Sunday, June 21, 2015

Master of Defence - Frasier MacLeod - a.s. l





Project:Master of Defense for Frasier MacLeod
Words:Mistress Alys Mackyntoich
Paper:17 x 14" Parchment by David de Rosier-Blanc
Script:German Fraktur
Pens:Turkey & Goose feather quills
Ink:Ian the Green's Iron Gall
Paints:Holbein Artist's Gouache & Finetec metallic
Inspirations:W and general layout from Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, Abt. Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, J 250 Nr. 14 and Wappenbrief der Gemeinde Blindenmarkt.

The Fraktur hand for the text is from various pages in Werke der Schönschreibmeister - Staatsbibliothek Bamberg JH.Msc.Art.88. This book also inspired the shell gold highlights on the text, gold margin lines, and flourishes.

The central image is based on the October Calendar page from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bronwen Rose of Greylyng - Order of the Laurel - a.s. l



Project:Order of the Laurel for Bronwen Rose of Greylyng
Words:Mistress Mylisant Grey
Paper:Arches Cold Press Watercolor
Script:English Secretary Hand
Pens:Turkey Feather Quills, pointed metal nib
Ink:Kuretake Sumi
Inspiration:Cadel based on this image, which I can't find firm details on the specific document it is from. It is similar to many other cadel H's from documents during Henry VIII's reign.
Text based on Lilly Library at Indiana University, Ricketts 259, a letter from Henry VIII to Andrew, Lord Windsor.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Art of Calligraphy by David Harris


The Art of Calligraphy: 
a Practical Guide to the Skills and Techniques
by David Harris
Out of Print - ISBN-13: 978-1564588494 - Search Online for a PDF copy.
This is my favorite calligraphy book. It somehow manages to be both concise and detailed, beautiful and functional, informative and entertaining. It combines a stunning visual layout and images of period examples with a unique ductus for a large number of scripts, all while including a surprising amount of history. I particularly like that Harris provides both calligraphic family tree that maps the development of different scripts over time and a quick reference chart that compares all the scripts in the book on one page.

Sadly, this book is out of print and becoming harder to find. I attempted to contact both the author and publisher last year to ask if they have plans for a second edition or reprint, and received no response. If you wish a physical copy, act quickly. You can still find gently used copies for sale at reasonable prices for the time being. Otherwise, there are questionably-legal ways of getting a digital copy online. If you get yourself a free copy this way, and the book does become available again, please buy it to support the author.

If you are just starting calligraphy and are looking for information on how to start using a calligraphy pen for the first time, you will likely be a little frustrated with Harris. While he does have a short section discussing tools, there's nothing on how to use them. This book assumes to assume you already know how to use a calligraphy pen. If I could talk Harris and the publisher into developing a second edition, I would ask them to add a chapter on writing slope setup and how to use and become proficient with a calligraphy pen.

That all said, this is still my go-to calligraphy book for inspiration and when I need a refresher on how to form specific letters or scripts.
Alexandre's Rating:
Images of Period Examples
Historic & Paleographic Knowledge
Ductus/Instructions on Historic Scripts
Accessibility to Novice Calligraphers
Techniques for Left-Handed Calligraphers

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ian the Green - Award of the Purple Fret - a.s. xlix



Project:Award of the Purple Fret for Ian the Green
Latin Translation:Master Steffan ap Kennydd
Scroll:Lord Alexandre Saint Pierre
Paper:9" x 12" Parchment made by David de Rosier-Blanc (his Etsy store)
Script:Proto Gothic
Pens:Hand cut goose quills, pointed metal nib.
Inks:Ian the Green's Iron Gall; John Neal's Walnut Crystal; Winsor & Newton's Crimson, Blue, Green & Yellow inks; Purple Gouache; Garlic Juice.
Inspirations:Early 13th century English law treatise - Balliol College MS. 350, f46r
Opusculum de ratione spere - Bodleian Library MS. Digby 83, f58r
Facta et dicta memorabilia - Burney 212, f1 (found at the Puzzle Initial Index)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Estrella War Gift Scroll - a.s. xlix


Project:Estrella War Gift Scroll; from the East to the Outlands
Words:Theodora Bryennissa called Treannah
Scroll:Lord Alexandre Saint Pierre
Paper:8" x 10" 230 gsm cream colored Pergamenata
Script:Fraktur
Pens:Hand cut goose quill with 1mm tip, pointed metal nibs.
Inks:Ian the Green's Iron Gall, Winsor & Newton's Scarlett, Minatum Ink
Inspiration:Drei Register Arithmetischer ahnfeng zur Practic by Andreas Reinhard, 1599

Monday, January 19, 2015

Aildreda de Tamworth - Laurel Writ - a.s. xlix


Project:Writ for the Order of the Laurel for Aildreda de Tamworth
Words:Master Lucien de Pontivy
Latin Translation:Master Steffan ap Kennydd
Scroll:Lord Alexandre Saint Pierre
Paper:8" x 10" Parchment made by David de Rosier-Blanc (his Etsy store)
Script:Proto Gothic
Pens:Hand cut goose quills. Tips are 1.0mm, ~0.7mm and ~0.5mm wide.
Inks:Ian the Green's Iron Gall, Winsor & Newton's Scarlett
Inspiration:Codex Buranus

Friday, December 5, 2014

Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters

Foundations of Calligraphyby Sheila Waters
Alexandre's Rating:
ISBN-13: 978-0966530513 - John Neal Bookseller (or bundled with "Historical Scripts" by Stan Knight)
Images of Period Examples
Historic & Paleographic Knowledge
Ductus/Instructions on Historic Scripts
Accessibility to Novice Calligraphers
Techniques for Left-Handed Calligraphers
N/A
This book would be an excellent addition to the library of any serious student of calligraphy who wants to improve their skills. Waters does a superb job of teaching how to be an analytical calligrapher: both in how to examine a hand to learn how to reproduce it, as well as common mistakes in the formation of different scripts and how to prevent them.

This is a skills focused book that is written with the beginner/intermediate calligrapher in mind. The chapters are ordered such that they help guide a novice calligrapher, generally starting with easier scripts and progressing to more difficult. It is dense, and will probably provide more benefit to someone who is comfortable with the pen and a couple alphabets already.

While she includes some decent notes on the history of the scripts, you'll have to look elsewhere for detailed history and high quality extant examples of medieval calligraphy. The focus of this book is on the skills, knowledge, and techniques needed to become a better calligrapher.