On creating scrolls for friends.


I think I mentioned before that creating scrolls for friends is a very special thing.  I like trying to personalise it to something about them in particular.  It’s also a bit nerve wracking because you *really* want it to go well but as someone still learning the skills you know you’re not going to be able to make it anything like as perfect as you would really wish it to be.   That way lies madness though; if you fret too much about the  many mistakes you don’t progress (and, in fairness, some mistakes make for a lot of character in a piece).

I was really, really thrilled to get word that Viscountess Caitriona was to be welcomed into the Order of Robin, an Order of very deep significance and importance to her as she was friends with Robin, for whom the Order is named.  I really didn’t want to screw it up, insofar as I was capable,  and there were a great many reworkings.  Lord Aodh Ó’Siadhail kindly provided the words.

I based the scroll on Psalm 25 from The Ormesby Psalter one of the great Gothic psalters produced in the first half of the fourteenth century.  http://bodley30.bodley.ox.ac.uk:8180/luna/servlet/detail/ODLodl~1~1~42501~127851:Psalter–known-as-the–Ormesby-Psal 

I dropped some of the creatures but kept the archer at the top right (you can’t think of Caitriona without archery!). I went for ravens for obvious reasons but realised after I handed it over that I had intended adding a third raven, in keeping with her device.   I replaced the star attraction owl in the bottom left of the original with a robin, partly because the Robin was the significant part, but also because I know Caitriona is not a particular fan of owls.   I used 23 carat shell gold and it was great learning how to work with it, but I was sorry that I hadn’t gilded the larger sections

I forgot to take a picture of the finished scroll, this is a very much unfinished, uncleaned version before more detail, shading, tidying and the gold was added, and indeed the detail and painting of the capital.   The photo itself has a funny colour balance, it was taken at night on a mobile phone to report progress to Aodh.  caitriona2

I am getting a bit steadier but am absolutely no where near achieving the fine lines I want to achieve, especially with whitework.


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