Heather Hall is a participant in the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA.
Over the last year I have held the office of Baronial Signet; my job could be described as making sure award scrolls are presented to the Baron and Baroness of Ayreton, so they may sign and seal them for court. At the requests of Masters Phillipe de Leon and Ercc Glason, I am documenting my own scroll production process.
Data. Drafts cannot begin without as much info collected as is relevant to the project. Ayreton currently has a bard producing a custom poem for each award received. Even if a bard was not available, I could look up scroll texts and copy and paste names and dates.
Knowing about the recipient’s persona can help a scribe decide what script to use, as well as appropriate illuminations. Social media is helpful for this.
Materials. I prefer to draft on dotted paper (Fabiano). Personally, I find lines distracting, and they can be easily drawn when needed. While drafting I prefer a mechanical pencil and a calligraphy marker. Since this step is about layout, the marker is selected for ease on the hand. Dotted graph paper instead of lined graph paper is a personal preference. Illumination sketches are in pencil.
Drafts are made until satisfactory script, edits, etc. are achieved.
Transferring from draft to scroll paper is as simple as a light table. This allows me to use or enhance the straight lines the dots provide, plus I can see edit notes (mine are usually red) to shift the script, spread it out or compact it, be mindful of illuminations, etc.
As the scroll in the image is a larger one, paper was custom cut for the job. This particular “parchment” (as described by Blick) is a bit yellow for my preference and puckers more than can handle serious paint layers, but comes close to the texture and look I want to use for this style.
Once the final script is complete, I can begin to incorporate illumination elements. In many cases, the image outline will be added to the final draft to avoid overlap.
This scroll has a touch of local humor.
Necessary elements are in place, so further embellishment is a less stressful affair. This method comes from working with varying amounts of advance notice as a scribe.
Top and bottom edges are folded. bottom is pierced for seal strings or ribbon.
As much gold as time and my hands will allow. Fine-Tec was used with this project.
Articulating what is happening is not my strong point, I’m much better with photos. Know that my scribal work represents my service, and I proceed with hand injuries, as well as personal therapy.