I was commissioned to do a scroll for Mistress Rogned Steingrimovna to be presented at her event (one of my favourites) the second RaÞlheimr Alþing. Her persona is a Rus Viking and the event encourages everyone to come in Viking or early period garb and try weaving, blacksmithing, or messing about on boats, island hopping on Lough Ree. Lough Ree saw conflict between Olafr Ceancaireach (Olaf the scabby-head) and Olafr Gothfrithsson in 937, and the finding of Viking hoards on Hare Island in 1802. It’s a gorgeous site and a fantastically relaxed event, it has been blessed these past two years with glorious crisp, golden weather. With such a strong viking theme I decided to try something a little different than a paper scroll and standard illumination, so I thought engraving might be appropriate. Having plundered some slate (fitting, I felt) I wanted a reasonably straightforward but distinctively viking design. In the end I based it on an anglo-saxon illumination of a Viking ship c. 1025–1050. (Ms. Cotton Tiberius. B V, part I, fol. 40v. London, British Library.) Visit the image
As engraving is new to me I decided not to try a new hand, and as it happens I favour the early Irish hands generally. To make the detail a little more obvious I touched in with silver ink.
As with my illumination I need work on steadying my hand and perfecting fine detail, but I hugely enjoyed the process. It was kind of fun handing their Highnesses a little box of soapstone chisels and a bottle of silver ink for signing this one 🙂