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A 53 minute YouTube video features SCA member Keith Roberts (HL Cathus the Curious) teaching a class on candle-making to members of the group in Rolla, Missouri (Kingdom of Calontir).
The discovery of a lime kiln near the Viking royal hall at Tissø has led archaeologists to believe that high status Nords whitewashed their walls. The 9th century kiln is Denmark’s oldest known lime burning oven. (photo)
This article was written by Lady Isabel Chamberlaine and is on her blog. The Gazette thanks her for letting us reprint it here as part of our “how to” series.
Does this sound like you…
“Mostly I don’t know where to start. I like to look at all of the pretty scrolls but I don’t know what basic supplies to get to start trying.”
It certainly sounded like me when I first started, and even though I have an art background I had no clue how to get started or what supplies I needed. I spoke with a few people, found a few online scribal communities, joined some email lists, and asked a few questions. There was however a lot of trial and error and although I’ve gained confidence and skill I still remember those first tentative steps, so here are my recommendations for beginners on the types of tools and materials to equip themselves with.
To start, buy the tools and materials that YOUR budget will allow. Also, remember that materials (and by extension your art) end up being very personal, so what one artist loves another one dislikes. These recommendations are just MY opinion, try different tools and materials as your time and budget permit – if you love them, great. If not, then try something else until you find something you do like.
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board – In reality it’s just thick, multi-medium paper and comes in a smooth or textured finish. The smoother finishes are much nicer for calligraphy. It can usually be found in local arts and crafts stores, various online stores also carry it. Look for “acid-free” paper to prevent degradation over time. I have both a 9 x 12 and an 11 x 14 pad, one in the “smooth” finish and the other in the “vellum” finish. Both have successfully been used to complete scribal assignments.
Artists Goauche – I am a fan of the Windsor & Newton goauche (“artist” or “designer”, rather than “student” grade). However there are other brands, for example I hate the W&N gold but I LOVE the Holbein brand counterpart (Pearl Gold – G641). I will say that if you’re going to splurge on anything, gouache should be that thing and as a very general rule, the more expensive the tube the higher the pigment concentration. You can usually buy basic colour sets, or you can buy individual tubes of the colours you need. Try to stick to one manufacturer as much as possible so that the ingredients don’t “fight” over time. When I first started, I just bought individual tubes as I needed them and initially found the following W&N colours to be the most useful – “Ultramarine”, “Brilliant Yellow”, “Cadmium Red”, “Permanent White” and “Jet Black”
Personally I find the “student grade” paints chalky so they end up looking pale or weird on the page. This is a personal gripe I have from my college days though, others may disagree with me.
Pens for Calligraphy – You can usually buy basic calligraphy nibs and holders in sets at the art store. Speedball brand is probably what you will find and they do the job just fine. Each set will have a variety of nib sizes to create different size letters, but make sure at least one of the nibs comes to a fine-point so that you can use it for drawing the lines for your art work.
Ink for Calligraphy – Art stores will usually carry a large selection of inks in various colours. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and find “Iron Gall Ink” or “Oak Gall Ink”. If your store carries either of these then buy it and take pride in the fact that you have your first (depending on the recipe and production) period artist material. Iron Gall Ink is my default and I very rarely use anything else because I love the way it flows from my nibs.
Now, I haven’t personally seen Iron / Oak Gall Ink sold in any of the stores I’ve been in (I buy it online), therefore my other beginner recommendation for dip-pens is Sumi black ink. It comes in a bright green, heavy plastic bottle with a black cap and the ink itself has a nice viscosity to it. A word of warning though, it is very corrosive on your nibs if you don’t clean them properly. It’s very black, and works really well for line-work. You can also find this ink in red (red bottle, black cap).
Pencil – Used for sketching out your artwork and drawing your calligraphy guidelines. When you’re at the art store you’ll notice that they are graded, “B’s” with a higher number being the softest through “HB” which is the middle and then into “H’s” which are considered hard. You’re looking for a grade that won’t damage the surface you’ll be working on and that can be erased easily.
Personally I opt for a 2H as it works FOR ME, but choose a grade that will work for the type of pressure you’re likely to apply while using it. To hard and it will damage your surface, to soft and you’ll have a tougher time while erasing.
Rubber / Eraser – Many scribes swear by those blocky, hard rubbers you probably used in school, just make sure that it’s white to avoid potentially marking the page. These can be purchased in a variety of places.
I personally find those hard white rubbers a little weird to use and dislike them. I tend to use what is known as a “putty rubber” or “kneadable eraser” as it works better for me. These are usually found near the pencil selection in the art store.
Straight Edge – You’ll need some sort of ruler to mark out your page and draw the lines you’ll need for calligraphy. Rulers can be purchased in a variety of materials, lengths and styles. Personally I recommend that you buy one made out of metal as plastic and wooden rulers have the potential of being sliced by your craft knife, thus ruining the straight edge. If you can find one that has a cork backing even better, as this raises the edge off the page a little and helps avoid bleeding or smudging.
Paint Palette – Cheap, multi-well plastic palettes can be found at arts and crafts stores. However, you could also use a dinner plate, ceramic tiles, mussel (or other crustacean) shells, a glass ashtray or any other number of household items you probably already own.
Other Random Supplies – Although you don’t NEED any of the following supplies they’re useful to have around.
Useful Links – There are numerous online resources for the things I have mentioned in this post, below are a few of the websites I find useful. Remember to check your local arts and crafts stores as many of these items can be found there.
Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: Calligraphy and Illumination
Gisela reports that at Their recent War of the Wings event, Their Majesties Ragnarr and Lynette, of the Kingdom of Atlantia, placed Lady Virag QaraBay on vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Laurel.
The SCA Inc. seeks applicants for the position of Vice President for Information Technology, for a three-year term beginning April 12, 2014. This is a part-time volunteer position requiring technical leadership and a commitment of approximately 10-15 hours per week plus availability for emergencies. The position is reports directly to the President and indirectly to the Vice President of Operations and to the Board of Directors by way of an Ombudsman.
The Vice President for Information Technology (VPIT) leads a team of volunteers who maintain and manage the SCA’s Internet servers for web, email, and related infrastructure services. The VPIT team manages the SCA’s Internet domains, SSL certificates, the technical aspects of e-commerce clearinghouse services, and similar aspects of the corporation’s online identity. The VPIT may also lead and direct external paid contractors for specific business critical projects or administrative duties.
This position requires specific project management, interpersonal and technical skills, including the following:
Qualified applicants should have a technical college degree and at least ten years of experience in project management and information technology, or equivalent. Reliable high-speed Internet access, including while traveling, is essential, and ownership of a laptop computer is highly desirable.
The Vice President for Information Technology leads and/or implements strategic projects on a largely self-directed basis or as requested by Society officers or the Board. He or she also will direct a technical team that corrects problems on the SCA servers, sometimes on an emergency basis.
The SCA Information Technology team receives multiple daily reports from the servers, including status of important software systems, e-commerce summaries, and security bulletins. These reports need to be monitored on a daily or near-daily basis.
The time commitment of the VPIT position is approximately ten hours per week normally, but can be considerably larger in the event of problems or major strategic project work. The term of office is normally three years. The job of Vice President for Information Technology is a considerable work commitment, but also a very unique challenge seldom found in the corporate world, with a great deal of latitude for leading technical and strategic creative initiatives.
Interested applicants should send a letter of interest, together with modern and SCA qualifications, hardcopy to:
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Filed under: Corporate
Members of several SCA groups joined musicians and actors for Pamlico Community College's recent Medieval and Renaissance Festival which took place in Grantsboro, North Carolina. Bill Hand of the Sun Journal spoke with several participants about re-enacting. (photo)
The recent restoration of a portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh has revealed a secret: a hidden crescent moon over water, a symbol of the explorer's devotion to Queen Elizabeth I. The portrait is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London until January 5, 2014. (photo)
There has been a renewed interest in medieval history at the University of Ottawa. Cristina Perissinotto, director of the university's medieval studies program, believes some of the interest comes from books like the Harry Potter series and the Game of Thrones. Neco Cockburn of the Ottawa Citizen has the story.
Niáll and Liadan, King and Queen of the Kingdom of Lochac, report that Master Drake and Mistress Acacia have been chosen as the new Baron and Baroness of the Barony of St Florian de la Riviere.
Shava reports that she has created an album of photos from Griffin Needle Challenge, which took place in October 2013 in the Kingdom of Northshield. The photos are available on Flickr.
Maol Mhichil mac Giolla Pheadair, Polaris Principal Herald, reports that at Their October 12, 2013 Crown Tournament, Their Majesties Hrodir and Anne offered elevation to the Order of the Chivalry to two of Their subjects.
From Sarah Bernhardt to Helen Mirren, women have longed from - and won - the meaty male parts in Shakespeare's plays. New York Times columnist Alexis Soloski looks at women playing Shakespearean heroes in a recent article.
Estrella War has sent information about A&S activities that will be held at the event, which happens February 25 to March 3 in Arizona. Activities include classes, demonstrations, a competition and a showcase.
Teachers are wanted for the classes, which can cover any area practiced by the current Middle Ages. Artisans are also wanted for demonstrations. Teachers and artisans can sign up at this website.
A&S Competitions will be held in the following categories: dyeing, favors and subtleties. More information about the competitions can be found at the Estrella page of the Kingdom of Atenveldt Ministry of Arts & Sciences website. Information about the Youth A&S Competition can be found here.
An Artisans Showcase will be held, where artisans can sit and discuss their work with others. A traditional showcase will be held for the populace to display their work and a Laurels showcase for members of the peerage.
Participants in the A&S 50 Challenge will also have an opportunity to gather and display their work, whether completed or in progress.
Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: Estrella
Viscountess Elashava bas Riva of the Kingdom of Northshield reports that she has created an album of photos from the kingdom's recent Crown Tournament. The photos are available on Flickr.
The SCA Board of Directors is seeking to fill the position of Vice President for Information Technology for the SCA.
evnt-stewards-msg (54K) 11/17/13 Suggestions for event stewards. (autocrats)
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