kls_eloise (kls_eloise) wrote,
kls_eloise
kls_eloise

Anatomy of a Pelican

Well, it's done and delivered.  One HUGE major mistake - can someone please tell me why I dated it September instead of March?  Where the hell did that come from?  Well, as threatened, behind the cut is the process.  There are folks on my f-list who are doing much nicer work than I am, so I'll appreciate it if they'll keep the snickering to a minimum.  Heck, I'm almost ten years out of practice.

Step one - layout.  This is the fussiest part for me, because a mistake here will reverberate through an entire piece.  I had one where I made a stupid mistake and ended up having to scrap the entire piece after the calligraphy was done because it was fatally out of balance.  In this case, I was adapting a two page layout from the Macclesfield Psalter and I wanted it to be the same size as the original.



Obviously after there are lines, there should be letters...



Sketching is next.  I sketch in pencil and then go over with ink.  I'm using a pointed nib these days instead of a technical pen.  Regular pain in the butt, it is.



But this picture is exactly the same as the other one, you say.  Notice the extra shine.  That would be the fish glue ground for the gold.



Speaking of which - gold!  This is the first time I've tried fish glue for flat gilding.  Cut with gilder's garlic.  Quite the aroma.  Flat gold is hard to photograph well - at least for me.



After gold comes paint making and base coats.  I always hate the piece after the base coats go down, because it looks incredibly crayola without the shading or detailing.  Crude.



and a closeup...



Last comes the white work and detail, which softens everything.



But the cool part (at least to scribal geeks...) The back...



See how you can see *through* the vellum?  That's how the real ones look.  I did it as though someone had taken the center page out of a gathering of a book about Jan.  Obviously in previous pages there was a description of his knighting, followed by the duties of the chivalry which end on "page 1."  Pages 2 and 3 are the pelican, followed on page 4 by the duties of the pelican.  The hard part was to figure out where to start the duties of the chivalry so that they would end in the correct place.  Once the lettering and sketching on the back was done, I creased it with a bone folder and added "stitch holes" with an embroidery needle.

I'm pleased.  He's pleased.  Hopefully I'll be back up to snuff soon.

Tags: calligraphy, sca
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