enough space for the seals.  It’s ok to have a seal cover part of the design, but the seals generally stick better if the area is not completely painted over.  Please mark the center of where you want the seal to go.  An X is fine, as is leaving a crown for the Kingdom seal and crossed trumpets for the Herald’s seal, or the initials KS and HS, or something.  Please don’t leave the entire penciled circle for the seals, as the seals often don’t spread enough to cover all the pencil line.

  1. Sign the scroll

At the minimum sign your name on the scroll in pencil, on the back near the top of the scroll. You can also add your email address, and any information about the scroll you want the recipient to have such as materials especially if you used any toxic pigments, such as white lead, manuscripts that served as inspiration, etc.  You may also want to add a signature or makers mark to the front, but make sure those are small and discreet.

  1. Take a picture.

Take a picture of your scroll for your records.  While you are at it, gather your layout, calligraphy practice sheets, exemplar images, and other bits and bobs and make a folder.  If you do a similar style, it will come in handy.

  1. Make some notes.

Take a good look at your scroll and pick out things that went well, and things that you would do different next time.  Add those notes to your folder.

Getting ready to paint

image

After painting the gold in the inhabited letter and the first letters of Alexander’s name, I started painting the rest of the scroll.  First I took a piece of tracing paper and covered up the calligraphy.  I didn’t want any splashes of ink (or anything) getting on the calligraphy while I worked.

I took some of my iron gall ink (Old World Ink from John Neal Booksellers which I love!) and diluted it with water.  I wanted something very thin.  I then outlined everything on the page with a crowquill pen.  I’m not sure I remember exactly, but I think that was about an hours worth of work.  More or less.

You can see on the lion’s mane where the ink blobbed a little bit. I found that I had to be careful how much ink was on the crowquill.  I usually tested it on a piece scratch paper before putting anything on the scroll.  I also found that I had to be carefull not to let the crowquill sit in one place on the scroll for too long as that caused blobs as well.

Adding gold

wpid-wp-1388108365610.jpg

So it seems I was right in the middle of working on this and getting in to the crunch time of trying to finish the scroll in time for presentation at 12th Night and so caught up in finishing that I didn’t keep up with the blog.

The first step after calligraphy on most scrolls is the gilding. Now, this isn’t gilded, I didn’t use real gold, but it was easy to do the gold next in the order of things.

The gold in the center of the inhabited letter and the first letters of Alexander’s name is sumi gold. It’s my favorite gold paint. It comes in a little ceramic pan in several shades of gold (as well as silver and a few other colors). It’s usually available where Japanese calligraphy supplies are sold but the best price seems to be online at jerrysartarama.com (they have pretty good prices on a lot of other things as well.)

The secret to sumi gold is to add the right amount of water to keep the gold smooth and not letting it get thick and clumpy (which means adding water as you go along and the paint dries out.)

 

(apologies if this goes out twice)

Before the painting

Because I’m doing a Grisaille piece which is painted with ink, I need to know exactly where my dark and light areas will be.  With ink, I can’t go back and paint over areas to make them lighter, I can only make things darker.

So, I’ve gone back to my layout and penciled in shaded areas so I have something to follow as I start painting.

Still having trouble uploading photos (and probably will until I get a new computer):  Here’s a link at the shaded pencil version.  Note that I started shading the lion, but I can’t do that on the actual scroll other than a little bit for definition as the lion on the device needs to be argent.

https://www.facebook.com/Aliskye#!/photo.php?fbid=10152092451085349&set=a.80996840348.77509.673035348&type=1&theater